The choice of date for a wedding was very important. In ancient Rome May was thought unlucky because this was the month for remembering the dead and for the festival of the goddess of chastity, while June was said to guarantee happiness because the month was named after Juno, the goddess of love and marriage. Summer months were generally seen as a good time to marry. This was when the land was at its most fertile and the sun brought crops and fruit to harvest. In Scotland, brides used to walk with the sun from east to west on the southern side of the church and then carry on walking three times around the church. This was said to transfer some of the sun’s powerful qualities to the bride.


Married when the year is new, always loving, kind and true. When February birds do mate, you may 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 the maiden and for the man. But marry in the month of May and you’ll surely rue the day. Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go. They who in July do wed, must labour always for their bread. Whoever wed in August be, many a change will surely see. Marry in September’s shine, 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 fall fast, marry and true love will last. Traditional rhyme


The day chosen for a wedding was considered just as important. Today, the most popular day is Saturday, but this was not always so. A traditional rhyme favoured the beginning of the week. Married on Monday, you’ll have good health. Married on Tuesday, you marry for wealth.
Married on Wednesday, the best day of all.
Married on Thursday, the bride will suffer losses.
Married on Friday, the bride will bear crosses.
Married on Saturday, for no luck at all.
Traditional rhyme


Every four years, on 29 February, leap year day, women may make
the marriage proposal. This custom dates back to the time when this
date was not recognised by English law. Being a non-day, the usual
rules of society did not apply, and so a woman was free to ask the
man to marry her instead of waiting for him to propose. To marry at
any time during a leap year was considered auspicious. An AngloSaxon
rhyme says:
Happy they’ll be that wed and wive
Within Leap Year; they’re sure to thrive.

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