How to Bring the Best of Luck to Your Wedding
As a bit of quirky fun, the geniuses at English Wedding said, ‘Grooms should always wear their brightest pants for good luck' and that got me thinking what other good luck charms are available for helping the happy couple enjoy their day to the fullest?
At my chief bridesmaid’s wedding, she was given a bunch of lucky charms to carry after the ceremony and I was wondering where these traditions came from and what do they signify?
Good luck charms developed in the Medieval times. People then were very superstitious and sometimes these superstitious made their way through to modern day.
At friend’s wedding she was given a horseshoe, a rolling pin and a wooden spoon however there are many more ….
Legend has it the 10th Century Archbishop of Canterbury, Dunstan, who was a former blacksmith managed to outwit the devil. The devil was thought to have asked Dunstan to shoe his hoof. Dunstan had realised his customer was the devil and nailed the shoe on as painfully as he could. The devil begged for mercy. Dunstan agreed to remove the shoe on condition that the devil agreed never to enter a place where a horseshoe was hung over the door.
The horseshoe is also thought to help with fertility. Horseshoes would be presented to the bride and groom and they were often displayed as cake-toppers. In order to retain the good luck the horseshoe should be hung upside down with the shoulders pointing upwards in a U shape otherwise all the luck in your marriage would fall out. (From WeddingChaos.co.uk)
The wooden spoon originated from Wales. It was given to a lady by her admirer. A man would need to show both the woman he loved and her father his intentions. The carved spoon would show he was good with his hands and so he could work the fields and provide for her and the carved heart would be to show his affection for her.
If she keeps the spoon then this would indicate that her heart belonged to him. (From WeddingChaos.co.uk)
Traditionally both the rolling pin and the wooden spoon were made from wood then painted white or silver. Nowadays they are often made from plastic. They symbolise good cooking skills in the bride and is again presented to the bride by a child.
Traditionally, the silver sixpence is placed in the bride's left shoe. It was during the reign of Edward VI that the sixpence was brought into circulation and the Victorians incorporated it as part of the wedding tradition. The bride was presented with the sixpence by the Lord of the Manor but it became more customary for the father of the bride to present the sixpence.
The bride or her father would place the coin in her left shoe in the hope it will bring her marriage a lifetime of wealth.
It doesn’t just look good in photos, confetti is lucky too! In Pagan times rice and grain was usually thrown at the bride and groom to represent fertility and continuity. This has been adapted to paper and dried petals.
If you’re getting married on a Saturday, as I am, unfortunately it’s an unlucky day according the to the rhyme:
Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all
Happily, a flower girl is incredibly lucky! In olden times as the bride and her party walked to the church a little girl would throw flower petals in her path to ensure good luck and ward off evil spirits.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled!
If you spot lucky omens on the way to the wedding, that will also bring luck to your marriage. If you see a rainbow, have the sunshine on your back, have your path crossed by a black cat or be greeted by a chimney sweep then you are in luck, however I’m not sure how lucky your dress will be if greeted by a chimney sweep.
Unlucky omens include seeing a pig, hare or lizard, seeing an open grave or seeing Monks or Nuns as that would signify infertility and dependence on the church.
A Silly Bit of Fun
Of course, these are silly traditions developed by superstitious medieval people who believed in magic but there’s no harm in embracing the traditions just to cover all your bases. Or not, however you choose.