7 bridal traditions and superstitions

03 Feb 2014

7 bridal traditions and superstitions

Traditionally, brides have been thought to be particularly vulnerable to evil spirits and many of the customs and traditions associated with weddings are to provide protection. Did you know the veil was originally worn by Roman brides? It was thought that it would disguise the bride and therefore outwit malevolent spirits. Here's some more superstitions and traditions for you to digest.

1. The veil

The veil became popular in Britain in the 1800s. In this country it is associated with modesty and chastity.

In some Eastern ceremonies the bride is veiled and the groom is not allowed to see the bride’s face until after the wedding ceremony – and hands are frequently decorated with henna.

In some Jewish weddings there is a ritual where the groom ensures that the bride is his intended before placing the veil over her face.

2. Flowers

Some people choose the flowers at the wedding on the basis of their symbolic meaning. For example orange blossom has always been associated with weddings because it signifies purity and chastity.

Peonies are avoided by some as they represent shame, azaleas represent temperance, roses symbolise love and snowdrops represent hope.

A combination of red and white flowers is avoided by the superstitious because they stand for blood and bandages.

However, people from different regions may attach other meanings to the same flower. For example lilies symbolise majesty to some but are thought unlucky by others because of their association with death.

The groom often chooses a flower for his buttonhole which also occurs in the bride’s bouquet. This is a vestige of the time when a knight would wear his lady’s colours to display his love.

3. The last look in the mirror

When the bride is ready to leave the house for the wedding ceremony a last look in the mirror will bring her good luck. However returning to the mirror once she has begun her journey will result in bad luck.

4. Chimney sweeps

Seeing a chimney sweep on the way to a wedding is though to bring good luck and it is still possible to hire one to attend wedding ceremonies. Other good luck omens when seen on the way to the ceremony include lambs, toads, spiders, black cats and rainbows.

5. Omens of bad luck

Seeing an open grave, a pig, a lizard, or hearing a cockerel crow after dawn are all thought to be omens of bad luck. Monks and nuns are also a bad omen. This may be because they are associated with poverty and chastity. They are also though to signal a dependence on charity by the newlyweds.

Bad weather on the way to the wedding is thought to be an omen of an unhappy marriage, although in some cultures rain is considered a good omen. Cloudy skies and wind are believed to cause stormy marriages. Snow on the other hand is associated with fertility and wealth.

6. The bridesmaids

Bridesmaids were dressed in a similar way to the bride for the same reason as the origin of veil. The bridesmaids were thought to act as decoys to confuse evil spirits and thus protect the bride.

7. The boss

It is said that the first partner who buys a new item after the wedding will be the dominant one in the relationship. Many brides ensure that they make the first purchase by arranging to buy a small item such as a pin from the chief bridesmaid immediately after the ceremony.

 

 

 

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