Myths and traditions about weddings

07 May

Queen Victoria’s wedding dress. The one that started the tradition of a white wedding dress. Photo, from National Geographics

Wedding myths and traditions have been around for a long time…Here are just a few:

  • Couples should say their vows as the minute hand of the clock is ascending towards heaven (upward).
  • Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe: old=link with the bride’s past/family; new=good fortune and success in the bride’s new life; borrowed=remind the bride that her family and friends are there if needed; blue=symbolic of faithfulness and loyalty, blue is often symbolic of purity; silver sixpence=for the bride to have wealth (of the financial kind and a wealth of happiness). Wearing something from each category helped ward off evil spirits.
  • It’s bad luck for the groom to see dress before the wedding day.
  • Pearls represent tears, but some feel that wearing pearls on your wedding day takes the place of real tears so the bride will have a happy, tear-free wedding and life.
  • It’s considered bad luck for the bride to sign her married name before the wedding—it tempts fate.
  • Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday’s the best of all, Thursday brings crosses, And Friday losses, But Saturday – no luck at all. (What day to get married on.)
  • Only a virgin can wear a white wedding dress Brides have also traditionally wore their “Sunday best” on their wedding day prior to the current wedding gowns. According to, white bridal gowns became popular in the 1840s by Queen Victoria who chose to wear white rather than the traditional royal silver dress. The color white is associated with purity and modesty, thus its connection to virginity. Today brides can choose to wear white, whether they are virgins or not, and whether it is their first marriage, second or fifth. Currently, brides are often selecting the popular color ivory or champagne for their wedding dress. Some brides are even choosing to wear colors aside from white or ivory, and instead choosing colored wedding dresses such as red, silver, blue, pink, and various other colors. The wedding gown today can be anything from a full length gown with chapel train to party dresses, tea length dresses and even sun dresses or shorts for beach and garden weddings, heck, I even saw one or two brides in bikini’s.
  • The bride shouldn’t make her own dressthis wedding myth states that for every stitch of the wedding dress the bride sews herself she’ll shed one tear during her marriage.

I’m not a superstitious person by nature. When I first began planning our wedding I naturally looked at white wedding dresses, and all I heard was “you can’t wear white, you’ve been married before.” Which just made me want to wear white even more. But after really thinking about it, and gravitating more and more towards the silver/gunmetal grey dresses, I realized while dress shopping when we found “the dress” that I could wear whatever I wanted to wear–what made me feel like a bride. Whether you want to wear white, or want color; a long, Cathedral train or a tea-length or a mini; it’s your wedding. I am doing the something old, something new…thing. I’ll even have sixpence in my shoe, but I’m doing it because I think it is fun.


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