Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Wedding on Wednesday?

A young couple from the 1880s. She is wearing her best dress with a little lace. Many 19th Century American women couldn't afford a wedding dress.
The wedding itself and the events leading up to the ceremony are steeped in ancient traditions still evident in Victorian customs. One of the first to influence a young girl is choosing the month and day of her wedding. June has always been the most popular month, for it is named after Juno, Roman goddess of marriage. She would bring prosperity and happiness to all who wed in her month. Practicality played a part in this logic also. If married in June, the bride was likely to birth her first child in Spring, allowing her enough time to recover before the fall harvest.
June also signified the end of Lent and the arrival of warmer weather. That meant it was time to remove winter clothing and partake in one's annual bath. April, November and December were favored also, so as not to conflict with peak farm work months. October was an auspicious month, signifying a bountiful harvest. May, however, was considered unlucky. "Marry in May and rue the day," an old proverb goes. But "Marry in September's shine, your living will be rich and fine."
In the Southern United Sates, April was favored, as it was less hot, and a bride's favorite flowers were in bloom--jasmine and camellia.
Brides were just as superstitious about days of the week. A popular rhyme goes:
Marry on Monday for health,
Tuesday for wealth,
Wednesday the best day of all,
Thursday for crosses,
Friday for losses, and
Saturday for no luck at all.
The Sabbath day was out of the question.

“Will’s man helped me plow this forenoon and we nearly finished the potato ground.  Lettie and I went to Will’s Wedding at two o’clock and I finished the plowing after we came home.  Has been a very fine day.”
Leesah

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