Knot Your Ordinary Wedding: Superstitions and Sayings
9 min

Superstitions and Bewitchments: A Whimsical Wedding Guide

wedding superstitions

When it comes to weddings, everyone’s a lil superstitious. You can bet that, when your wedding day dawns, wild horses wouldn’t be able to stop you from grasping something old and donning something blue, even if you’re the type of person who goes under ladders out of principle or laughs your socks off when your gals touch wood. Just what are these superstitions that have stood against the test of time and what neat twists can be added to them? Don’t worry. We gotcha. Grab alllll your lucky charms and join us as we unveil the enchanting world of wedding superstitions.


Something Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue


 A time-honored custom, this Victorian verse is said to bring the bride luck. Wearing “something old” represented the bride’s past, while “something new” symbolized a happy future. The bride got her “something borrowed” from someone happily married to snag some of their good fortune. “Something blue” denoted fidelity and love. This aspect of the tradition was first practiced in ancient Israel, where brides wore blue ribbons in their hair as a sign of fidelity to their future spouses.


There’s a lot of love to give to this verse’s role in the modern era. Whether it’s a treasured family heirloom or a delicate blue garter, this tradition adds a touch of charm to any bride’s ensemble. Repurpose a family wedding dress? Dreamy. Add vintage accessories to your shoes? We’re here for it. Maybe steal, er– we mean borrow, a friend’s veil? Yas girl. Get a blue garter? How classy. The list is endless. Trust us, you need—not want— these. The only hard and fast rule here is that each item should be special to you. Fair?


A penny for your thoughts shoes?


What you may not realize is that the rhyme above actually ends with “…and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” A sixpence, which is equal to six pennies, was once put in a daughter’s shoe by her father as a sign of luck and wealth dating back to Victorian times.


Nowadays, any family member will typically substitute a penny for the sixpence. Here’s a cute idea (we know, we’re filled with them): How about using a coin from the year you’re getting married or the year you met? Oh, and if you don’t want to squeeze a coin in your stiletto, consider tying it to your bouquet or ring bearer’s pillow instead. It might be a tad bit more comfy. You’re welcome.


Psst… No Peeking Allowed


This was prevalent when arranged marriages were common. Betrothed couples weren’t allowed to see each other before the wedding. At all. Yikes. People believed that if the couple saw each other beforehand, it would give them a chance to change their minds. Double yikes. And although the veil has various origins as well (see below), in this version, its original intent was to keep the bride’s appearance a secret from the groom until the very last moment, when it would be too late to back out of the deal. Triple yikes.


We’ve got two words for you: suspense and emotion. The surprise truly adds to the overall feeling of first seeing each other during the actual ceremony. The “magic” of the moment might be lost if you see each other beforehand, for both yourselves and your guests. That being said, we do see our fair share of couples doing “first look” photos and absolutely loved having that unforgettable moment together. If you simply can’t decide (we know, it’s hard), how about opting for a “first touch” where you hold hands and chat—but still save that magical first glimpse for the aisle? It’s completely up to you and your boo.


Add A Veil For An Exciting Tale


Ancient Greeks and Romans ditched fashion for function. For them, a bride needed to wear a veil to protect herself from the hexes and curses of envious witches and bad spirits who wished to steal her joy. As soon as her face was hidden, so were their vexes. The more you know. We’d also say the fashion part worked out quite nicely. Now, that is impressive.


Let us set the scene: You’re walking down the aisle in a veil. The veil brings a certain fire to the romance and drama to your already fabulous walk. You feel more feminine, mysterious, and dare we say—sexy. Someone, open a window. It’s getting hot in here. A veil, in our opinion, is the ideal accent to complete the bridal outfit. And guess what? Veils make for epic pictures. If that doesn’t convince you, think about how your wedding is likely your only opportunity to ever wear one!


It’s Rainin’ Rice, Hallelujah


The tradition of throwing rice at newlyweds as they exit the ceremony dates back centuries. It symbolizes showering the couple with abundance, fertility, and prosperity.


Nowadays, some venues discourage rice-throwing due to concerns for birds’ safety, but alternatives like confetti keep the spirit of the superstition alive. Or, a more eco-friendly alternative, consider dried flower petals. You could also have your guests blow bubbles over you instead. Ohmygosh. Just think of the photos. Need we say more?


To Save Or Not To Save The Cake, That Is The Question


In the olden days, couples saved the top tier of their wedding cake to use during the christening celebration for their first child, which everyone believed would come within the year following the wedding. It comes from this rhyme:

First comes love,

Then comes marriage,

Then comes the baby in the baby carriage!


Nowadays, couples freeze the top tier of their wedding cake for their one-year anniversary. Before you wince at the thought of eating a year-old cake (too late?), bear with us: We love the pleasant reminder cakes bring of a bride and groom on their special day. And if you’re like us, you might only get one bite of your wedding cake on your big day, and you can’t wait to have a piece later. Yea. We said it. Brides and grooms deserve to *properly* indulge in their own cake. Another easy alternative is asking your cake baker to recreate your original cake on a smaller scale for your first anniversary. Definitely worth it if you ask us.


