Thursday, August 16, 2012

Young Brides, Old Wives Tales ~Tanya Hanson

Thirty eight years ago this very week, I was a bride. I recall having several of those girly occasions called bridal showers. This womanly gathering owe owes its roots to a Dutch maiden three hundred years ago whose wealthy papa pooh-poohed her marital choice of a lowly miller. His refusal of a dowry had her friends and neighbors “shower” her with enough household goods to start life with her true love.

In the 1890’s, gifts for the bride were actually placed into a Japanese parasol which was later opened over her head. Hopefully there wasn’t a cast iron frying pan or meat cleaver knife in there. 
 (This pic is my friends and me, lower right, at my July 1974 shower. Talk about a vintage photograph!)   

Bridesmaids  (not the movie LOL!!) got their got their start during the bride-stealing days of the Anglo-Saxons. The gaggle of lovelies usually dressed identical to the bride even to their veils to confuse marauders and act as decoys. Later, the flock of bridesmaids was believed to ward off evil spirits who might curse the happy couple.

In the good ole days of bride-stealing and kidnapping, the groom of course had to surround himself with pals ready to assist in abducting his woman. Sometimes the “groomsmen” snatched brides of their own from the herd of bridesmaids. Romantic? Can't decide if there's a historical romance plot in there somewhere. WDYT?

Here are some helpful proverbs for any superstitious brides out there.

    1. If you find a spider on your wedding gown, you’ll come into money. 
    2. If you see a flock of birds, your marriage will be blessed with fertility. 
    3. If it snows on your wedding day, you’ll be wealthy.
    4. If the sun is out, you’ll be happy.
    5. If you marry as the hands of the clock move up (after the half hour), you’ll have good fortune. 
    6. If you drop the ring during the ceremony, it’s best to start the whole thing over. 
    7. If you look in the mirror before walking down the aisle, you’ll leave a part of yourself behind. 
    8.  If you cry on your wedding day, especially before the kiss, you’ll prevent tears during the marriage. 

Well, as I leave you with these pearls of wisdom, I can positively say that I did not cry on my wedding day, and Hubby and I are still going strong. It did not snow, and while we’re never been wealthy, we’ve never been in want. The sun shined bright, though, so that adage works. And of course I looked in the mirror. If any part of me got left behind, I haven’t missed it!

Love to all,
~Tanya Hanson


  1. How sweet. Congratulations on your anniversary. It sounds to me like you have a keeper. I was lucky, too. It will be 44 years for us this December.

    May you have many more years together, Tanya.

  2. Thanks, Paisley. Sometimes I can't believe it's been this long, although it never seems like an ordeal. He's a great friend as well as hubby, dad, provider. But I look at these old pictures and think, who is this old lady who stares back at me from the mirror. Sheesh. xoxox

  3. Tanya, what a sweet post. Happy anniversary! Hearing good stories makes me smile. I also have a terrific husband. Aren't we lucky?

  4. Hi Caroline, oh yes how lucky we are! I nearly lost him to cancer, so he's even more special. Add with two grandbabies now, life so rocks. God is so good.

  5. Tanya--how sweet and wonderful. I loved the proverbs about brides. All the good things happened to us on our wedding day also--and after lo, these many decades, we're still handing in there. Marriage requires growing and changing. Sometimes that's good, and sometimes one or the other will need to change also, grow, or accept. It's a back and forth, give and take..
    Me, too, on the great husband bit. I asked him many years ago why he asked me to marry him--he had dated prettier girls with more bubbly personalities. His answer? Because I knew you were honest.
    Romantic? But endearing? Yep. He's a man of few words--that was about as good as it gets.

  6. Love those wive's tales! I agree I didn't shed a tear and I looked in the mirror and we've been going strong for 34 years and I've never looked back or regretted a thing! Fun post!

  7. Hi Celia, you made me laugh! Dear as he is, my hubby is about as romantic as a rock. But he has had his moments. Truth is, he was the high school football team captain/boyfriend of the head cheerleader-Homecoming Queen, and I was a DORK. But after college, we just connected. Thanks the post.

  8. Hi Paty, it's fun how wives tales, adages, and folk lore get started. They're sure fun details for our books. though. Thanks for dropping by.


Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West! We are very sad to require comment moderation now due to the actions of a few spam comments. Thank you for your patience.