The 10 Luckiest Wedding Traditions from Around the World
You may want to incorporate these traditions into your own big day to increase your chances of a lifetime of love and happiness—because even the most loving couple can use a little luck.
The date is the thing in China
Picking the date is an important wedding ritual in China and sets the stage for everything that will follow. Pick the right date, and the marriage is bound to be successful; pick the wrong date, and the unlucky couple doesn’t stand a chance. The wedding pros at Cordis Hong Kong at Langham Place, in Hong Kong, do a lot of Chinese weddings. “When picking a wedding date, couples always consult with a Chinese monk, fortune-teller, or Chinese calendar, to ensure that the wedding falls on an auspicious date. Knowing which dates to avoid, and what seasons to stay away from, is integral to the process, which is largely determined by the bride’s birthday. Having the right wedding date is believed to bring wedding luck, and aide in the success of the marriage,” they say.
Rain on your wedding day is lucky in India
Indian weddings are colourful, joyous, and as lucky as the guests can make them. A little bit of luck may fall on every couple, but in India, when it rains, it pours. “According to Hindu tradition, rain on your wedding day is good luck,” says Anne Chertoff, trend expert for WeddingWire. “In India, brides are painted with elaborate henna designs. The darker the ink, the more luck she’ll have,” Chertoff adds. Guests at Indian weddings leave nothing to chance. Rain or shine, if they throw fragrant rose petals and other flowers at the betrothed couple, the twosome are bound to have the best of luck, for their entire lifetime together.
Everyone wants a piece in Spain
In Spain, good luck on your wedding day can spill over to your best friends. “The groom’s tie is cut into pieces, and auctioned off to his friends. It brings good luck to everyone who gets a piece. At many Spanish weddings, they do the same with the bride’s garter,” Chertoff explains.
Irish brides are all about horseshoes
As famed as the luck of the Irish may be, savvy brides and grooms in the Emerald Isle leave nothing to chance, when it comes to wedding luck. “In Ireland, brides incorporate a small horseshoe into their ensemble for good luck. You may find it pinned to her wedding dress, or added to her bouquet,” says Megan Velez, a wedding expert for Destination Weddings Travel Group. No matter how wild the party may get, Irish brides always remember which end is up. “The ‘U’ shape must always face upwards. That way, she keeps all the luck in,” Velez adds.
Getting married in Egypt leaves a mark
Egypt is the birthplace of legalizing unions, now known as marriages, between two people, but thankfully, one Egyptian wedding custom did not spread around the globe. In Egypt, brides are routinely pinched by every single female wedding guest attending the ceremony. Good times!
English brides weave a web
In England, if you have arachnophobia, you may have to choose between an unlucky marriage and the single life. Good luck here is measured in itsy bitsy you-know-whats. If you find a spider crawling somewhere on the bride’s dress, the couple is sure to have good luck. This custom makes you definitely want to avoid inviting pranksters to the wedding!
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Thai couples are bound together
There’s no “Do you solemnly swear” type vows said at Thai weddings, but luck finds it way to the bride and groom nonetheless. Here, good luck is ensured through a number of ways, starting with the choice of the wedding date. To make sure that the couple picks a lucky date, and time of day to wed, astrologers are consulted. On the day itself, monks take over, wishing the couple good luck and providing them with bountiful blessings for happiness, provided they make donations, called merit making. After the ceremony, guests of the couple tie sai sin (white strings) on the couple’s wrists, which are meant to stay on for three days. If the couple complies and does not remove the sai sin, they will have good luck forever.
Mexican brides have a secret
Mexican wedding rituals tend to be deeply religious, and brides always wear white, but good wedding luck is ensured in a colourful, albeit hidden, way. Brides sew three ribbons into their lingerie for good luck, and wear them secretly on their wedding day. The ribbons are red, blue, and yellow, to represent passion, financial stability, and abundance of sustenance. No one sees the lucky ribbons, until the bride unveils them to her groom, when they are alone, after the ceremony has taken place.
Italian brides get sweet treats
Many traditional (or superstitious) Italian brides follow an ancient, pre-wedding ritual, for good wedding luck and fertility. The night before the wedding, the bride wears a green dress. She does not see her groom until the next morning, choosing instead to spend these hours with her parents, or other family members. Italian newlyweds also bestow small gifts to all of their guests, for added wedding luck. These are called confetti bomboniera, and are usually sugar-coated almonds in a little purse. Each purse contains an odd number of almonds (seven, or nine). If a purse accidentally holds an even number, the good luck becomes diminished.
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Vietnamese brides see red
No white weddings here! The color red, which symbolizes good luck, is the colour of choice for attire, and décor, at most Vietnamese weddings. Leaving nothing to chance, the groom’s family will even travel to the bride’s parental home, bearing wine, fruit, and cake, wrapped in red paper and presented on red platters.
Originally published as The 10 Luckiest Wedding Traditions from Around the World on ReadersDigest.com.