A Lucky Life as Man and Wife
Whether you are tying the knot in the East or the West, it can never hurt to incorporate a few good luck rituals into your special day to make sure the celebration lasts well into the future. Infusing a few positive traditions into your wedding can also add a little fun to the proceedings for guests and family.
No matter where you attend a wedding – in Bali, Bangkok or Birmingham, most ceremonies incorporate a sprinkling of good luck traditions and some couples still believe strongly in the charms and rituals designed to make their marriage a happy and long lasting one.
Typical wedding wishes include hopes for health, wealth and the imminent arrival of a baby. Meanwhile, many famous wedding day traditions – like not seeing the bride or groom before the wedding – date back hundreds of years, and for couples getting married abroad in exotic locations like Thailand, there are plenty more cultural idiosyncrasies to be considered.
We collected a small selection of lucky traditions so that your wedding day will bring you good fortune wherever you decide to tie the knot.
Banish the Bogey Man
Many fundamental Western wedding traditions originated in medieval times as ways to banish evil spirits. In Rome, superstitious brides wore veils as they walked down the aisle in order to disguise and protect themselves from pesky evil spirits that would want to steal the couple’s happiness. The tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold also began in Medieval Europe because it was believed that the bride was particularly vulnerable to evil spirits through the soles of her feet. Even if you don’t believe in evil spirits, these traditions add elements of romance and chivalry to your wedding day.
Couples happy to receive a set of steak knives as a wedding gift should think again. According to folklore, knives signify a broken relationship and it is therefore bad luck to give them as a wedding gift. Fortunately, the bride and groom can banish this bad luck by presenting the giver with a penny to transform the transaction into a purchase rather than a gift. In Thailand, wedding guests avoid wedding gifts altogether and present the bride and groom with cash. This custom, originally Chinese, has guests placing cash filled envelopes in a basket at the the reception. It is good luck for guests to put cash in red Chinese envelopes with black or gold lettering, or even the envelope in which they received their wedding invitation.
Traditional Thai Additions
At a traditional Thai Buddhist wedding ceremony, an odd rather than an even number of monks are invited to chant prayers and bless the couples’ marriage to bring them luck. During the ceremony, a water blessing is enacted to seal the deal. The happy couple kneel together on the floor, each clasping their palms together in the traditional wai gesture. One by one, guests then pour blessed water from a golden conch shell over the couples joined hands as a way to wish them luck in their life together.
An Auspicious Date
In Thai weddings, every detail matters and determining the date of the wedding itself plays an important part in deciding whether or not the union will be blessed with good fortune. To select the perfect day, couples visit their local temple to consult a monk or fortune teller. They rely on his expertise with regards to birth dates, lucky days and phases of the moon, to help them decide the luckiest day to tie the knot.
Something old, something new…
This time-honoured tradition is still observed my many Western brides, but how many of them actually know the meaning behind it? For the bride, wearing something old is representative of her past, whilst wearing something new symbolises the successful union of the past with a long and happy marriage that will last into the future. Wearing the colour blue is supposed to symbolise fidelity and love, and brides often make sure they have “something borrowed” from someone who is already happily married so the success of an established union rubs off on their own.
by MAX VEE
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