American Wedding Traditions

Some of these traditions may occur in your country too.  Read and find out how similar our cultures are.

When a couple gets married the bride needs to wear for good luck:
something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue.

On the day of the wedding, it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding ceremony.

As the bride walks down the aisle to her groom, her face is covered by a veil. It is then lifted (usually by her father).  This symbolizes her freedom from her parents and the beginning of her new life.

After the wedding ceremony, as the couple leaves the church or after the reception as the couple leaves,  the guests toss rice at them.  It is a way to wish them well. However, it was found that then birds would eat the rice and it was not good for them to eat the rice. So now, the guests usually blow bubbles at the couple to signify well wishes.

After the wedding, during the reception, all of the single women gather around the bride.  Then, she throws the wedding bouquet and someone catches it.  It is said that whoever catches it will be the next to be married.  I caught one when I was 19 years old, but I didn’t get married until many years later.  So,  I’m thinking this isn’t true.

Good Luck!

These are symbols of luck in the United States.  Post a comment about things that bring luck in your country.

Four leaf clover – If you find a 4 leaf clover in a clover patch, then you will have very good luck.  Usually they are only 3 leaf clovers. The 4 leaves represent fame, wealth, love and health! 

Rabbit’s foot  – To carry a rabbit’s foot is good luck. I had one as a child, I sure do hope it was fake, because to me carrying a foot around is kind of gross.  

Break a leg –  This is something you say to an actor/actress right before they perform.  It’s believed if you say this, then the opposite will occur – good luck.  If you say ‘good luck’ to an actor before a performance, then something bad will happen to them. 

Crossing your fingers – Many believe that if you cross your fingers it will bring you good luck. Also, sometimes people cross their fingers if they are lying. It’s almost as if it is okay to lie if you cross your fingers.

Pinch, poke, you owe me a Coke!

Pinch, poke, you owe me a coke. 

Have you ever heard that phrase?  It’s a silly thing some kids say (and some adults too), when two people say the exact same thing at the same time.

For example:

Person A and person B both say at the same time: “Glee is my favorite TV show.”

Then, Person A (or B) will quickly say, “Pinch, poke, you owe me a coke.” 

Sometimes with kids there might be a little pinching or poking, but nothing serious.  And rarely does anyone ever really get a free coke. 🙂

Getting up on the wrong side of the bed

This is an expression you might say to someone in the morning if that person is grumpy or in a bad mood.  However, they might not appreciate your comment if they are in an exceptionally bad mood, so beware!

Here’s a sample short dialog: 

Cathy – I hate today.  I spilled coffee all over my shoes and I just want to go home.

Penny – Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? 

Cathy – Yeah, that about sums it up.

Trick or Treat!

“Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat.”  This is a little rhyme that some kids say when they knock on someone’s door to get candy on October 31st – Halloween.  Most kids simply say, “Trick or Treat” though.  Luckily the people at the houses usually just hand out treats and usually do not play any tricks.

Last year, I took my kids out trick or treating for almost 3 hours.  We walked all over our neighborhood, knocking on doors where the lights were on.   If the lights are not on at the house,  then we didn’t go to them because this is a sign that the people at the house are not giving away candy.

Lots of churches and communities also have  Halloween festivals either held on October 30th or October 31st. There are cake wheels, where you can place you money on a number and then the wheel is spun.  If the wheel lands on your number, then you win a home made cake.  There are also costume contests and lots of other games to play.

Carving a Jack o’ lantern is one of my favorite activities.   Since I live in a warm climate, we carve them on October 30th or 31st because they get rotten fast!  Up North, when we lived in Canada,  we carved them much earlier and kept them lit at night for a few weeks.

This year my youngest son will dress up as a tiger, my oldest son will be Luke Skywalker from Star Wars.  My daughter will dress up as a black cat.  They each decided what they wanted to be and of course they are all very excited!