Superstitions are part of every culture, and guess what? Weddings are no different. As a once-in-a-lifetime event, no couple wants to draw bad luck on the most beautiful day of their life. Traditions and superstitions play a fascinating role in the enchanting wedding world. They weave in and bring a huge set of beliefs, age-old practices and customs. From inviting good fortune and safeguarding love for the newlyweds, these UK wedding superstitions have stood the test of time. They may not be significant today, but they have been passed on for generations, and we can still feel their presence. Having said that, even modern couples try to be careful when planning and hosting the day. Today, we will discuss more on the top wedding superstitions in the UK and their origin.

uk wedding superstitions

11 UK Wedding Superstitions

  • The bride & Groom cannot see each other the night before the wedding

This is a long-standing UK wedding superstition and remains popular to this day. It went one step further, with couples not allowed to see each other for at least 24 hours before exchanging vows. This practice emerged in the pre-18th century and was popular with pre-arranged marriages. Typically, it was deemed unlucky for the couple to see each other. However, a popular saying is that it was an intentional attempt to keep the groom from backing off from the wedding upon seeing the unidentified bride.

  • Trying the outfits in one go

Another popular wedding custom that has dominated many bridal preparations is that the brides should never try on all their outfits in one go. She should instead leave at least one of the outfits or an accessory for the last. Another famous wedding superstition in England is that brides should not look at themselves in full-length mirrors. It is not sure where this superstition came from, but many brides sew ribbons or even hair to their dresses to counter bad luck.

  • Brides are to wear white, not red.

This is a very British superstition that has spread to many parts of the world. You will be surprised to learn that brides started wearing white only after the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. It was seen as a symbol of purity, joy and youth. As Queen Victoria was the first to wear a white silk satin gown, it created a unique sensation that turned out to be a fashion trend. The tradition became so popular that people now follow and cherish the custom in different parts of the world. Though different shades, from pastel to bright, are being experimented with today, one colour that brides must avoid is red. An old saying is that brides should never marry in red as it brings bad omen.

  • Guest catching the wedding bouquet

Throwing a bouquet is a big moment and is still a well-known UK wedding superstition. It is believed the guest who catches the bouquet is the next in line to get married. During medieval times, it was one of the methods of deciding who would marry next. Few couples incorporate alternative rituals, such as the groom throwing the bride’s garter in addition to a bouquet toss. Here, a single man can be present at the receiving end, and the one who catches is the next in line.

  • Rain on Wedding Day

Often, many view rain as an unwanted guest; however, wedding superstitions in England say that rain is a sign of good luck. It is considered as a symbol of cleansing. In different parts of the world, people often consider that rain washes away any negative energies. Therefore, it is believed to be a blessing from heaven and a sign that a couple will have love and many healthy kids.

  • Day of Getting Married

Another popular wedding superstition in the UK is regarding the lucky and unlucky days. For instance- Saturday is considered the luckiest day, as it allows guests to attend the wedding without taking off from work. In contrast, Friday, the 13th, is considered an unlucky day for ceremonies. When it comes to month, June is considered the luckiest partly because of the Roman Goddess Juno, the goddess of marriage.

  • Ring on the fourth finger

This superstition can be traced back to thousands of years. Typically, the fourth finger is known as the ring finger and symbolises a bond of love and commitment. In ancient cultures, the Romans believed that the fourth finger of the left hand had a vein that connected directly to the heart. Therefore, the fourth finger is considered a perfect choice when exchanging rings.

  • Hen/Stag party

The hen party and stags originated in Ancient Greece when weddings were split into different sections. These were hosted to mark the end of the youth for the new couple. The tradition became popular in the UK around the 50s, and couples embrace it with open arms to date. 

  • Silver sixpence in the shoe

This UK wedding superstition might look a bit annoying, but having money around in the bridal shoes is believed to bring wealth and happiness. Traditionally, the bride’s father has the sixpence as a symbol of well wishes and happiness to the new couple.

  • Not wearing pearls on the wedding day.

Pearls are not bad luck, but in some cultures, they are thought to bring bad luck. Why? They represent tears you will cry during the marriage, so brides avoid wearing them on their big day. 

  • Tiered Cake

No wedding seems complete without cutting the cake. Plus, a tiered cake is a pretty and useful way to serve many guests. If you are wondering where the idea of stacking cakes on top of each other came from, it first appeared at the wedding of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, in 1882. It has become popular ever since, and it is believed that the bride has to cut the cake first to ensure her marriage is blessed with happiness and children.

With this, we conclude some of the popular UK wedding superstitions. Throughout history, superstitions have shaped a lot of cultures and transitions. Whether you wish to embrace these wholeheartedly or simply appreciate them, you cannot deny these remain a big part of our culture. 

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