Wedding planning is in full gear (I guess) and the other day Gonzalo and I went to Falabella to register in Chile. When we did so, we got a sort of wedding “starter kit” from the retailer, which included a type of planner, a CD rom with info on things such as dresses, venues, etc and a small little book that addressed traditions GALORE for the little event that would be a wedding.
Just to give some background on Falabella: it’s a Chilean holding company and one of the largest retailers in Latin America. They have stores in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru and here in Chile, it’s one of THE top department stores. But they not only dabble in department stores but also own a chain of home improvement stores (think Office Depot-ish) and a bank. They also offer all kinds of extras, such as trips (Falabella Viajes!) and a home shopping network (Falabella TV). I mean, truly, there is no Chile without a Falabella experience one way or another!
Anyway, I need to devote an entire blog entry to my reading material from last night, compliments of Falabella’s “I’m a Bride: A practical guide for the brides and grooms of Falabella.” (soy Novia: La guia practica para los novios de Falabella.) Within the first few pages of wedding advertisements, we find “Traditions that continue.” Here we find the traditional and historical bits on why we wear engagement rings, why we send invitations, why there’s a couple’s first dance, etc, etc. Actually it was kind of cool to read the historical element of each tradition involved with a proposal and subsequent wedding. This isn’t the part that I feel the need to share in my blog. I give you Exhibit A: the section entitled “Superstitions on the Big Day.”
– So that it doesn’t rain on my wedding day, pray to St. Clara and never eat food directly from the pot or pan.
– Don’t get married on a Tuesday. (Note that Tuesday in Spanish is Martes.) Since “Marte” is the god of war, the ancient Romans associated that day with disgraces and catastrophes.
– Celebrating my wedding in January, I risk economic disgrace.
– Don’t wear pearls on the day of the wedding, as they symbolize tears and pain.
– If I want my single girlfriends to also get married, I need to write each of their names down on a piece of paper and stick it in my right shoe so that they “approach” the altar “with” me. Now, if we want to know which of these girlfriends will be the next to marry, I must follow the Turkish tradition of writing their names on the sole of the right shoe and at the end of the night, the name most worn out will be the next one to receive an engagement ring.
– I must put a coin in one of my shoes to promote economic fortune.
– I have to make sure that my fiancee’s tie is on straight. For it to be slightly crooked implies that he will be unfaithful.
– When people see us go by on our way to the Church, people must make a lot of noise and honk their horns, so as to scare away evil spirits.
– To dream of my wedding day and see myself dressed as a bride, could signify disgrace.
– When a fork and knife fall at the same time, it means a wedding in the family ensues.
At first I thought it was really silly and I almost started this blog as an open forum for bashing old school, third-world superstitions. But then I thought, aren’t there many wedding traditions done partly in fear of something bad happening? Don’t we have our own superstitions in the U.S.? I decided to ask my friend Google what she thought about the topic and here’s what she had for me:
– If it rains on your wedding day, you’ll shed many tears during your married life.
– The bride should wear pearls on her wedding day to ensure she would not cry.
– When a newly married couple enters their home, the groom should carry the bride over the threshold because if the bride should stumble entering the home, it is a bad omen.
– Tying tin cans to the back of the newlywed’s car is good luck because the noise will frighten away evil spirits. [similar to the honking of car horns]
– If your dress is ripped on the day before your wedding, it means that your marriage will end in death! [um scary. I will take it off and put on sweats before I start dancing.]
– If candles are lit on your wedding day and they go out it means an evil spirit is near by!
– The Victorians believed it was lucky to marry on a day during the week the groom was born. But the luckiest day to marry was on the groom’s actual birthday.
– Say your vows when the hour hand on the clock is going upwards. This makes you work together in your married life together. If you say your vows when the hour hand is going down it is bad luck.
– In the Jewish tradition, it’s bad luck to receive knives as a wedding gift. In case someone should give knives, the bride should transform the exchange into a financial transaction by giving a penny or nominal sum for the knives.
– The bride is never supposed to practice walking down the aisle during her rehearsal or it will bring bad luck. The most popular alternative is to ask a close friend not in the wedding party to be your “Stand in Bride”.
– Put a penny in your shoe for wealth in your marriage. [hmmm, sounds like Falabella believes the same thing.]
– Dressing the bridesmaids is to fool the evil spirits–so they won’t know who is the bride and who is not. [uh, that sucks for the bridesmaids…]
There are tons more of course but Google is your friend too. I suggest asking her the same question to see what she spews out for you.
And as I was reading these said superstitions there were many traditions thrown in there as well… it was a medley of points and eventually I couldn’t tell a tradition apart from a superstition. The reason being, I’ve personally concluded, is because traditions we now recognize as such for weddings were probably BORN OUT OF superstitions back in the day. And in the end, it’s all meant to protect and preserve the happy couple, right?
In fact, I think that we can blame the actual divorce rate in the world on the fact that people aren’t sufficiently schooled on superstitions. If they were, it would be an entirely different story out there! Perhaps we should include this little Falabella booklet in all bridal shower goody bags from now on!