Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Wedding Myths and Superstitions

newly weds untrue stories
There are many wedding myths and superstitions most are based on events or omens that are said to foretell either good luck or bad luck. Ironically, some myths have both positive and negative connotations. Like all superstitions wedding myths have no scientific basis… however, it never hurts to keep them in mind just in case!

Here's a list of 8 wedding superstitions:

#1: Wearing pearls

This is one of those wedding myths with both bad luck and good luck meanings. The ominous version of this myth holds that pearls represent future tears; thus wearing them will bring many tears and heartache in the marriage. The luckier version of this implies that the pearls take the place of the bride's real tears, thus she'll have a happy, tear-free wedding.

#2: Tears on the wedding day

It is considered good luck for the bride to cry during her wedding. She will have cried all her tears away leaving none for the marriage. Another theory holds that a bride's tears are good luck as they bring rain for the crops.

#3: Rain on the wedding day

This is another good luck - bad luck wedding myth. In the good luck version, rain is said to foretell the coming of children just as rain promotes growth in the farmer's fields. In the unlucky version, rain drops represent the many tears a bride will cry throughout her marriage.

#4: Sign your married name before the wedding

It is considered bad luck for the bride to sign her married name before the wedding as it tempts fate. For the same reason, the bride should avoid wearing her entire bridal outfit (wedding dress, bridal veil, shoes and jewelry) prior to her wedding day.

#5: Dropping the wedding ring

This is another contradictory wedding myth. On the one hand, dropping the wedding ring during the wedding ceremony was seen as lucky as it would shake out evil spirits hiding in the ring. On the other hand, dropping the ring was considered the most ominous of events; whoever dropped the ring was said to be the first to die.

#6: The bride shouldn't make her own dress

This wedding myth states that for every stitch of the wedding dress the bride sews herself she'll shed one tear during her marriage.

#7: Time of day to get married
The couple should exchange their vows as the clock's minute hand is moving upwards, therefore any time half past the hour, for example 2:30 or 4:45. The upward movement is said to bring blessings upon the couple as the minute hand is "ascending towards heaven."

#8: Surname of the same first letter

It is considered unlucky for the bride to marry a man with a surname that begins with the same first letter as hers. This wedding myth is summarized in the following Victorian rhyme: "To change the name and not the letter; is to change for the worst and not the better."

You may think you're a wedding etiquette pro, but here are five commonly held beliefs that are really more fiction than fact.

So here's a list of top 5 wedding myths :

Myth #1: You can't wear black

Good news: Your favorite little black dress is appropriate for a wedding. Many people pick their outfit with the misconception that anything black would exude gloom (rather than glee), but don't worry -- no one will think your dark attire is better suited for a funeral than a wedding. Though black might not be the best choice for a mid-afternoon ceremony in the spring, black is perfectly fine for any evening wedding.

Myth #2: The bride is your point person for all wedding-related questions

Don't assume that the to-be-weds should be your first stop with all your questions simply because it's their wedding. Not sure where they're registered? Wondering about transportation? Need to know if there will be a babysitter at the reception? Don't pick up the phone and immediately call the bride or groom -- chances are, they've got enough wedding stress of their own. First try the bridesmaids and groomsmen, or the couple's parents. Find out if the couple has a wedding website (look on the invitation), which could very well have all the information you need. If you still have no luck, it's okay to contact the couple -- just make sure you've tried other avenues first.

Myth #3: Shopping from the registry is impersonal

It can be tempting to buy a couple a wedding present that's not on their registry. Something that shows how well you know them (and how great a gift giver you are) is way more creative than selecting a present off a list, right? Not really. Most couples prefer gifts from their registry -- that's why they registered in the first place. For a personal touch, pick an item that has some significance for you and the couple (like buying them stemware to replace the glass you broke at their last dinner party), and include a letter that lets them know you put some thought into their wedding gift and got them something they really wanted.

Myth #4: An invitation means you can bring a date

Unless your wedding invitation includes a phrase like "and guest," don't assume you're free to bring a date. Couples are often working within certain restrictions (be it space or budget), and expanding their guest list might not be an option. In one poll of Knot brides, nearly half said that at least one guest had responded for someone who wasn't invited.

Myth #5: The couple is responsible for your accommodations

No matter how far you've traveled to attend a wedding, the couple isn't required to pay for your hotel -- or even let you crash on their couch. Many couples will reserve blocks of hotel rooms to get a good rate for their out-of-town guests, but don't expect them to foot the bill. If you're not sure where to stay, ask a member of the bridal party for recommendations.

Note: These myths and superstitions are picked up from the internet and are copyrighted by their distinctive owners.


Hakon said...

Actually, there is a little more to this. The groom himself was not supposed to protect the bride with his sword. That task was assigned to the best man - aptly named so, because he was assumed to be the foremost swordsman on the groom's side. As the couple was facing the alter, the best man was facing the crowd ready to draw his blade to stave off any last minute protests from the bride's family. Standing on the right, he could cover the back of the groom more easily.

Tradition has it that a bride wears white because she is ‘pure’. This is a modern myth. White has never been considered the color of purity – sooner the color of death or cowardice (hence white flag and white livered), and until the 1940s, most brides did not wear wedding dresses. Instead, they would buy a new gown or simply used their best dress, to which they added a new apron, shirt or shawl. Some villages even had common wedding outfits, lent to the bride for the day. From this springs the idea (first recorded ca 1850) of something ‘old’, ‘new’, and ‘borrowed’. Most people could not afford a one-time dress, and a white dress was impractical since it was impossible to keep clean. The first modern wedding dresses in white appeared in 1920s, only after cheap, commercially manufactured, pre-bleached fabrics had become available.

Traditional wedding costumes were in fact light blue – the color of purity (hence ‘something blue’). Blue, the most difficult color to reproduce in pre-industrial times, is also the color of the Virgin Mary, and it has been associated with weddings simply because of the similarity of the words ‘Mary’ and ‘marry’. The addition ‘penny (or six-pence) in a shoe’, is first documented in print as late as 1947.

DASH said...

Wow Hakon, I want to know more!! What about the groom seeing the bride in the dress before the wedding?

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