Outside of the ol’ Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, there really isn’t all that much that is exciting in the way of wedding superstitions in this part of the world.
While things like being carried over the threshold, guests ringing bells, and putting a penny in your shoe seem like cute little superstitions that can bring you good luck in your married life, some well-intentioned superstitions get a little more extreme.
Let’s take a quick trip around the globe and look at some of the more prominent superstitious wedding rituals from around the world.
The calendar is a very important oracle in Chinese culture and deciding the perfect date for a wedding is no exception. To make sure couples have chosen the ideal date to get married, they visit with a monk or a fortune teller and look at the calendar to ensure they have selected the luckiest day.
When it comes to the wedding ceremony, superstition dictates that they start at half-past any hour, so that their new lives together begin during a time when the clock is on an upswing, bringing good luck.
You’d want to have thick skin if you are an Egyptian bride. It has been a long-held superstition that good luck will come to the bride and her soon-to-be spouse if all of the female guests pinch the bride before the wedding.
To ensure there is always a spark in the love lives of Finnish couples, one or both of the newlyweds walks down the aisle with an unlit match.
The French superstitious ritual called La Soupe sounds absolutely delicious, until you realise it is where wedding guests collect up remnants of all of the reception leftovers (or can be a little more forgiving and stick with just the dessert and some bubbles…) and pop it all into a toilet, or a bowl that has been crafted to look like a ‘throne’, all ready for the newlyweds to tuck into.
This is said to literally flush bad luck away from the marriage.
This food-based superstition is much sweeter than La Soupe. Sugar-coated almonds are handed out to the guests by the newlyweds as a way of blessing their happy marriage with health, wealth, children, and a long life together.
All of this is tied in the symbolism of the white almond, called koufeta, which is an egg shape and a sign of fertility. Its hardness is akin to the endurance of marriage and the way the sugar combats the bitterness is a symbol of the balance of marriage.
Newlywed couples in Holland plant a pine tree outside their home to bring good luck to their new lives together. It is also a symbol of fertility.
As many of you know, henna plays a large role in Indian weddings. Adorning the bride’s hands and feet can take hours! But there is a superstition you may not have heard of – this is where the groom’s initials are hidden somewhere in the intricate design and he has the wedding night in which to find them.
If he does, he will bring good luck to the marriage. If he fails, he has to give his bride a present.
As henna is to Indian weddings, so are bells to Irish weddings. The age-old superstition saw bells aplenty ringing at Irish weddings to keep evil spirits away.
But these days, couples adorn bouquets and table settings with bells as a reminder of the importance of their wedding vows. Bells are now common Irish bonbonniere for guests or gifts given to newlyweds.
Throwing things is generally frowned upon during a wedding – unless you are in Italy. Couples smash a glass or vase at their wedding reception and do their best to shatter it into as many pieces as possible. Why? Because tradition says this is how many years they will spend together as a happily married couple.
It has been said that you don’t want to mess with a good thing by tempting fate, and in Maasai culture, the father of the bride will do his best to make sure that any celebration is brought down a notch… or 20.
He does this by spitting on the bride’s head and chest as she prepares to leave the village as a newlywed. It sounds harsh! But the thinking behind it is that if he instead is full of joy and praise, he could bring bad luck into the marriage.
Though they may wear a white gown, many Mexican brides are sure to include some bold color in their wedding attire. By sewing three ribbons to their undergarments—yellow to symbolize the blessing of food, blue to bring good financial luck and red to summon a passionate union––they can ensure a happy marriage.
Many Australian brides choose pearls as an elegant addition to their hair piece or as jewellery to accompany their wedding gown. But Nicaraguan brides view pearls as the tears of the sea and believe wearing them on your wedding day is inviting sadness into your marriage.
Open-toed shoes are a bit of a no-no for Polish brides. If superstition is to be believed, this will allow the future wealth and fortune of the couple to literally fly out through the opening.
A little fashion-restrictive perhaps, but when the newlyweds leave their wedding ceremony, they are traditionally showered with coins (ouch) which that can collect to help them get a good start in the financial realm.
Before the wedding ceremony, the mother of a Sweedish bride pops a gold coin in her right shoe and her father will slide a silver coin into her left one. This good luck superstition is to ensure their daughter will never go without in her married life.
It is hoped a loving home is created for South African newlyweds when both of their sets of parents carry fire from their own homes into the couple’s home and light their hearth with it.