Wedding traditions explained

Why do you throw your bouquet, wear a veil and hide from the groom on the morning of the wedding? Take a look at all the reasoning behind the best wedding superstitions

Some wedding traditions have been going for so long that we just get on with them without questioning why. But do you know the real reasons behind them? Why do you throw your bouquet to the single ladies and why does a bride always stand on the left? Read on and all will be revealed. A little note before you get started; it turns out there are more evil spirits involved on your wedding day than on Halloween. And we’re not talking about your mother in law.


Why do brides wear a veil?

Rather than being to conceal her face from her soon-to-be husband, brides traditionally wore a veil in ancient Rome to disguise themselves from evil spirits who were jealous of her happiness.

Why is rain good luck on your wedding day?

Although it might not feel like it, rain is traditionally associated with good luck on your big day. But why? Rain supposedly symbolises fertility, with the superstition being that couples will have a baby soon.

Why do brides have bridesmaids?

In a similar vein to the veil, brides have bridesmaids to confuse evil spirits who want to harm them. Traditionally, bridesmaids were even dressed to look like the bride!

Why do brides wear a garter?

Bridal garters are traditionally precious love tokens with magical properties.


Why do brides toss their bouquet?

We all know that the next single girl to catch the bouquet will be the next to marry, but where does this tradition come from? Before the days of wedding dresses, the dress a bride wore on her wedding day was considered to be magical, and single girls would chase after her ripping off pieces of the fabric. To stop this happening, brides tossed objects instead for the single girls to catch.

Why is it called a ‘wedding breakfast’?

You won’t be eating cereal and toast, so why is it called a wedding breakfast? It’s because it’s the first meal you have together as man and wife, making it the breakfast of your marriage (aww).

Why do people have a honeymoon?

What’s now a fantastic holiday started off as something different: grooms actually abducted their new brides and went into hiding for 30 days after the wedding. During those days, their friends and family would bring them a cup of honey wine every day, hence ‘honeymoon’.

Why does the bride stand on the left?

Brides always stand on the left during the wedding ceremony: traditionally, this is so the groom is free to swing his sword with his right hand and fight off any other men who may steal his bride!

Why can’t the bride and groom see each other on the morning of their wedding?

In the days of arranged marriages, a wedding was very much a business deal between two families and a father was pleased to be handing his daughter over to a rich family with lots of land. Keeping the bride’s identity under wraps until she reached the altar meant the groom had no time to back out at the last minute if he didn’t find her attractive. Charming!


Something borrowed 

This is supposed to be from someone who is happily married to give good luck!

Something blue

Blue is traditionally associated with love and fidelity, which is why brides have a ‘something blue’.

Why does a groom carry his bride over the threshold?

It was once believed in Medieval Europe that a bride was vulnerable to evil spirits, particularly through the soles of her feet! So, her groom would carry her to safety into their new home to avoid bringing any ghouls with them.

Crying on your wedding day

It’s actually good luck to cry on your wedding day. The idea being that you cry all of your tears on that day, never having to cry again once married.

Why do we wear white on our wedding day?

When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840, she was actually the first bride to kick off wearing white as a trend. Up until this point, brides just wore whatever they considered to be their finest clothing, which if they were noble tended to be silver.

You may now kiss the bride

As well as being a sign of affection, the original reason for the groom and bride to kiss after the ceremony is to give each other a part of their souls and bond them for life.

Something old

For this token, it is usually an older member of the family that would offer a gift to the bride. This symbolises the brides bond with her family and her life before marriage.


Something new

As you would expect, receiving a present that ticks the ‘something new’ box is to celebrate the new journey that the bride and groom are about to embark on.