The Surprising Truths Behind Common Wedding Superstitions

Some wedding traditions and superstitions are so engrained in our culture that we don't even think to question them. But do you know why a bride tosses the bouquet over her head? For what possible reason would a couple save a layer of cake in their freezer for a year? And why do brides go to such lengths to keep their grooms from seeing their dresses before it's time to walk down the aisle? Here, we explore the origins of five wedding superstitions and help you find ways to incorporate tradition into your special day along with a few fun, modern twists.

Superstition #1: It's bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony.

wedding first look

Photo Credit: Hoffer Photography

Origin: During the time when arranged marriages were custom, the betrothed couple wasn't allowed to see each other before the wedding at all. The wedding symbolized a business deal between two families (romantic, huh?), and a father would have been pleased for his daughter to marry a man from a rich, land-owning family. But he also feared that if the groom met the bride before the wedding and thought she wasn't attractive, he'd call off the wedding, casting shame onto the bride and her family. Therefore, it became tradition that the bride and groom were only allowed to meet at the wedding ceremony so that the groom did not have the opportunity to change his mind. And that veil the bride wears? Its original purpose was also to keep the groom from finding out what the bride looked like until the last possible minute, when it was too late to back out of the transaction.

Today: Although arranged marriages are no longer common, most brides still don't want their groom to see them all done up before the wedding. Many believe it makes the day more exciting and memorable. However, some couples feel they'll be more relaxed if they see each other for just a few minutes before the ceremony. The added bonus is that you can take your formal pictures pre-ceremony when everyone is freshly done-up. It's completely up to you and your groom. Talk about it before the big day arrives and find out what makes the most sense for you.

More Superstitions:

Why brides carry something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue
Why brides and grooms toss the bouquet and garter
Why couples save the top tier of the wedding cake
Why the groom carries his bride across the threshold


More from Bridal Guide:

Amazing Harry Potter-Inspired Weddings
Barbie & Ken Tie the Knot!
Browse Photos of Real Weddings
10 Mistakes Brides Make When Dress Shopping
75 Ways to Throw a Luxury Wedding on a Budget
20 Sexy Wedding-Night Secrets
Win a Private Screening of Breaking Dawn