12 Common Wedding Superstitions

Discover the backstory behind common wedding superstitions and find ways to bring good luck on your big day!

By Nilina Mason-Campbell

Common Wedding Superstitions
Photo by Onelove Photography

Wedding superstitions are so commonplace, many have morphed to become their wedding tradition. We looked into the origin stories of 12 different superstitions you might encounter on your big day.

Superstitions practically go hand in hand with holy matrimony. Wedding ceremonies offer an array of traditions, and those traditions are steeped in superstitions. Many are so commonplace in weddings nowadays that their origins as superstitions are often overlooked. We compiled a dozen of some of the most widely observed superstitions.

Zola: 12 Wedding Superstitions Photo Credit // Jessika Feltz Photography

Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold

The practice of carrying a bride through a door and over the threshold traces back to ward off bad luck and/or evil spirits. While the exact origins have become murky over time, the prevailing notion is that it’s linked with good luck.

Donning a Wedding Veil

In a similar vein, the origin of brides wearing a wedding veil has to do with warding off evil spirits, as well. The veil would conceal the bride from the evil spirits.

Bridesmaids

Those pesky evil spirits. The practice of utilizing bridesmaids was to help ward off evil spirits in case the veil wasn’t enough. They too would often wear veils to trick the evil spirits as they made their way down the aisle. With a bevy of doppelgängers, the hope was to confuse the evil spirits, causing them to mistake a bridesmaid for the actual bride.

The Groom Can’t See the Bride Before the Wedding

This superstition dates back to when an arranged marriage was much more common. The fear is that by seeing each other in advance of their union, the couple might change their minds. Therefore, the grand reveal was saved for the altar so that it’d essentially be too late to do anything other than marry.

Rain Wedding Day

There’s an iconic scene in the movie “About Time” where the main characters’ wedding reception gets rained out. While Domhnall Gleeson’s character Tim has the power of time travel, he doesn’t use the gift to change the soggy fest, but instead alters who gives his best man speech—good move, Rain on your wedding day is a sign of good fortune and a symbol of fertility for newlyweds.

Throwing Rice

While the practice of wedding guests throwing rice over the newlyweds has morphed over the years in observance of its ecological impact on birds, the habit is similar to the role of rain in a wedding: it too symbolizes enhanced fertility. Throwing coins over a married pair also evokes a happy marriage ahead.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

This famed tradition isn’t necessarily about warding off bad luck, but specifically to bring about good luck and a good marriage going forward. Bringing together heirloom items that represent family values with an eye on the bride’s past and very near future, every element of the tradition has its place in securing the couple a bright future.

The Ring Finger

We all know which finger to inspect when checking out someone’s dazzling engagement ring, or to check for a wedding band to determine whether they’re single. The ring finger is synonymous with matrimony. wasn’t chosen at random. The logic behind placing the wedding ring on the fourth finger on the left hand is that it was thought to have the most direct route to the heart, with one vein running the length.

Green for Bad Luck

Zola: 12 Wedding Superstitions Photo Credit // Nashville Photography Group

While the color green is heavily associated with the luck of the Irish, when it comes to weddings, it’s exactly the opposite. While wedding wear can run the gamut of hues, green is the one to steer clear of—it’s thought to be bad luck if either of the marrying pair wears it.

The Gift of Knives

While upscale cookware, all things baking related, and essential kitchen items often rank high on the list of wedding registries, there’s one gift to steer clear of knives. Gifting knives are thought to represent a fractured union and can spell bad news for married life down the line.

Pearl Rings

Diamonds are the most iconic stone when it comes to engagement rings, but there are plenty of alternatives when it comes to what gem is in your ring setting. However, when it comes to superstitions, it’s advised to avoid pearls and their teardrop shape is thought to symbolize future unhappiness for the pair.

Crying on Your Wedding Day

Not all tears mean sadness or bad luck. Unlike the avoidance of pearl rings, crying on your wedding day is not only cathartic but might even bring good luck according to folklore. Crying on your wedding day is thought to get all the bad out of the way in advance, paving the way to good fortune and happy marriage.

Whether you’re incorporating these superstitions to bring about good luck or ward off the opposite, or you’re simply looking to follow along with established traditions, each has its place in modern weddings. What customs will you be weaving in?

Simplify Your Wedding Planning at Zola