There are many sayings related to the bride. The need for her to wear 'something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue' at the wedding is well known. It is generally considered unlucky for the bride to make her own dress - even professional dressmakers rarely do - and it is even more unlucky to try on the full bridal array too soon, especially if she sees herself in full-length mirror. She can, of course, leave off a glove or a shoe out of respect for the old tradition!
Did you know that an old veil is thought to be luckier than new one? This is particularly true if borrowed from a woman who is happily married, or if it is an heirloom from the brides family. The good fortune and/or fertility of the earlier marriages pass with the veil to its new wearer.
The colour of the bride's dress is supposed to be a faithful portent of the future:
White is a symbol of purity and virtues.
Green typifies youth, hope and happiness.
Red is a sign of vigour, courage and great
passion. (There may be a touch of jealousy, however.)
Violet denotes dignity, pride and high ideals.
The wedding procession is not overlooked. The bride must leave her home by the front door with her right foot foremost. It is considered lucky if the sun shines, if she sees a rainbow on the way, or meets a black cat or a chimney sweep 'in his blacks'.
The modern custom of sending a piece of wedding cake to friends and relatives not present at the reception has its roots in a desire for them to share its luck-bringing properties. One old saying advises the bride to keep a piece of the cake; if she does her husband will be faithful to her.
The following dates are reckoned to be especially lucky for weddings:
January 2 4 11 19 21
February 1 3 10 19 21
March 3 5 12 20 23
April 2 4 12 20 22
May 2 4 12 20 23
June 1 3 11 19 21
July 1 3 12 19 21
August 2 11 18 20 31
September 1 9 16 18 28
October 15 18 27 29
November 5 11 13 22 25
December 1 8 10 19 23
Other superstitions about the wedding day are of a more general nature.
- 'Happy the bride whom the sun shines on' may be a well-known saying. But did you know that one thing said to guard against rain is to feed your cat on the morning of the wedding? (If you're getting married in Germany, however, steer clear of cats. Each drop of rain is looked upon as a blessing on the marriage.)
- It is a good sign if the bride is woken on the day by the song of a bird, and also if she discovers a spider in the folds of her dress!
- It is bad luck to break anything - especially a mirror - on the wedding morning, or to lose the heel of a shoe.
- With each glance in the mirror, the bride is supposed to add something to her make-up or clothing, even if it is only, -a pair of gloves.
- It is bad luck for the couple to meet in the morning before the wedding, but good luck if they smile at each other when they meet in the church.
- A bride is not supposed to weep before the marriage but she may do so as much as she likes afterwards this pros^es that she is not a witch, who could shed only three tears ; from her left eye.
- If the bride sees a lamb, a dove, a spider, a toad or black cat on her way to the church it is a sign of good luck but it is reckoned a very bad sign if she encounters a funeral party or if a pig crosses the road in front of the wedding car
Rather fewer superstitions surround the conduct of the bridegroom on his wedding day.
All will be well as long as he does not see his bride in her wedding dress before he meets her in the church, and does not drop the ring before putting it on her finger. If she has to help him in this, he may expect to be ruled by her in the future. It is also considered unlucky to buy the engagement and wedding rings on the same day.
The bridegroom should pay the church fees (through the best man) with an odd sum of money, carry a small mascot in his pocket and on no account turn back.for anything after leaving for the church.
After the honeymoon, the husband should carry his wife over the threshold of their new home. When this is done, both will be rewarded with all the good fortune they could wish for.
Finally, for the bridesmaids, there is one very well known saying: 'Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride'.