Advice & Planning

Wedding Superstitions: Ditch or Keep

Marrying your boo should never be scary, but there are a fair amount of superstitions that come with tying the knot. We talked to Robyne Swink with Southern Affairs to get her thoughts on age old practices and find out whether she thinks we should ditch or keep them. 

Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue: KEEP

“This all derived from an old English rhyme, and all four items are truly meant to be good luck items that  have their own meanings. Something old was originally intended to ward off evil but now represents continuity. Something new is all about the optimism of the future as the couple enters a new stage in their lives. Something borrowed is to bring you good luck, so make sure to borrow something from a happily married relative or friend,” Swink says. “And something blue was meant to deflect that evil eye; blue is the color of purity, fidelity, and love—all things every marriage should encompass.” 

The Sixpence in your Shoe: KEEP

“Most people will forget to include or just don’t know that there is a fifth part to the above rhyme—a sixpence in your shoe, which is suppose to bring prosperity,” Swink says. “While I don’t believe this old English superstition, I think it is a very fun tradition to see brides keep up with.” 

The bride and groom cannot see each other before they get married: DITCH

“During the days when arranged marriages were the thing and more about a financial arrangement than love, the bride and groom were forbidden to see one another before the wedding day. This was so the groom could not change his mind and call off the wedding just in case he found the bride unattractive, which is also why the bride wears a veil to cover her face,” Swink says. “I absolutely don’t agree with this one, and I am a true lover of a first look. Something about that special moment just between the bride and groom before she walks down the aisle warms my heart.” 

Rain on your wedding day is good luck: KEEP

“In many cultures, rain represents positivity including renewal, cleansing, fertility, and unity. So while a little rain may mess up your perfect curls, it could signify washing away the bad luck and memories and bringing a fresh new start,” Swink says. “I like to believe this one is true because Texas weather is so unpredictable and every wedding we have the pleasure of planning and it rained—those couples are all still married.” 

Burying a bottle of whiskey at the site of your wedding will ensure good weather: KEEP 

“Only in the South would we have a boozy bourbon superstition,” Swink says. “This one is very specific in order for it to ‘work.’ The bottle must be buried exactly one month before the wedding, it must be a completely full bottle, and should be placed upside down close to the ceremony altar. But don’t make it too hard to find, because you must dig it back up (rain or shine) on your wedding day. Whether it’s true or not, who knows, but what true Southerner is going to turn down a chance to drink a glass of good whiskey?” 

Using your married name before the wedding is bad luck: KEEP

“Tradition says that using your married name before saying “I do” will make it so that the wedding day never happens,” Swink says. “This is an old school tradition I am going to have to concur with. It’s like telling everyone that you got a new job before you were even offered the position—you are just jinxing it.”

The person who catches the bouquet will be the next one down the aisle: DITCH

“This is a very old and dirty medieval superstition. Brides began to toss a bouquet as she went into her wedding chamber with her new husband to distract guests so that they would no longer rip her clothes off of her body,” Swink says. “It was considered good luck if you could get a piece of the bride’s clothing on her wedding night. I have caught a bouquet or two in my single days and know first hand this one is not true at all. And sometimes, this tradition can be embarrassing to the single ladies that are ‘forced’ to go onto the dance floor for this one.”

Saving the top tier of the wedding cake to eat on the first anniversary: DITCH

“It used to be common for newleyweds to get pregnant very quickly. So instead of eating their entire cake at the wedding, they would save the top tier to eat at their baby’s christening,” Swink says. “Now, the two special occasions are happening so far apart that couples more so do this tradition as a reminder of their big day. If you ask me, year-old, freezer-burnt cake sounds like a terrible dessert. It’s so much sweeter to reach out to your wedding baker and ask them to remake a fresh small, 6-inch cake for you two to share on every anniversary.” 

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