Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wedding Superstitions by Georgia A. Peck 1893

Wedding Superstitions by Georgia A. Peck 1893

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The flowery month of May is held especially unlucky to a bridal pair. Death or misfortune is supposed to follow within a year from the time of a May marriage. The bride should get on the best of terms with the weather bureau, as the quality of weather furnished upon her wedding day is supposed to typify the condition of the marriage skies. "Happy the bride the sun shines on" is the all-important saw on the wedding day. Let the tiring-maids be sure that the bridal toilet includes—

Something white and something blue, Something borrowed, something new—

even if the latter essential be an unsoiled bridal gown. The superstitious bride will be careful to throw away every pin used in her wedding attire, to avert the ill-luck that would attend their subsequent use. On the other hand, let the unmarried friends of the bride scramble eagerly for these cast-away pins, for they may base their hopes of a speedy marriage for themselves upon the possession of one of these pointed souvenirs. Fragments of the bridal bouquet are held to be equally desirable.

A prudent young woman will decline to serve for the third time as bridesmaid, out of respect to the ancient warning: "Thrice a bridesmaid, never a bride." The bridal veil should not be omitted. Its wearing is the survival of a Roman custom, and betokens modesty on the part of the bride. The wearing of a white satin bridal robe is held to be unlucky, notwithstanding the prevalence of the custom. Fashion has asserted her sway over prejudice in this matter, and still more decidedly in regard to the time-honored superstition which forbade the best man to bring ill fortune upon a bridal couple by wearing a black coat. Possibly English superstition may hold that the wearing of a pink shirt by this dignitary casts a rosy glow over the future of the happy pair. On that point, authority is silent. At all events, no wedding guest should appear at the bridal robed in black. The best man must be a relative of the groom, and by no means stumble on his way to the altar. The wedding ring is supposed to bring sorrow if it contains a diamond or any stone to break the golden circle. The loss of the wedding ring is held to be especially ominous, and many wives have a superstitious dread of removing the ring from the finger on which it is placed at the marriage. The bridegroom must remove his gloves before the bride takes off her own, to receive the ring. The postponement of a wedding is considered most unlucky, some believers in this superstition even going so far as to hold a marriage and a funeral service on the same day in a household rather than to do violence to this tradition.

Buy: The Encyclopedia of Superstitions by Richard Webster

The practice of throwing rice after a bridal couple is very ancient, and as originally done it symbolized fertility. The custom of throwing old slippers after the happy pair has come down from antiquity. It is especially prevalent in Somersetshire, where it is generally supposed to be a sort of invocation to the goddess Fortune, who, by virtue of this rite, confers favors and good fortune. It is probable that this playful pelting of the newly-married pair dates back to an old savage custom when marriage by capture was in force. It was then held to be a matter of especial "good form" for the friends of the bride to offer violent opposition to her capture by the bridegroom. Among the Arab tribes of Upper Egypt the unfortunate bridegroom underwent the ordeal of whipping at the marriage feast. His lot was rendered the more unenviable by the requirement that he receive the drubbing—which was often unmercifully administered by the relatives of the bride—"with an expression of enjoyment." In Turkey the bridegroom is chased by the guests, who pelt him with their slippers. Our own custom of throwing old slippers —or latterly, sweet roses—after the bride and groom is really the last relic of a show of opposition to the capture of the bride.


Rings have figured prominently in marriages from prehistoric times, and many superstitions cling to them. It is not strange that a rite that is fraught with such serious results to the contracting parties should have awakened a sense of dread and a desire to foretell the future by speculation and divination.

Among some peoples instead of exchanging rings a piece of gold or money is broken in halves, each party keeping a half. To lose one's half is considered very unlucky. An engagement ring is supposed to be: is a harbinger of luck and happiness.

An engagement ring with the bride's birthstone

"A contract of eternal bond of love,

Confirmed by mutual joinder of your hands."

Formerly men wore engagement rings as well as women, but in the course of time left them off as being a sign of bondage.

A diamond engagement ring is especially lucky, as diamonds are considered the highest form of gift, and the sparkle is supposed to originate in the fires of love.

A pearl in a ring is unlucky, as pearls signify tears.

To lose a stone out of an engagement ring foretells bad luck, unless it is replaced before the wedding takes place.

During the Commonwealth in England, the Puritans tried to abolish wedding rings as being a remnant of heathen practice.

The ring, being round and without end, is a symbol of never-ending love and affection that should continue to flow in an uninterrupted circle.

If a wedding ring breaks, it is a sign of marital trouble.

A wedding ring that has been worn to a thin thread is lucky and brings luck to the wearer's children.

The wedding ring is usually worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. The probable reason is that the left hand is not used as much as the right and the fourth finger is rarely used alone.

It was formerly believed that a special artery led from the heart to the fourth finger.

Among Orientals the ring is usually worn on the index finger of the left hand, which is called the lucky finger.

A wedding ring rubbed three times on the eye is supposed to be a cure for styes.

A wedding ring should be turned around three times if you want your wish to come true.

It is unlucky to take off your wedding ring except in cases of necessity.

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