Wedding Lore and Superstition: The wedding was the most important day and event for a Victorian girl. It is for this day that her parents, especially the mother used to prepare her. So, knowing the traditions and superstitions is the interesting part.
Most of these traditions were related to cultures and beliefs, out of which most of them were to bring luck in marriage as well as shower health, wealth and happiness.
If the bride-to-be awakes with the singing of a robin on her windowsill or anywhere nearby, it is considered a blessing for her. It was believed to be a sure omen of joy. Swallows have been considered as bringers of good luck and so she sees swallows come to the eaves the first time in the morning, it is good.
The girl should feed her pet cat herself on the wedding day or it was believed to bring rain, which was a negative sign on those days. The bridesmaid used to check the wedding gown for a little spider and if that was found on the gown, it was believed that the girl will never lack for money in life.
If something breaks on the wedding morning, it was believed that she would not be able to live in harmony with her husband’s relatives. The bride should not read the Marriage Service just before the wedding and that was prohibited even the night before or on the morning of the day.
The bridegroom was not allowed to see the bride before marriage in her wedding gown. It was considered bad luck and marriage would not happen between them. Even she was not allowed to look in the mirror and had to wear her gloves after she turned away from the mirror.
Significance of Colour
The color chosen by a bride for her wedding gown showed what she should expect in her married life.
Married in White, you have chosen right,
Married in Grey, you will go far away,
Married in Black, you will wish yourself back,
Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead,
Married in Pink, your spirit will sink,
Married in Green, ashamed to be seen,
Married in Blue, you will always be true,
Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl,
Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow,
Married in Brown, you will live in the town.
Wedding Lore and Superstition
White used to be the best choice for girls. However, the actual meaning of some of these was different in real life. For example, green was associated with youth, joy, and hope, while red was for courage and deep love whereas violet symbolized dignity and faithfulness.
From the middle ages to the late seventeenth century the commonly chosen colors of the wedding gown of the bride was yellow, crimson and pink. However, from the Victorian era to the present time, white is considered the color of the bride.
To ensure good luck the bride had to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue because blue was the color sacred to the Virgin Mary.
Old symbolized that she should still love and stay attached to her old life, new indicated success in her new life, borrowing indicated that friends would be helpful and faithful when needed and blue for the symbol of loyalty and constancy.
The Significance of Orange Blossoms
There are different stories about the origin of wearing orange blossoms for a bride. It was regarded as an omen of prosperity. However, orange blossoms became fashionable mostly because of its beauty and most likely in ignorance of its real significance.
The Wedding Veil
The history of wedding veil is quite interesting and has more than one sources, as could be predicted. Initially, a care-cloth was used to conceal the maiden blushes of the bride and then gradually wedding veil was introduced which had to be white and sheer so that vision does not interfere.
No matter what the origin was, throwing back the veil after the marriage ceremony indicated that the lady was now a wife, protected by her husband’s arm and she no longer needs to be shy or self-cautious.
Days of the Week
Monday Brides will be Healthy.
Tuesday Brides will be Wealthy.
Wednesday Brides do best of all.
Thursday Brides will suffer losses.
Friday Brides will suffer crosses.
Saturday Brides will have no luck at all.
The Wedding Cake
During the Victorian era, there were three wedding cakes – one elaborate one and two comparatively smaller ones for the bride and the groom. The huge cake was cut and boxed to be given to the guests when they left the party. The wedding cake was dark, rice, fruit cake while the cake for the bride was white and the groom, dark.
When the couple left for a honeymoon, which was an undisclosed location, the carriage was drawn by four white horses and the partygoers used to throw satin slippers and rice on the couple. If a slipper, especially the left one landed on the carriage, it was considered good luck for the couple.