Weddings are joyous occasions and a reason for celebration, it's a time when family and friends get together en masse and provide a real opportunity to get dressed up.
Apart from being happy times, weddings are also associated with superstition and “old wives tales” which date back thousands of years and handed down from generation to generation.
There have been some strange traditions with shoes at wedding ceremonies over the centuries:
During the Tudor period guests threw shoes at the happy couple, if they struck the bride or groom it was meant to bring them good luck.
An Anglo Saxon groom would hit his bride with a shoe to symbolise his authority over her.
Before throwing the wedding bouquet became popular, the bride used to throw her wedding shoe at her bridesmaids to see who would marry next.
Many brides walk down the isle in a white wedding dress as a symbol of purity. The following might help you decide which colours not to wear on your big day.
Married in White you’ve chosen right
Married in Black you’ll wish yourself back
Married in Grey you’ll live far away
Married in Red you’ll wish yourself dead
Married in Blue he’ll always be true
Married in Green don’t want to be seen - With the exception of the Irish Bride
Married in Yellow ashamed of your fellow
Married in Pink your fortunes will sink
Which month is best to tie the knot? Setting a wedding date is already complicated enough trying to accommodate your family and friends and your choice of wedding venue, without taking the following superstitions into account.
January: Married when the year is new, he’ll be loving kind and true.
February: When February birds do mate you may wed, or dread your fate.
March: If you wed when March winds blow Joy and sorrow both you'll know.
April: Marry in April when you can Joy for maiden and the man.
May: Marry in the month of May and you'll surely rue the day.
June: Marry when the June roses grow over land and sea you'll go.
July: Those who in July do wed will labour for their daily bread.
August: Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see.
September: Marry in September's shine, your living will be rich and fine.
October: If in October you do marry love will come, but riches tarry.
November: If you wed in bleak November only joys will come, remember.
December: When December's snows fall fast, marry and true love will last.
Monday for health
Tuesday for wealth
Wednesday's the best of all
Thursday brings crosses
And Friday losses
But Saturday - no luck at all
A January bride will be a prudent housekeeper, and very good tempered
A February bride will be an affectionate wife, and a tender mother
A March bride will be a frivolous chatterbox, somewhat given to quarreling
An April bride will be inconsistent, or forceful, but well-meaning
A May bride will be handsome, agreeable, and practical
A June bride will be impetuous, and generous
A July bride will be handsome, but a trifle quick-tempered
An August bride will be agreeable, and practical as well
A September bride will be discreet, affable, and much liked
An October bride will be pretty, coquettish, loving but jealous
A November bride will be liberal and kind, but sometimes cold
A December bride will be fond of novelty, entertaining but extravagant
A lot of these old traditions concerning wedding flowers are still in practice today.
According to Roman wedding traditions, decorating the bride and groom in flowers was a symbol of fertility.
The Greeks and Romans began the custom of throwing flowers at the feet of the couple as they walked in the hope of granting them everlasting love - many brides still choose to have flower girls scattering petals as they walk up the isle.
The origin of the Bride’s bouquet was from ancient beliefs that strong smelling spices and herbs, including garlic and onions, protected the bridal party from bad luck, ill health and evil spirits
There are so many supersitions for the big day.
It is considered a bad luck for a bride to meet a pig on the way to her wedding ceremony. To avoid this live in town.
For country brides, cock crowing after dawn on the wedding day is a bad omen.
Tradition says it is bad luck for the groom to see his bride's wedding gown before the wedding day and it will bring more bad luck if he looks at the gown as she walks down the aisle.
Bride and Groom should not see each other the morning of the wedding – thought to come from the time of arranged marriages. Bride’s father was afraid the groom would change his mind if the Bride was not pretty.
It is considered good luck for a bride to meet a lamb, a dove, a spider, a policeman, a clergyman, a doctor, a blind man, chimney sweep, or a black cat on her way to her wedding ceremony.
For good luck, the groom should give a coin to the first person he sees on his way to the church, superstition doesn’t stress the value but the higher the amount the more luck will be bestowed.
If the bride or a child cry during the wedding service it is considered lucky.
Dating back to Victorian times . . . seeing a chimney sweep on the way from the church will bring good luck.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in your shoe. This well known superstition originated in Victorian times. It appears to have lost its last sentence at some stage.