European Wedding Supersitions

Ever wondered about European wedding superstitions? If you are planning a destination wedding in any number of beautiful European cities, you may be hoping that wearing something old or something blue will count as good chi across borderlines as well. If you are the type to have never slept on the 13th floor or have never spilled a salt shaker without tossing a pinch over your left shoulder, you may need a lesson in this continent’s cultural good luck charms.

Whether getting married in a beautiful city like Paris or amid the quiet hush of the English countryside, there are some ancient Egyptian/European superstitions that still ring true today. For those couples who don’t want to chance it, (Who knows if European superstitions can affect an American couple, right?), here is your chance to get to know what traditions help or hinder your wedding day. First word to the wise? Invest in a roll of pennies.

Penny Loafers are Worth So Much More Than One Cent

While it isn’t the most comfortable of superstitions, it may be worth trying. Much like “The Princess and the Pea,” European tradition states that a bride should place a penny in her shoe the day of her wedding. Supposed to bring good luck and fortune to the couple, harboring a penny heel-side is an inexpensive way to ward off any ill-intention that the universe may be sending your way.

Another bonus? Historically speaking, Europeans believed that if the bride had a penny in her shoe while exchanging wedding vows she would be exempt from discontent later on in her life. Since the number one reason that couples oftentimes split is financially based, this may be the best investment you can make to insure your future together. Also, many brides turn that penny into a charm necklace or ring later in life to keep that good luck rolling.

How Do You Like Your Eggs? You Won’t Be Throwing Rice

Our culture uses rice, birdseed, sparklers, and bubbles to send off a happy couple into their wedding night, but in the Anglo-Saxon era guests didn’t think that was quite messy enough. As a symbol of a fruitful union, Europeans were happy to “hatch” a different tradition. Fertility-inspired for sure, it is common for some small towns and their townspeople to throw eggs at your car (or wagon in the old days) as you drive away.

This is not practiced commonly, but beware if you are getting married in a smaller, remote town. If you suspect that your local guests may be bringing a carton along with your wedding gift, you may want to make sure that there is a “no eggs allowed” policy instituted at your wedding. Unless you are hoping to start a large family right away, those egg yolks may be a little too potent for any newlywed’s double-income-no-kids lifestyle.

Horseshoes and Handkerchiefs: Get One of Each

European custom says that horseshoes and handkerchiefs are the two front-runner items to bring any bride good luck. The horseshoe has been a symbol of good luck since the Roman Empire, but in Europe? They suggest that it be silver to ward off witches, come from the left hind foot of a grey mare, and be draped across your shoulders with brawny-strength ribbon. Our suggestion? Get a charm necklace and call it good.

The handkerchief isn’t a common tradition in the States, but overseas tears on your wedding day are a sure sign of good luck. Their history says that the bride’s tears would summon rain for the crops to yield a plentiful harvest, which meant cha-ching for the farmer who wed. These days Europeans believe that if a bride carries a handkerchief down the aisle and sheds a tear upon it, she may never cry another sad tear from that day forward. While a bit naïve, the sweet sentiment is well worth the bride’s extra (albeit light) down-the-aisle baggage.

Looking for places to stay during your travels? Check out our destination wedding packages and venues.

about the author
Sarah Sarah has been editing the blog at mywedding for four years. She enjoys watching classic movies, spending money on eyeliner that she never wears, and convincing brides to write thank you notes.

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