Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue:
Part 2-Wedding Superstitions-Fashion and Rings
After covering the basics of what is considered good and bad luck at weddings, it’s time to discuss the traditions and superstitions involving the fashion and rings. From wedding dress colors, to which finger the ring is worn on, there are many traditions that have made their way into our wedding planning lives. Superstitions regarding these items have developed over the years as well, with some still very closely followed, and others fading with time.
Rings have long been an important part of a wedding ceremony, and have many superstitions surrounding them. When it comes to wedding rings, there are ‘rules’ to follow for every aspect of the ring. From which finger to wear the ring on, to the sizing of the ring, and even the type of jewel used, all bear the possibility of bringing about good or bad luck. The first record of a diamond engagement ring dates back to 1477. The Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy, which brought about the popularity of using diamond rings in the European aristocracy and nobility. In the US, diamonds did not gain popularity until the 1947. This happened due to De Beers releasing the campaign slogan ‘A Diamond is Forever’ as an attempt to boost diamond sales. Before this, engagement and wedding rings used various other jewels, which were sometimes accented with diamonds. Sapphires have long held the superstition of representing marital happiness when used in rings. Pearls, however, are believed to be very bad luck as a choice in a wedding or engagement ring, as the shape of a pearl is thought to be too close to the shape of a tear to bring anything but unhappiness. Traditionally, the ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, as this finger was originally thought to have a vein that lead directly to the heart. This superstition began with the idea that rings around the heart offered protection, so wearing the ring on this finger would allow the ring to be as close to encircling the heart as possible. According to superstition, how the ring fits is just as important as which finger the ring is worn on. If the ring is too tight, the marriage will end up being a smothering relationship. However, if the ring is too loose then the couple will stray from the marriage, and partake in adulterous activities. To avoid either of these situations, just make sure you get your rings sized! Even if the rings are not a perfect fit, be very careful when exchanging them at the ceremony. It is considered very bad luck to drop the ring, as this is the symbol of unity for the relationship. This superstition also states that whoever drops the ring will be the first one to die, so hold on tight! If this doesn’t seem stressful enough already, there are several traditions and superstitions surrounding wedding attire as well.
For men’s attire, the most prominent superstition surrounds the tie, or bow tie. It is said that if the groom wears the tie crooked then he is in love with another woman. Although, if you have ever tied a tie, you know it’s a bit of a challenge to get it perfectly straight. So this is definitely a superstition that should not be given too much thought. For women, the white wedding dress, has long been a tradition for brides to wear on their big day, but that was not always the case. February 10th, 1840 was the first time the western world saw ‘white’ as the official wedding dress color. Queen Victoria of England wore a white dress for her wedding, which caused the trend of white wedding dresses to sweep over the western world. Before this, brides simply wore their best dress. However, in Japan, white dresses were the choice for brides long before Queen Victoria made this fashion statement. Throughout Asia, there has been a tradition of embroidering cranes onto the bridal gown. This is thought to symbolize fidelity and longevity in the new marriage. No matter what location, it seems to be generally agreed to be bad luck to make your own wedding dress. A similar superstition also warns against using velvet as the dress material. Velvet is thought to bring bad luck, whereas satin is said to bring good fortune. This has translated over time to most modern day wedding dresses now being made of satin. Although it may seem a bit scary for this to happen, according to English superstition, if you find a spider on your dress it is supposed to be good luck. Some brides will even attach a spider pin to their dress to ensure this kind of good luck. There is also a superstition that states if you hold your wedding dress in your hands for five minutes and make a wish, the wish will come true! There are also several superstitions surrounding the bridal veil. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed the veil protected the bride from evil spirits, so it has become tradition for brides to wear a veil. Just make sure no one wears the veil for fun! A popular belief is that anyone who wears the veil in the spirit of fun, rather than as a bride, will become an old maid and never marry.
Although there may seem like an overwhelming amount of superstitions surrounding wedding rings and attire, most of these have worked their way into general society without keeping the intense fear of creating bad luck. Most brides now will purchase their wedding dress, and it is pretty standard to wear wedding bands on the fourth finger of the left hand. Although some brides choose to wear flowers in their hair, instead of a veil, there are not many news stories about brides being attacked by evil spirits due to this. Don’t worry if you are one of the brides who would prefer to not have any creepy crawlies trying to partake in their special day. Just take a deep breath, and just remember, if you don’t find a spider on your dress, everything will be alright. So thanks for reading, and good luck wedding planning!