Wedding ceremonies have existed in many cultures for centuries. Over time, cultures have seen rituals and superstitions emerge. Some of the rituals we know today are rooted in centuries-old tradition. Why do brides wear white dresses? Why bother with “something new, something borrowed and something blue”? Should you worry about rain on your wedding day?
Here are some of the top rituals and superstitions explained by Bells and Showers......
Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue
We’ve all heard this common rhyme used when someone gets married, but what does it mean? This tradition comes from an Old English rhyme “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe” the four objects that the bride adds to her wedding outfit or carries with her on the big day are just good luck charms. Wearing “something old” represents the bride’s past, “something new” symbolizes the couple’s happy future. The bride is supposed to get her “something borrowed” from someone who is happily married in the hope that some of that person’s good fortune rubs off on her. “Something blue” denotes fidelity and love. A sixpence in your shoe is a wish for good fortune and prosperity, although this remains largely a British custom.
Wearing a Veil
This tradition has more than one meaning but has long stood the test of time in wedding attire. In Rome, a bride would wear a veil down the aisle to disguise herself from evil spirits who were jealous of her happiness. Roman brides were usually swaddled head to toe in a gigantic flame-coloured veil called the flammeum, to scare off evil spirits. Another belief is by covering the bride’s face, it is actually the groom making a statement: “As beautiful as you look today, my love for you is not skin-deep. It is not just your eyes that dazzle me; it is your persona, your character, your views on life—the real you. You can cover your sweet face with a veil and I will still marry you because your face is just one level of your true beauty.”
Rain on Your Wedding Day
In some cultures, rain on your wedding day symbolizes fertility and cleansing. In communities around the world there are people who believe that rain on your wedding day is good luck because it signifies that you will have children. This belief came about since rain ultimately waters the ground and lends to fertility, thus allowing growth of plants and vegetation. Rain on you wedding day can also signify good luck because it cleanses you of your past and all of the tough times you have had. The Hindu superstition for rain on your wedding day is when a knot becomes wet it is extremely hard to untie – therefore, when you “tie the knot” on a rainy day, your marriage is supposedly just as hard to unravel!
Ringing BellsBells are traditionally chimed at Irish weddings to keep evil spirits away and to ensure a harmonious family life. Some Irish brides even carry small bells in their bouquets as a reminder of their sacred wedding vows, and they are a common gift for newlyweds. In North America, bells became a popular wedding tradition to replace throwing confetti after the ceremony. Guests ring bells as the couple exits the ceremony.
Brides have always been seen as very good luck, and getting a piece of the wedding attire even more so. A medieval French tradition meant that immediately after they left the altar, brides were rushed by attendees wanting to tear off pieces of her gown for good fortune. The garter version, just like the bouquet toss, was devised sometime in history as a way to keep the attendees at bay and still let the bride keep her gown pristine.