Thursday, July 31, 2008

Traditions & Superstitions-Proposing & Setting the Date

Traditions-there are so many that make up a wedding. From the Yes of the engagement to walking down the aisle and saying I Do.

So today, I'm starting a weekly series about all the traditions & superstitions that are a part of the wedding and the events surrounding it. Starting with Proposing & Setting the Date.

The guy getting down on one knee is believed to be from English knight's. They dropped to their knees when gaining the king's favor or asking for a lady's.

The act of proposing started only after betrothals {arranged marriages} were no longer a binding contract. Proposing has only been around for a couple of centuries.

Asking the Bride's father for her hand in marriage-
It started off as time to negotiate over the dowry and marriage contract. Now it has become more of a tradition & proper etiquette.

Engagement- Means "to bind by a pledge". Engagements started off being a time for both families to come up with a price for the bride.

Setting the Date-
Here's an old English poem about the months.
Married when the year is new, he'll be loving, kind and true.
When February birds do mate, You wed nor dread your fate.
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know.
Marry in April when you can Joy for the Maiden and for Man.
Marry in the month of May, and you'll surely rue the day.
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you'll go.
Those who in July do wed, must labour for the daily bread.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see.
Marry in September's shrine, your living will be rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember.
When December snow fall fast, marry and true love will last.

The reason June has traditionally been the most popular month is because Juno is the Roman goddess of marriage, hearth & childbirth, so why not get married during her month!!! May was when the Feast of the Dead was observed that's why you will surely rue the day. January is Hera's month. The defender of women and the wife of Zeus. This was a time for fertility rites. September is the month of the full harvest moon, fertility time, too. Then there is April, Venus' month and she of course, is the goddess of LOVE!!!

Here's a poem about the days of the week.
Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all.

Sunday is not mentioned since most Christian weddings normally took place on the Sabbath and the work week was six days. Then the Puritans decided that couples should stop getting married on Sunday. It is after all the day of rest, not fun. Of course, Saturday is now the most popular day to get married on. Superstition or not?

The time of the wedding- It is thought that you should get married between the half-hour and the hour since the second hand is rising. That way you get started on the upswing, which can lead to good fortune.

Then there's the Victorian tradition that the luckiest time to get married is on the same day of the week that the Groom was born, better yet, on the Groom's birthday.

Of course, some of this is superstition & some of this is tradition. Do what makes sense to you. As along as you're happy & in love what does it matter!!!

Next time will be about the Engagement & Engagement Rings.

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