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7 Wedding Day Traditions Explained

What is something old, something new all about?

There are so many weird and wonderful wedding day traditions, half of which most of us probably don't even know the reason behind. Your own wedding day will more than likely include a few superstitions without you even realising.

bride and groom wedding aisle confetti

The average wedding day is full of traditions, though most of us don't actually know the origins and stories behind them. Part of personalizing your wedding day, and making it uniquely yours, should be about deciding which wedding traditions you love and which you'd rather leave out. To understand what the meaning, or history behind a certain tradition is, can often make it a lot easier to make that decision.

Are there traditions you would like to include in your wedding day, but you're unsure if they're right for you? Let's make the decision process easier, by seeing what they actually mean, and hopefully then one or two rituals might speak to you.

Whatever you decide, getting to know the history behind some of the most common wedding day traditions is no bad thing!

7 Wedding day Traditions, Explained

From the sweet to the spooky, we've explained the most popular wedding day traditions, and shared their origins.

Wedding Veils

The reason brides wear veils is two-fold. Traditionally, a bride would wear a veil to protect her modesty and symbolise her virginity, before her father gave her away. However, if you look even farther back, the veil was worn to protect brides from evil spirits, as it acts as a barrier and disguise.

Tying Trinkets to the Back of the Car

Originally, people used to tie shoes to the back of a wedding car, but nowadays, you're more likely to see tin cans tied to the bumper. This wedding day tradition stems from the idea that the trinkets or shoes symbolise good luck, while the noise would keep those pesky evil spirits away.

wedding car yellow Ferrari just married sign with cans


Nowadays confetti or flower petals are thrown over the newly-weds following the ceremony, but back in the day, guests would have thrown rice, or wheat. This act was seen as a blessing for their fertility and prosperity.


Rain on your wedding day is thought to be unlucky, not only for the soggy guests, but for the rest of the marriage too. However, it is considered good luck for a bride to see a spider, chimney sweep or black cat on her way to the wedding ceremony.

wedding day traditions explained rain bride and groom umbrellas

Seeing the bride before the ceremony

One of the most familiar superstitions is that it's bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding ceremony. This one isn’t a particularly romantic tradition, as it originates from a time when arranged marriages were common. Back then, it was thought that if the bride and groom saw each other before the ceremony, it was more likely to result in one, or both parties doing a runner.

Carrying the bride over the threshold

Have you ever wondered why the groom carries his bride over the threshold? Uniquely, in medieval Europe, it was believed that evil spirits might make their way into the house through the soles of the bride’s feet. Therefore, it was best to bring her into the house clean.

Something Old, Something New

Wearing ‘something old’ represents the life that the bride is leaving behind, while the ‘something new’ represents her new life as a married woman. The ‘something borrowed’ should come from someone who has had a long and happy marriage. And the blue is meant to symbolise purity, fidelity, and love.


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