Earn commissions from your Wedding Gift List!

More details >>

      Monday, 18th December



Wedding Traditions

There are alot of very strange customs associated with Weddings! But just where did these traditions originate? Here are some possible ideas...

The Bride and Groom must not see each other before the Ceremony on the day of the Wedding

This harps back to the days of arranged marriages, when it was feared that if either party saw each other before the Ceremony they would try to back out! We are trying to find out if this is why it is also deemed unlucky for the Groom to see the Bride's dress before the day - we'll keep you posted with what we find out!

Bride's VeilThe Bride's Veil and Standing on the left

Ok, we don't really like these traditions after finding some possible origins for them! Back in the (thank fully!) long gone days of the Groom 'capturing' his future spouse, he may have put a cloth over her head before he carried her away - and if there were other men fighting him for her he would have held her with his left hand whilst he fought with his right! Eek!

There are other possible motives - such as the Veil guarding the Bride from evil spirits, which is, strangely, more comforting!

Wedding RingsWedding Ring Finger

It is quite a wide held belief that choice of finger is due to a vein running from the 3rd finger on the left hand to the heart. This originated from an Egyptian belief that the ring finger is the stem of the 'vena amoris' - the vein of love!

The other possibility is that 17th Century Christian Weddings involved the priest/vicar/rector touching the thumb, and then each finger saying "in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit" - by which time he would have arrived at the ring finger.

Lucky Silver SixpenceSomething Old, Something New...

Perhaps one of the most upheld traditions, this rhyme dates back to Victorian times, making it relatively new! The full version of the rhyme is:

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and a Silver Sixpence in your Shoe!

Something Old: A link between the Bride and her family/the life she is leaving.
Something New: For good luck and fortune in the Bride's new life. Very often the dress is the new item.
Something Borrowed: This should be borrowed from a married woman, and be something she wore at her wedding. This brings the new union the luck and happiness of the other marriage.
Something Blue: Translates from Biblical times, when the colour 'blue' represented fidelity and purity.
And a Silver Sixpence in your Shoe: This doesn't just symbolise financial wealth for the Bride, but also refers to being 'wealthy' with love and happiness during the newly weds life together!

Lucky Horse ShoeLucky Horse Shoe

Legend states it that the Devil once wished to have horse shoes fitted to his feet, but couldn't stand the pain when they started to be nailed on. Therefore, Horse Shoes now keep the Devil away. But don't turn the Horse Shoe upside down otherwise all of the good luck falls out!

Know the origin of a Wedding Tradition not mentioned here? Please let us know all about it!

Return to Planning Help category page