40 Wedding Traditions That Modern-Day Brides Would Never Follow

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. And perhaps in no way is this better illustrated than by looking at old wedding traditions. They’re either weird, steeped in nonsensical etiquette, or in some cases even downright dangerous. Sure, a Regency or Tudor-style wedding may pretty cool, but wait until you find out the sorts of things brides of that era had to do…

40. Putting an announcement in the paper

Jane Austen once wrote in a letter to her niece, “One may as well be single if the wedding is not to be in print.” By which she meant, put a notice in the newspaper and make sure the whole community knows you’re getting married. This has obviously changed a lot since Jane’s day — although of course these days many people make an announcement on social media instead.

39. Staying quiet if you’re a woman

Yep, this really was a wedding rule back in the bad old days. Only the men were allowed to give toasts — so the groom, the father of the bride and the best man could all speak, but not the woman who’d just been married. Needless to say, you won’t find many people following this one anymore.

38. Putting a lucky coin in your shoe

Once upon a time, brides would put a silver sixpence in their shoe, usually given to them by their father, intended to bring them good luck on their wedding day. Or blisters. Fun fact: the original ending of the rhyme “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” is “and a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

37. Avoiding your furry friend

Dog-lovers won’t like this one. In Ireland, it used to be bad luck for a dog to lick either the bride or groom — or both — prior to the wedding. But these days, many people count their pets as part of the family and would find that superstition inconceivable. You can even have man’s best friend as part of your wedding nowadays!