Wedding Traditions

The Groom Must Not See His Bride

Tradition holds that the groom must not lay eyes on the bride the day of the ceremony until they meet at the altar. The superstition is that this can bring the couple bad luck, since they have glimpsed the future before it has happened. Reaching even further back into tradition, because most marriages were arranged by family members, the newlyweds were very rarely allowed to see each other. Family members that exchanged a dowry (property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their wedding day) feared that if the groom was not attracted to the bride, he may refuse to marry her. This is also why brides were "given away" by their father to the groom at the actual ceremony. Most all grooms saw their brides for the first time upon lifting her veil just prior to the ceremony.