Superstition: The lore and symbolism surrounding the dates deemed luckiest for weddings.
Origins: The choice of month, day, and even time to hold a wedding are said to influence the union. Some periods are seen as more auspicious than others, and some are said to bode no good for man nor beast.
The Month: May
is the unluckiest month for weddings. This belief dates back at least two thousands years, and it is still observed today, with numerous wedding planners avoiding this
May's evil-omened reputation comes from Roman times. They associated the month with offerings to the dead, and mourning clothes were customarily worn.
Lent (the period between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday) is also deemed ill-omened, as is the period of Advent (the span from the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas until Christmas Eve). Marrying during Advent and Lent was at one time prohibited by the Church, likely explaining the residual bad luck associations those periods have for the marriage-minded.
As for choosing a month:
Married in February's sleepy weather, Married when March winds shrill and roar, Married beneath April's changing skies, Married when bees over May blossoms flit, Married in the month of roses — June, Married in July with flowers ablaze, Married in August's heat and drowse, Married in September's golden glow, Married when leaves in October thin, Married in veils of November mist, Married in days of December cheer,
Married in January's hoar and rime,
Widowed you'll be before your prime.
Life you'll tread in time together.
Your home will be on a distant shore.
A checkered path before you lies.
Strangers around your board will sit.
Life will be one long honeymoon.
Bittersweet memories on after days.
Lover and friend in your chosen spouse.
Smooth and serene your life will go.
Toil and hardship for you gain.
Fortune your wedding ring has kissed.
Love's star shines brighter from year to year.
Married in February's sleepy weather,
Married when March winds shrill and roar,
Married beneath April's changing skies,
Married when bees over May blossoms flit,
Married in the month of roses — June,
Married in July with flowers ablaze,
Married in August's heat and drowse,
Married in September's golden glow,
Married when leaves in October thin,
Married in veils of November mist,
Married in days of December cheer,
June's fine weather makes it the choice of discerning brides, but the reason for its good press in the world of lore has to do with who it's named for. Juno was the Roman goddess of marriage, so it only makes sense that the month named for her would be deemed propitious for all brides.
The Day: Certain Holy Days are said to be ill-favored to start a marriage on. Childermas
Couples are cautioned to avoid choosing a date that marks one of their birthdays.
Especially lucky days for weddings are:
January: 2, 4, 11, 19, 21.
February: 1, 3, 10, 19, 21.
March: 3, 5, 13, 20, 23.
April: 2, 4, 12, 20, 22.
May: 2, 4, 12, 20, 23.
June: 1, 3, 11, 19, 21.
July: 1, 3, 12, 19, 21, 31.
August: 2, 11, 18, 20, 30.
September: 1, 9, 16, 18, 28.
October: 1, 8, 15, 17, 27, 29.
November: 5, 11, 13, 22, 25.
December: 1, 8, 10, 19, 23, 29.
Which day of the week is chosen is also deemed important. As a well-known rhyme puts it:
Monday for wealth,
Tuesday for health,
Wednesday the best day of all.
Thursday for losses,
Friday for crosses,
And Saturday no luck at all.
(A similar rhyme exists for births, foretelling the fate of the child born on any particular day of the
Divination rhymes are fluid creatures, though, and this one is no exception. In other versions, a Wednesday marriage is said to foretell poverty. Thursday is usually seen as ill-favored, but every now and then a rhyme is encountered in which it is touted as lucky.
Friday is considered ill-starred for the beginning of any new venture (not just marriages), yet sometimes the influence of Freya (the Norse goddess who the day was named for) is thought to negate the bad, at least as far as marriages are concerned.
Though Saturday weddings have come to achieve an unparalled level of popularity in modern times, they were once said to presage the early demise of one of the pair.
One last word about the choice of day: Whatever date is chosen, once set it should not be altered.
The Time: It is auspicious to exchange vows while the clock's hands are rising. Therefore, weddings taking place before noon (while the clock's hour hand is rising, from the six towards the twelve) are lucky, and doubly so if the key part of the ceremony is reached while the minute hand is ascending from the half-hour towards the hour. An
The opposite is also held as true: marriages contracted while the clock hands are falling will pull in bad luck. And yes, this goes double if the hour and minute hands are diving, making, say, a
Few tie the knot after dark, which is just as well, considering the ill-luck a dark-hours wedding is said to draw to its newlyweds. To marry after dark is to foreshadow a troubled married life, children who die prematurely, or an early death for this new husband and wife.
Barbara "knight fall" Mikkelson
Last updated: 27 June 2005