Fact Check

Wedding Bells

A discussion of lore and superstition surrounding the ringing of church bells at weddings.

Published May 24, 2000

Superstition:   The lore and symbolism surrounding the ringing of church bells at weddings.

Origins:   A strange booming sound is

Ready for wed

sometimes heard from church bells that no human hand has touched. This is considered an evil sign at any time (some say it signifies a death in the parish within the week), but is especially ominous if it occurs during a wedding ceremony. An early death will befall either the bride or the groom, it is said.

The normal ringing of the church bells at the conclusion of the ceremony is yet another way a couple's good fortune is secured. The noise of the bells is said to drive away evil spirits, so ring 'em hard!

Barbara "quasi mojo" Mikkelson

Last updated:   27 June 2005


  Sources Sources:

    Hole, Christina.   The Encyclopedia of Superstitions.

    New York: Barnes & Noble, 1996.   ISBN 0-76070-228-4.

    Opie, Iona and Moira Tatem.   A Dictionary of Superstitions.

    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.   ISBN 0-19-282-916-5.

    Pickering, David.   Dictionary of Superstitions.

    London: Cassell, 1995.   ISBN 0-304-345350.

    Tuleja, Tad.   Curious Customs.

    New York: Harmony Books, 1987.   ISBN 0-517-56654-0.