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Wedding Traditions and Superstitions


Wedding Rituals
Leap Year Proposals
On 29th of February each leap year a woman may traditionally upset the norm and propose to a man. This ritual dates back to times when the leap year day had no recognition in English law (the day was 'leapt over' and ignored, hence the term 'leap year'). As the day had no legal status, it was reasonable to assume that traditions also had no status. Consequently, women who were concerned about being 'left on the shelf' took advantage of this freedom and proposed to the man they wished to marry.
Lore cites however that a woman should only propose to a man during a leap year, otherwise it endangers the marriage.     

Toasting
Toasting comes from an ancient French custom of placing bread in the bottom of the glass - a good toaster drained the drink to get the "toast." Bread symbolised prosperity and offering ‘toast’ in a glass became symbolic of offering good wishes and prosperity.

Wedding Bells
The ringing of bells in olden times informed all locals within a town that a wedding had just finished. The noise of the bells was also thought to scare away evil spirits. Similarly, any loud noises were said to chase away evil spirits, and during the ceremony, the guests would make  noises to keep the spirits away. That is why today it's traditional that the bridal party honk their car horns while leaving the ceremony.

Bridal Marches
The traditional church wedding features two bridal marches, by two different classical composers. The bride walks down the aisle to the majestic, moderately paced music of the "Bridal Chorus" from Richard Wagner's 1848 opera "Lohengrin. The newlyweds exit to the more jubilant, upbeat strains of the "Wedding March" (From Felix Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream.")

Showering the Newlyweds
The throwing of rice (or birdseed or confetti) on the couple as they leave the church has always been symbolic of wishing them fertility, prosperity and good luck. Flower girls also drop petals as they walk down the aisle is to ensure the new couple will have many chances to have children
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