Finding a spider in your wedding dress is good luck according to the English.
According to Hindu folklore rain on your wedding day is good luck!
Another tidbit I found regarding rain is that it symbolizes the tears of all of your ex-boyfriends!
Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day for good luck.
Wearing earrings on your wedding day will ensure a happy future.
It is bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her wedding dress before the wedding.
It is bad luck for the bride to walk down the aisle during the rehearsal, someone else should stand in for her. The only time she should walk down the aisle is during the actual ceremony.
The groom carries the bride over the threshold because it is very bad luck for a bride to trip when entering the home for the first time.
It is bad luck for a bride to practice writing her new name before the wedding. To do so will tempt fate, and bring bad luck in the future.
It is bad luck for a bride to see herself in a mirror in the complete wedding outfit before the ceremony. Some brides will add a piece of jewelry right before walking down the aisle.
Symbols and Legends
The first one to purchase something after the wedding will be the dominant person in the marriage. Brides will often arrange to buy something from one of her bridesmaids immediately following the ceremony.
Eating wedding cake symbolizes fertility.
Whoever has their hand on top during the cake cutting will run the household.
Cutting the cake together symbolizes unity.
Sleeping with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow will allow a single woman to dream of her future husband.
It is said that during the Roman Empire a couple had to have a meal together to be legally married. Modern day receptions may have come from this.
Something old: A link between the past and the present
Something new: A good future
Something borrowed: From a happily married woman who passes on some of her happiness. It is bad luck for the item to be a handkerchief from the woman's own wedding!
Something blue: Symbolizes purity and loyalty
A Sixpense in your shoe: Prosperity
In the Middle Ages the length of the brides train showed her rank in court. The closer the bride was to the King and Queen, the longer the train.
Throwing rice symbolizes fertility. This tradition has been altered for the sake of the birds, and now is often bubbles, or flower petals.
The Best Man was originally chosen to protect the groom as he went to the neighboring village to capture his bride. He was chosen for his strength. After the wedding, he would stand guard outside of the couple's home.
The groom’s boutonniere comes from Medieval Times when a knight would wear his lady's colors.
The word "bride" meant "cook" in Old English.
The bride stands on the left because in Medieval Times the groom needed his right side free to fight off attack.
Long ago, women were considered property. The act of a father "giving away" the bride was quite literal.
Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the "ring finger" because it was once believed that it contained the "vein of love" that went directly to the heart.
Today the bride throws her bouquet toward the single women at the reception. The one to catch the bouquet is said to be the next to be married. She must keep the bouquet for it to come true. The ritual originally involve throwing a shoe.
The term "Tying the Knot" comes from The Roman Empire when a bride wore a girdle that was tied in knots. The groom had to untie them.
The role of bridesmaids is to confuse the evil spirits. They dress the same so the spirits do not know which one is the bride.
Wedding guests would make noise to chase away evil spirits. Of this came the tradition of tying tin cans to the back of the couples car.
Alternate version: The groom carries the bride over the threshold to protect her from the lurking evil spirits.
The bride wore a veil to hide from evil spirits.
Queen Victoria started the tradition of the bride wearing white on her wedding day. Previously, brides simply wore their best dress.
Princess Victoria, daughter of Queen Victoria was the first to carry a flower bouquet, instead of the previous bouquet of herbs. For more information on the History of the Bridal Bouquet, see my previous post here.
Princess Victoria made it tradition to have the Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" (The Wedding March) played at her wedding.