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Wedding Bells - Wedding Good Luck Charms and Traditions

Nell is a trained Psychologist and lives in London England. She has been writing since she was a child.

wedding bells good luck

wedding bells good luck

Good luck Charms

Weddings are a time of joy and excitement. Plans are made, people are invited and we all look forward to the big day.

But how can you make you wedding day more fortuitous? Back in the day there were spells and potions, charms and poems spoken before the wedding to bring good luck to the bride and groom.

For example some days were luckier to get married on, and others, well, not so good! And many magical wedding gifts were carried by the bride or groom to make sure everything went well on their special day.

White wedding couple marriage

White wedding couple marriage

The Date of the Wedding

The date and time of the wedding should always be chosen with great care, because it was really bad luck if you changed it later. Unless of course there was a very good reason for the change of date.

For example, a full moon is very auspicious, and back in the old days many brides would memorize this rhyme to make sure they didn't choose the wrong day.

Monday for health,

Tuesday for wealth,

Wednesday the best day of all,

Thursday for crosses,

Friday for losses,

Saturday, no luck at all.

Many young people these days would be horrified at that poem, as most weddings tend to take place on a Saturday!

Funnily enough, Lent weddings were said to be unlucky, as this poem will tell.

If you marry in Lent,

You will live to repent!

And Harvest time was, well, lets just say, even worse!

They that wive between sickle and scythe,

Shall ne'er survive !

Wedding something blue garter

Wedding something blue garter

Something old something new

Every bride will know this tradition.

Something old, something new,

Something borrowed, something blue.

Something old proves that her friends will be faithful to her when they are needed.

And something new will bring success into her new life.

Something borrowed is special. It means she is taking the love of her family with her.

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Something blue shows constancy. In other words the marriage will be forever, or at least a very long time.

Needles and pins bad luck left in a wedding dress

Needles and pins bad luck left in a wedding dress

Misfortune and bad luck

The bride must make sure that she removes all pins from her wedding dress before putting it on. Just one small pin that has been left behind will bring bad luck.

But if you find a spider in the folds of the dress, it will mean good luck and good fortune. Unless of course you hate spiders! In my case it would mean me chasing around in a circle while screaming, 'Get rid of it!' Followed by 'Help'!

On the point of bad luck, never try on the wedding dress before the ceremony. Unless it needs taking in or shortening. Its a huge no no!

And for the groom to drop his hat, well, you may as well all go home now! Of course you can quickly shove a small horseshoe in his pocket. That will take the bad and turn it into good luck.

Back in the old days when telegrams were the norm, no one was allowed to hand one to the groom before the wedding has started. Bad luck all round if they do. Even if its a good luck telegram! These days it would be a text or letter.

Phew! So much to remember! Oh, and don't forget the money one either.

Evidently, if the groom gives out money on the day it should be in odd change!

Superb Fairy Wrens

Superb Fairy Wrens

The Birds and the Bees!

If you spot a tiny wren on the way to your wedding, and especially if it is singing then its a lucky omen. But for goodness sake keep your ears blocked for the sound of Ravens!

Evidently you may have a huge family when you are married, but you will all be as poor as a church mouse.

Rosemary is a lucky thing to wear as its the emblem of remembrance and family. But its main meaning is fidelity in love as it says in this poem.

Young men and maids do ready stand,

With sweet Rosemary in their hand,

A perfect token of the virgin's life,

To wait upon you, they intend,

Unto the Church to make an end,

And God make thee a joyful wedded wife.

When the groom appears, the bridesmaid would hand him a posy of rosemary tied up with a ribbon.

The bride would then take the rosemary home with her in memory of her old home, and all the 'loving hearts that loved her there'. The rest of the rosemary would be planted in the garden.

Elizabethan bridal cakes

Elizabethan bridal cakes

Bride cakes

We are all used to seeing the wedding cakes that are made today. Most of them are at least three tiered and decorated with marzipan, icing sugar and fruit. Then topped off with a small likeness of the bride and groom.

Not so back in Elizabethan times!

After the marriage, friends and family would line the path to their new house, and throw cakes at the bride and groom. I do hope a few managed to pass their lips on the way to the floor!

As today, if the bride doesn't cut the wedding cake she will be childless! No pressure then!

Today, my Julia, thee must make,

For mistress bride, a wedding cake,

Kneade but the dow, and it will be,

Turned to prosperitie by thee,

And now the paste of almonds find,

Assures a broode of childer nine.

white doves wedding good luck

white doves wedding good luck

White Doves and a Horseshoe

A Dove has always been the symbol of peace and gentleness. It was given to the wedded pair as a wedding gift.

This gave them certainty of a happy life. But......!

If the person who acquired them in the first place, bought them with money, then whoa and betide the poor wedded couple! So the person who got the Doves should only get them by swapping for something else!

The Horseshoes were always given to protect from the devil. Based on the old story of St. Dunstan shoeing the devils hoof, and deliberately hurting him. In exchange for mercy, the devil promised never to enter a place where a horseshoe was displayed.

