Planning a wedding is hard not just because of the costs of the wedding and the stress of polishing everything before the day of ceremony, but also because you have to consider superstitions even before the wedding day, especially if you believe in bad luck! Whether you are Italian, Swedish, Irish, or Asian, there are common wedding superstitions that you share with others such as tossing rice to symbolize good harvest and plenty children, breaking a glass to represent the years that the couple will be happily married, and even wearing veil, which, as it turns out, traces back to the believe that the bride must be disguised from the lurking evil spirits that during her wedding day! Get to know other superstitions in this list of 10 Most Common Wedding Superstitions.
10- Carrying the bride over the threshold
The superstition that the bride must be carried by the groom over the threshold of their new home originated from the Medieval Europe belief that the bride must not look to eager about losing her virginity and to avoid tripping over the threshold, as such would bring bad luck to their marriage because the threshold of their home symbolizes a place of lurking spirits. It is like hitting two birds in one stone!
9- Inviting a chimney sweep
Mostly practiced in British cultures, the bride and group often invite at least one chimney sweep to attend to their wedding, in addition to their family, relatives, and friends. This is because a chimney sweep is believed to bring good luck to the new couple, ever since King George declared about 200 years ago that chimney sweeps bring good luck. Others even hire their services to attend the wedding and even to kiss the bride.
8- Tossing rice
Prominent across the world is the superstition that guests must shower the bride and groom with rice or other grains because it will bring a bountiful harvest to the family, and even many children in the future. This was usually done after the ceremony, when the couple is leaving to their new home. This tradition was practiced civilizations before and is still being practiced even until this modern period and across different cultures.
7- Jumping over a broom
A belief that originated from African-American cultures is the superstition that the bride and groom must jump over a broom in order to “sweep away” the old life and welcome their new life as a couple. This was believed to have originated during the time of slavery, when African-Americans cannot still marry legally. This tradition is usually done either during the wedding ceremony, after being pronounced as husband and wife; or during the reception, where guests usually tie ribbons around the broom before the couple jumps over.
6- Planting a tree
Commonly practiced by the people in Czech Republic, brides must plant a tree in their yards, surrounded with colorful ribbons as decorations and eggshells painted in bright colors. This was based on the belief that the bride will live as long as the tree and it must be done strictly a day before the supposed wedding.
5- Wearing something old, new, borrowed, and blue
Another superstition commonly practiced by brides and grooms is to wear something that fits all four categories: something old, to symbolize the transition from being single to becoming a married person; something new, to represent the maturity to adulthood; something borrowed, based on the belief that borrowing something from a happily married couple will bring good luck to the newly weds; and something blue, which symbolizes the bride’s purity and fidelity. This superstition dates back to ancient Europe where it was believed that this practice will ward off evil spirits lurking during the wedding day.
4- Breaking a glass
Tracing back to the culture of Italians, another superstition of couples is to break or smash a glass during the wedding. The number of broken pieces of the glass represent the number of years that the couple will remain happily married. So you can imagine how much force the couples put into this tradition!
3- Saving the top layer of the wedding cake
Practically, this superstition dates back from the belief that shortly after the wedding ceremony, christening ceremonies will soon follow because it is thought that a baby will immediately come after from the newly weds. So, the cakes on both ceremonies must be linked in some way. So, when multi-tiered cakes became a thing during weddings and, often, the cakes were not finished, the top cake was used for the christening ceremony. On the other hand, others believe that the top cake must be reserved for their anniversary!
2- Wearing a veil
Although there are different variations of veil nowadays as to its length, design, and position or placing, the practice that brides are in veils dates back to the ancient belief that brides are prone to evil spirits during the wedding and they must be protected by covering their face; hence, disguising them from the evil spirits who are believed to be jealous of the bride’s happiness.
1- Bad luck to see the bride in her wedding dress
Considered as the most popular superstition for newly weds is the belief that it is bad luck for the groom to see his bride in her wedding dress prior to the wedding ceremony itself. This belief originated back from the time when arranged marriages were still a custom and it was considered as bud luck because the groom might back out from the wedding on the last minute if he does not like his soon-to-be bride or does not find her attractive enough. So, they are prohibited to see each other so that no one will have the opportunity to change their minds during the wedding day.