Weird Wedding Traditions & Wedding Mythology Explained

Traditions abound at weddings, but have you ever wondered where they came from? It seems like there are rules surrounding every aspect of a wedding, from which date to be married, what the weather means, and what happens if the bride sheds a tear.

Turns out, many of these ideas are rooted in mythology, and we’ve taken a closer look at what’s behind a few of them.


Photo by: Zivile & Arunas

1. Sharing the same last initial. According to the old British rhyme, if you marry a person whose last name begins with the same letter as yours, you could be in for bad luck. “To change the name and not the letter/Is to change for the worst and not the better.”

2. Wedding Veils are for Protection. Back in Roman times, the wedding veil was a symbol of protection. Thought to ward off evil spirits (or protect them from seeing the bride) the veil tradition has lasted all the way to present day.

3. Throwing Shoes. Back in the Tudor days in England, it was customary for men to throw their shoes at the newly married couple. We’re not sure how this one was ever thought to be lucky, but hey – its your party.

4. Weddings Early in the Week.  According to another English proverb, weddings should always take place between Monday and Wednesday: “Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday the best day of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday is no day at all.” While the most common wedding day in the US is Saturday, this English proverb seems to be taken with a grain of salt.

5. Weddings in June. The 6th month of the calendar year has been considered lucky since Roman times. Named after the Roman goddess of marriage, “Juno,” its no wonder why so many couples choose this lucky month.

6. Eights and Nines. In China, the numbers 8 and 9 are considered the most fortunate dates to be wed. The Chinese word for “eight” sounds like the word for wealth while the word “nine” sounds like “long-lasting.” Choosing a date that will have us wealthy and married forever? We’ll take it.

7. Washing your Feet.  Okay, naturally you’d like to be sure your tootsies are cleaned for the wedding day, but in Nigeria, the foot-bath takes on a symbolic meaning. Washing your feet with cold water before entering marriage insures that you start off your life together on a clean slate.

8. Burying the Bourbon. In the American South, it is customary to bury a bottle of bourbon exactly one month prior to a couple’s wedding date. The reason? This little offering will ensure that your wedding day will be rain-free.

9. Crying brides. While a bride’s tears are generally seen as a sign of her joy, it is also a symbol of good luck. Across cultures, a crying bride symbolizes that she has shed all her tears before the marriage begins, and will not have any to shed any after.

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