Thank goodness we have marriage counselors now. The ancient Romans did not, unfortunately, and relied on a grisly method of determining how long the marriage would last.
A fortuneteller would have the very unenviable task of examining pig intestines to determine the course and fate of a marriage. You might wonder how would the insides of a pig help them make their predictions, but we say the fewer questions asked about this one, the better.
A Spider in Your Wedding Dress
Brides who are scared of spiders may want to skip this one. English folklore has a curious superstition about a certain eight-legged individual crawling over the wedding dress.
In traditional English superstition, a spider hiding in a wedding dress is considered an omen of good fortune. While the roots of this belief are a tad unclear, we feel like it's a safe bet to assume it was started by someone who liked seeing brides scream in horror. Not cool! Still, it is thought that the spider symbolizes “weaving new worlds.”
A Two Day Dowry Ceremony
The giving of lobola is a tradition still widely practiced in southern Africa. Best translated as “dowry,” lobola involves the groom and his family paying a substantial form of capital to his intended bride’s parents. The capital is frequently either cash or cattle.
The giving of lobola is not a simple transaction, it's a ceremony that starts on Friday and ends on Sunday. It is usually held at the bride’s parental home. Lobola similarly symbolizes the groom’s ability and commitment to providing.
Snipping the Groom's Socks
When putting his socks on, a Danish groom might not care if his socks have holes because they will certainly have them by the end of the ceremony! Guests grab the hapless groom once his vows have been said and hoist him up.
A designated guest (the soberest one, we hope) then has the task of snipping off the toes of the sock. This very quirky tradition is meant to give the wife her first task – fixing her husband’s socks!
Jumping the Broom
Out with the old, in with the new is the ethos behind this particular wedding tradition. The tradition of a newlywed couple jumping over a broom is understood to have originated in West Africa and has seen a revival in modern-day America.
A wedding guest will place a broom in front of a couple after their vows. The couple is then expected to hold hands and leap over the broom together with the broom symbolizing sweeping out “the old.”