Something Blue

10 Ways to Keep Bad Luck Away on Your Wedding Day

Common Wedding Superstitions & How They Originated

If a black cat crosses your path right after you break a mirror then you walk under a ladder this August, it’s probably because we have a Friday the 13th this month! In honor of the month’s unlucky day, here’s a look at 10 wedding superstitions and how they were passed down.

Something Old, Something New

Most brides on their wedding day will be sure to have on them something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue, for luck, but who decided these items were lucky? It was the Victorians in England, where this rhyme became popular and deemed lucky for brides on their big day. Something old to bring luck from the past, something new to bring luck into this new chapter, something borrowed to bring luck from a happily married family member, and something blue to bring fidelity.

…and a Sixpence in Her Shoe

Did you know the above rhyme actually has a last line? Brides in the U.S. today often put a penny in their shoe for luck, and it comes from this Victorian jingle. Along with their borrowed, blue, old, and new, Victorian brides added a sixpence to their shoe to bring long-lasting wealth into their marriage. It’s not easy to find a sixpence in America, so we settle for a penny and hope for the riches!

Sixpence in Shoes
Photo courtesy of Pedro Lopes

Veiled Luck

Ever wonder why you wear a veil on your wedding day? It has nothing to do with style, and everything to do with the ancient Greeks and Romans. Ancient Greek brides knew that evil spirits jealous of their happiness would frequent weddings, and to ward them off, they’d wear a yellow or red veil that covered their heads. This made a bride look like a flame and the evil spirits would not approach the fire.

Sight Unseen

A long time ago, the father of the bride found a *fingers crossed* wealthy family to marry his daughter into, and an arranged marriage for the son of that family. As the couple rarely met first, to avoid anyone getting scared off by looks or doing something crazy like speaking to their intended, it became “bad luck” to see each other before the ceremony. Today, it can be exciting. But long ago, it was necessary to keep some cold feet from sprinting away from the stranger!

First Look
Photo courtesy of Christina and Jeremiah Photography

Gifting Knives

Many people know that you never gift the happy new couple a set of knives. According to folklore, giving knives to a newly married couple is to bring discord into their home and a broken relationship. If a happy couple receives knives, best to return them and get something unifying like an Instapot. 

Floral Crowns

Boho chic says flower crowns are on-trend, but flower crowns at weddings have a superstitious history. In ancient Rome, bad spirits were to be constantly on guard against and a surefire way of staying safe from a rogue evil spirit was to be within a circle. What better (or prettier) way at your wedding to keep the baddies away than to encircle your head in a lovely wreath of flowers!

Flower Crown
Photo courtesy of Lillywhite Photography

Bells & Brides

Every once in a while you may see tiny bells sewn into a wedding dress, or, attend a wedding where bells are rung by guests at the end of the ceremony. While whimsical now at weddings, they actually have a purpose. The Irish believed evil spirits could be warded off by chiming bells, and at a wedding, you really want those spirits kept at bay. A bride sometimes would carry a bell in her bouquet just for extra protection and a guarantee of matrimonial harmony.

Pick Me Up

After a bride and groom have married, he's supposed to sweep her off her feet and carry her over the threshold of their new home. Surprisingly, this isn’t just a way to see how strong your new husband is, but yet again a way to avoid evil spirits. Apparently, in Medieval times, women could accidentally catch a bad spirit on the soles of their feet. To avoid sweeping a bad spirit inside the new home, the groom would pick her up and keep that house clean of evil.

Bride being carried away
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Carpenter Photography

Let Them Eat Cake

Cake at a wedding is mostly just delicious, but that isn’t the reason they exist. Cakes were expensive to bake long ago, and a cake was a symbol of prosperity. In ancient Rome, a piece would be smashed over the bride’s head to wish her prosperity and the guests would scramble for the crumbs to hope some of that prosperous good luck would trickle down!


Hero photo courtesy of Cat's Lens Photography

You Might Also Like