Today the bride and groom still carry them in their pockets, and you will see them decorated on top of the wedding cake. Even the congratulation cards have them as a symbol.

Just married shoes tied to car good luck

Just married shoes tied to car good luck

A shoe and a name

Shoe's tied to the back of the wedding car hails from Pagan times. Back then it was said to be lucky to for the wearer, purely because if you wore nice shoes then you were well off, as most people wore terrible footwear, or none at all.

Even more so, it was a sign of esteem and leadership.

A weddin', a woo, a clog an' a shoe,

a pot full o' porridge an' away they go.

The bride and groom should never ever have a surname beginning with the same letter, as it says in this poem,

To change the name and not the letter,

Is a change for the worse, and not for the better.

I will leave you with one last thought. The best spells or good luck charms are magical. Take this quote from the fabulous film Practical Magic.(below)

Practical Magic book and film spell

Practical Magic book and film spell

A sprinkle of Magic, and off you go!

And that's all you need! And when that lovely man or woman crosses your path and you feel that sparkle, then hold onto them, love them and then have an amazing Wedding and a wonderful marriage.

© 2018 Nell Rose


Nell Rose (author) from England on June 05, 2018:

lol! yes slightly uck isn't it Suzette? Thanks as always.

suzettenaples on June 05, 2018:

I enjoyed reading this. A spider in the folds of the dress! Eeeech!

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 20, 2018:

Hi Genna, always good to see you! Yes can you imagine the weddings back then? Phew! talk about exhausting! lol! thanks as always.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on January 20, 2018:

Hi Nell...

What a cool hub. I never knew about that Saturday date being an omen. I wonder if this is why so many marriages don't last these days. The symbolism behind the something old, and something new and blue is poetic and beautiful. Ravens have long thought to be ominous -- no matter where they show up, poor guys. And the cutting of the wedding cake... So many interesting traditions. But planning the wedding must have been exhausting -- even back in those days.

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 15, 2018:

Thanks so much SweetiePie!

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on January 15, 2018:

I never heard the one about rosemary before, but I do love to cook with it. I am sharing this on Twitter.

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 13, 2018:

Thanks Chitrangada, always good to see you!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 13, 2018:

Very interesting article about weddings and the beliefs attached with it. It’s surprising that many of such superstitions are similar in our country too. Horseshoe is considered auspicious and we do consider the wedding date to be the most auspicious one.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful hub!

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 11, 2018:

Thanks Frank, glad you liked it.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on January 11, 2018:

Okay, love the detailed information and how you broke everything down.. awesome Nell Rose

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 11, 2018:

Thanks so much Devika! :)

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 11, 2018:

Beautifully presented and explained in detail. A lot I didn't know of here. I like the photos and wedding bells are make the event feel cherished.

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 10, 2018:

Hi Dora, yes we take so many of them for granted, don't we/ But never know the history. Thanks as always.

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 10, 2018:

Thanks Kari, this was started after hearing about a friend getting married! lol!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 09, 2018:

Very interesting! Never had "Something old something new" explained until now. Lots to worry about after the fact, especially that one about changing the name and not the letter.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on January 09, 2018:

I love learning about traditions. Your inclusion of the poems made my day.

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 09, 2018:

Thanks Linda, yes, funnily enough I have loads on my walls! lol!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 08, 2018:

I enjoyed reading about all the wedding traditions and superstitions. The story about the horseshoe is especially interesting. I've never heard it before.

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 08, 2018:

Thanks Mary, seems to much hard work for me! lol! just get the wedding done and dusted! lol! thanks for reading.

Mary Wickison from USA on January 08, 2018:

That was entertaining. I didn't know many of these especially the best day to get married.

I had heard the one about the pin, before.

Those shoes look too good to be pulled behind a car. I didn't know about putting shoes at the back for good luck, I thought it was only tin cans. As you say, that was for the posh people.

Great read.

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 08, 2018:

Thanks Bill, thank goodness our wedding days are behind us!

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 08, 2018:

That was way back in the last few centuries, I don't think it would work with that huge cake they have now! lol! thanks Flourish.

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 08, 2018:

If I had known these when I got married, it would have taken me years to get married! lol! thanks Jackie!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 08, 2018:

I always love articles like this one. It's fun to read about interesting and weird superstitions. Thanks, Nell!

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 08, 2018:

So many superstitions to remember! I can’t imagine people throwing cakes at the couple.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on January 07, 2018:

Crazy all these charms and curses, huh? My only thing is the number 13 and I do my best to smooth over it every chance I get like Friday the 13th or when counting and I come to that number. I just do not want to cave into any of these things but I have a def problem with that!

It is all so interesting to read and consider though I think. Loved reading yours.

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 07, 2018:

LOL! thanks Clive! I prefer that version! Thanks for reading.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on January 07, 2018:


But Monday for Money

Tuesday for Honey

Wednesday for Conception

Thursday for Redemption

Friday for Love

Saturday for Hugs

Sunday for Bugs

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