Some wedding traditions – and superstitions

It’s probably because you’ve watched a number of movies. And you may have picked up a number from a few weddings that you attended or personally helped to plan. Either ways, you may be familiar with some superstitions that surround weddings. Some of them are considered silly outright. But there are others that have graduated from the status of mere superstitions to traditions that we don’t bother to even question any longer. We take a look at some of these superstitions – and we’ll see those we can find explanations for.

#1: The groom not being allowed to see the bride in her wedding gown before the wedding

This is probably the most popular among the lot. In the past, many people saw it as a sign of bad luck. Actually, a lot of people still believe it now. But it seems most of the brides who don’t want their grooms seeing them in their gowns nowadays do so because they want to keep an element of surprise.

Well, it originates from the times when arranged marriages were custom. The wedding then symbolized a business deal between two families. A father would have been pleased for his daughter to be married to a man from a well-to-do family. So, the fear existed that if the groom saw the bride beforehand and found her unattractive in any way, he could call off the wedding, which would be an embarrassment to the bride and her family. It then became tradition that the bride and groom didn’t see each other at all before the wedding so the groom didn’t have the opportunity to change his mind. The veil only helped this situation, since the groom only saw what the bride looked like at the very last minute, when it was too late to back out of the transaction.

As earlier mentioned, most people who do it now are more interested in building up the suspense and excitement in the day. However, in some cases, the couple feel more relaxed when they see each other a few minutes to the ceremony. And in the case where you just might want to take your formal pictures before the ceremony, you’re definitely going to see each other. There’s really no hard and fast rule – just talk it out with your spouse prior to the day to make sure you’re on the same page.

face to face

#2: Saving the top tier of the wedding cake for the first anniversary

The original version of this was the cake that was baked to mark the christening of the first baby. In earlier times, the baby came shortly after the wedding and cakes were baked on both occasions. With time, multi-tiered cakes became trendy and the top tier of the cake was almost always left over. It eventually made more sense to keep the top tier of the wedding cake for the christening of the baby in a year, instead of baking a new cake.

Nowadays, it’s becoming less popular for children to come immediately after the wedding, but the tradition remains. The top tier is eaten after a year, but not necessarily used to mark the christening of the child. It’s now more inclined towards remembering their special day. Sometimes, family is invited for a small reunion. However, it’s usually an intimate affair between the couple.


#3: The groom carrying the bride over the threshold of their new home

This tradition has a few origins. In Medieval Europe, they felt it wasn’t right for a woman to seem enthusiastic about losing her virginity. The groom carrying her over the threshold avoided that from happening. Western Europeans also believed that a bride who tripped over the threshold brought bad luck to their home. So, the idea of the groom carrying the bride over prevented her from tripping in the first place. However, the most popular would be the one that says that the threshold of the home was considered to be a base for lurking evil spirits. Apparently, the bride was more vulnerable to spirit intrusion, especially through the soles of her feet. The groom ensured his new wife would not bring any bad spirits into the house by carrying her inside.

In recent times, the groom carries his bride across the threshold of their new home not for fear of evil spirits, but as a beautiful and romantic way to welcome her into his life.
carrying over.jpg

#4: Wearing a veil as part of your wedding attire

The superstition behind that tradition was that it warded off evil spirits that wanted to disturb the bride. The Romans usually used flame-covered veils for that purpose.

As earlier mentioned, it was also used in arranged marriages to prevent the groom from changing his mind before taking his vows.

Now, the most popular significance of the veil is probably the virginity and purity of the bride. Some people suggest it refers loosely to the thin-veiled hymen. The husband unveiling her indicates that he officially has permission to her body.

veiled bride 2

#5: Rain on your wedding day means good luck

Unless you’ve made solid plans in case of inclement weather, rain on your wedding day may not exactly be something you would be looking forward to. For starters, it could ruin your dress, hair and makeup. But some people believe that it’s a sign of good luck – it symbolises fertility, a fresh start and the last tears a bride will cry.

Other things believed to bring good luck to you in your marriage are finding a spider in your wedding dress, rainbows, black cats and frogs. But we have to admit – we have no idea why.

rain on your wedding day

Know any wedding traditions and/or superstitions? Feel free to drop them in the comments section. And remember to share with a friend – so we can all learn something new.

Happy planning!

Team Ayefro




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