Wedding Tradition or Just Superstition Part I

lucky horse shoe

Whether you are a superstitious person or not wedding tradition is shrouded in superstition. During the Middle Ages it was believed evil spirits lived among us.

It was thought people were particularly susceptible to the misfortune of evil spirits during rites of passage and in order to prevent bad luck people would carry good luck charms or partake in rituals, some of which are still practiced today.

We start this series with looking at Good Luck Charms.

Wedding Tradition or Just Superstition Part I
Wedding Tradition or Just Superstition Part II
Wedding Tradition or Just Superstition Part III
Wedding Tradition or Just Superstition Part IV
Wedding Tradition or Just Superstition Part V
Wedding Tradition or Just Superstition Part VI

Good Luck Charms

There are a wide variety of good luck charms, all intended to avoid disaster and bring you the nest of luck for your wedding.. here are a look at a few of them.

Silver Sixpence

The silver sixpence is traditionally placed in the brides left shoe. The coin was originally brought into circulation during the reign of Edward VI and became part of wedding tradition since Victorian times. It was customary for the bride to be presented with a sixpence by the Lord of the Manor as a wedding gift. As time passed it became more popular for fathers to give their daughter a sixpence in the form of a dowry.

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.

Lucky Horseshoe

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 otherwise all the luck in your marriage would fall out.

Grey Horse

If a bride sees a grey horse on her way to the church it is thought to be lucky, and luckier still if she is able to ride in a horse drawn carriage pulled by a grey horse.

Wooden Spoon

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. 

Lucky Chimney Sweep

It was thought lucky if a bride saw a chimney sweep on her way to the church. Chimney sweeps were thought to have mystical powers as they ensured the heart of the home the 'fireplace' was keep in good working order for cooking and heating the family home.

Today chimney sweeps are very rare, so it would be extremely lucky to come across one, although there are companies who offer a lucky chimney sweep for your wedding day.

Do you know of any of any other wedding superstitions or traditions involving good luck charms? If you do, let us know.