wedding folklore customs history | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Wedding Folklore

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The wedding tradition is an old one, so there is much lore and age-old wisdom surrounding it. Read on.

Happy is the bride that the sun shines on;
Blessed is the corpse that the rain rains on.

Wedding Superstitions

  • Snow on your wedding day is a sign of fertility and prosperity.
  • Walking is thought to be the best way of getting to church, as there’s more chance of spotting lucky omens such as: seeing a rainbow, having the sun shine, and meeting a black cat or a chimney sweep.
  • Wear gold earrings on your wedding day to ensure wedded bliss.
  • Put marigolds in your wedding bouquet to keep your true love.
  • Speak wedding vows on the upward strokes of the clock hands and you’ll work well together in marriage.
  • An engagement ring purchased on a Tuesday will guarantee a marriage filled with peace and contentment.
  • Burning the mistletoe on Twelfth Night ensures marriage for those who have kissed beneath it.

Proposal Lore

If a young girl receives a wedding proposal and cannot decide whether to have the man, she is sometimes advised to “leave it to the cat.” She then takes three hairs from the cat’s tail and wraps them in a bit of white paper. The packet is left under the doorstep for the night. When she opens the paper in the morning, she will note that the hairs have arranged themselves either in an N for no or a Y for yes. Old-timers advise that she would do well to heed the advice.

Marriage and the Moon

The ancient Greeks believed that marriages consummated during the full Moon were the most prosperous and happiest, but a waning Moon boded ill for wedded bliss.

The full Moon is also considered to be an ideal time to accept a marriage proposal. Folklore has it that if a young woman sees a dove and the new Moon at the same instant, she should say, “Bright Moon, clear Moon, / Bright and fair, / Lift up your right foot, / There’ll be a hair.” When she removes her shoe, she’ll find a hair that is the same color as her future husband’s. A new Moon in your dreams promises increased wealth or a happy marriage.

For a happy marriage, never speak loudly to one another unless the house is on fire.

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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