Choosing the Wedding Date and Time

The wedding and the events leading up to the ceremony are steeped in ancient traditions. The month and day of a bride’s wedding was considered a very important decision. Many followed this rhyme when choosing their wedding month:

Marry when the year is new, he’ll be loving, kind and true.
When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate,
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you’ll know,
Marry in April when you can, joy for maiden and for man.
Marry in the month of May, and you’ll surely rue the day.
Marty when June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go.
Those who in July do wed must labor for their daily bread.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see,
Marry in September’s shrine, your living will be rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember.
When December snows fail fast, marry and true love will last.

May was considered an unlucky month due to several Pagan traditions. Summer began in May with the festival of Baltane, which was celebrated with outdoor orgies. It was considered an unsuitable time to begin married life. In Roman times, the Feast of the Dead and the festival of the goddess of chastity both occurred in May, In the Victorian Era, this advice was taken more seriously than it is today. It is rumored that Queen Victoria forbade her children to marry in May, It was also considered inappropriate to marry during Lent, as it was a time of abstinence. Thus was born the rhyme: Marry in Lent, live to repent,

June was considered to be a lucky month to marry in because it is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of love and marriage. It was believed that getting married in June would bring prosperity and happiness to the newlyweds. June also signified the end of Lent and the arrival of warmer weather. Summer as a whole was considered a good time to marry in part due to the sun’s association with fertility. If married in June, the bride was likely to birth her first child in the Spring, allowing her enough time to recover before the fail harvest. April, November and December were also good months to get married in, since these months did not conflict with peak farm work months. October was a favorable month, signifying a bountiful harvest.

Choosing the right day was also important. Today, most weddings are held on a Saturday, but in the past, this day was considered unlucky. In fact, every day of the week had a specific meaning. In the Victorian era, the ladies would follow this rhyme when considering the day of the week for her wedding:

Monday is for wealth
Tuesday is for health
Wednesday is the best day of all
Thursday is for losses
Friday is for crosses
Saturday is for no luck at all

Friday was considered the most unlucky day to marry, while Wednesday was the best day. Sunday was once considered the most popular day to get married, as it was the only day most people were free from work. But in the seventeenth century, Puritans put a stop to this because they thought it was improper to be festive on the Sabbath.

It is considered lucky to marry when the second-hand of the clock is going up instead of going down.

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