Skip the Saturday, Ladies


The unluckiest day of the week to get married is a Saturday, according to English folklore. Oof. This Celtic poem lays it all out.

Monday for wealth,

Tuesday for health,

Wednesday the best day of all,

Thursday for losses,

Friday for crosses,

Saturday no luck at all.


Calling all budget brides! Since Saturday is usually the most expensive day to get married as well, why not use this as an excuse to choose a more budget-friendly date? Opt for Monday for health or Tuesday for wealth. Wednesday, however, is the luckiest day of them all and not to mention– the cheapest, too! Oh, and if you want to double up on date-based luck, you can also get married in June, which is the ideal month to tie the knot as it is named after the Roman goddess of marriage. A win-win if we ever saw one. 


The Pick-Me-Up


Ever wondered why the groom carries the bride over the threshold? It dates back to ancient Rome when it was believed that evil spirits lived beneath the ground. By carrying his bride, the groom protected her from these malevolent forces and ensured a safe transition into their new life together. Another interpretation of this superstition that came later was that it would bring bad luck to the marriage if the bride tripped or fell when entering her married home for the first time—thus, the groom should carry her in.


These days, it’s just good old-fashioned fun! It’s an opportunity for your man to show off his bravado and muscles, and honestly? Hard agree. A creative way to show his commitment if you ask us. But don’t listen to us, listen to all the rom-coms. Seeing a man carry his new bride over the threshold is definitely at the top of the most romantic scenes in movies. We’re getting butterflies just thinking about it. And no, we wouldn’t say our standards are too high.


Bring On The Bridesmaids


Bridesmaids served as a means of deceiving evil spirits and hiding the true bride from view in ancient Rome. That’s also why traditionally, they were dressed alike and ideally, in a similar style to the bride. Now that is an impressive idea if we’ve ever heard of one.


Today, well, we do it for the squad. For our ride-or-dies. It’s the best way to honor your loved ones. Not to mention all the extra emotional support you get. As if you need another reason, it also makes for fewer worries, and we are all about having zero-stress planning here. Oh, and remember how fun it is getting ready and planning your big day with all your gals around you. Yes, please.


Toss That Bouquet, T-Toss That Bouquet


The tradition of the bride tossing her bouquet over her shoulder originated in the medieval period. The single, female wedding guests were supposed to gather and try to catch the bouquet. According to an old wives’ tale, whoever caught the bouquet would be the next to marry. We’re still stuck thinking about the frenzy of single medieval ladies diving and elbowing their way to bouquet-catching glory at weddings. Can you imagine? 


Who said bouquet throwing was just for the single ladies? We love a good reception activity for guests. Even if your guests aren’t big on dancing, this will get them active and engaged. You could alter it to be something new and fun. Like breaking it up and giving it to each one of your gals. Did we mention that the object flying through the air would make quite the addition to your wedding album? Oh, and if you don’t want to throw your original one, we’ve seen some brides opt to throw a separate “tossing bouquet”. We promise it’s worth it.


Angels Singing, Bells Ringing


In some ancient cultures, bells were thought to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune. A beautiful, yet protective charm for newlyweds. Aww!


We can all agree that the belief in bad spirits may not be as prevalent now, as well as the amount of weddings that happen in churches, but the joyous sound of bells on wedding days has stuck around—and for good reasons. After all, isn’t it a fantastic way to mark your grand exit? They’re also making comebacks in wedding decor. We’ve seen two bells tied together with a bow to represent two people joined together in marriage. Why not hide some bells in bouquets or give them to guests to ring as the couple leaves the church or during the reception to promote kissing, much like the clinking of wine glasses? A game changer.


A White Wedding Dress Affair


White used to be worn to demonstrate a bride’s innocence and purity. A royal wedding sparked the modern-historical trend in white bridal wear. When Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert on February 10, 1840, she decided against following the royal custom of donning coronation garments. Instead, she wore a fashionable white gown that was featured in newspapers and magazines around the world. Following that, donning a white bridal gown was associated with money and rank. Only wealthy brides could afford a white silk gown because they were married in posh locations away from the mud and grime of life during the 19th-century Industrial Age.


We’ve seen white as an iconic symbol for brides nowadays. It has become sort of a bridal uniform. White is now the choice for most American brides, with 4 out of 5 choosing to walk down the aisle in white. That said, there is no hard and fast rule that you have to wear white on your wedding day, even if most brides still opt for it. Fair warning, though: If you’re considering wearing a color other than white, you might want to think twice before wearing one of the following shades according to these old verses (JK. Ofc you’ll be breaking necks in whatever color you chose to rock on your big day):

Married in White, you have chosen right,

Married in Grey, you will go far away,

Married in Black, you will wish yourself back,

Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead,

Married in Green, ashamed to be seen,

Married in Blue, you will always be true,

Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl,

Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow,

Married in Brown, you will live in the town,

Married in Pink, your spirit will sink.

Whether you choose to embrace these superstitions or dismiss them as mere folklore, they ~ in our humble opinion ~ undoubtedly contribute to the enchantment and mystery that surrounds the wedding day. Work with your wedding planner to come up with a unique and memorable way to incorporate superstitions that resonate with you. Because surely, everyone could use some extra luck in love on their big day!

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