Wedding superstitions listening and reading

Wedding superstitions questions

Do you believe in superstitions?

What do the wedding superstitions below mean? Are they good or bad luck?

  • wearing a veil
  • rain on the wedding day
  • breaking glass
  • carrying the bride over the threshold
  • spider on the wedding dress
  • crossing a nun or monk’s path

Key listening vocabulary

woman writing
Photo by Kaboompics .com on

Set the date for the wedding

a group of people at the office by a table
Photo by fauxels on

Can I borrow your pen for a moment?

Bride and groom are people who get married

Wedding superstitions listening exercises

Listen. Mark and Lesley are going to get married. Complete the superstitions they discuss.

Wedding superstitions

audio from Speak now 3 Lesson 27

  1. The bride should wear something old, something new, something ___, something ___.
  2. It’s __ for the groom to see the bride in her wedding __ before the ceremony.
  3. It’s OK for the bride to look in the __ before she __ for the ceremony.
  4. It’s very unlucky to get married on __ the __.

Listen again. Which superstitions does Mark believe in? What about Lesley?

Reading exercise

Read the e-mail below.

Hi Laura,
I’m really excited that you can come to my sister’s wedding. It will be so much fun, Weddings in India are a little different from American weddings. There are many rituals. One ritual is mehndi. All of the females in my family, and my sister’s friends, will come over for a party. As the bride, my sister will first get turmeric paste put on her face, feet, and hands. (Do you use turmeric in the U.S.? It is an orange spice.) Then a special artist comes and draws a complicated design in henna on the bride’s hands, arms, feet, and legs. The henna dye will come off in a few weeks. According to tradition, the bride doesn’t have to work in her new home until the henna fades away.
Of course, after the ceremony there will be another big party and we’ll have a lot of food. You will also get to see some Indian dances while you are here. You can wear Western clothes, but I can also give you a sari if you want to dress Indian-style.

Choose the correct word or phrase to complete the sentences.

  1. Meera is from the United States /India.
  2. Her sister/ brother is getting married.
  3. Mehndi is a wedding /ritual.
  4. Henna/ Turmeric is an orange spice.
  5. The design is drawn on the bride’s face/ hands
  6. As long as you can see the henna, the bride/ groom doesn’t have to work.

The text and the exercise are from Speak now 3 Workbook

Learn more wedding vocabulary with a video exercise!

Elementary English Wedding plans Full text

Korean wedding pre-intermediate

Text and quiz

Additional listening and reading about wedding superstitions

The text is below

How to understand the origins of wedding superstitions.

Many marriage rituals are meant to offer luck to the happy couple, while others are meant to protect them from spirits who may wish them a not so happy future. You will need engagement and wedding rings, a vail, bridesmaids, a kiss and a strong husband. Optional something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and herbs.

Step 1. Wear the engagement and wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand.

In the past, that finger was believed to be a direct connection to the heart. Brides wear something old as a connection to the past combined with something new for the future. Something borrowed from a happy bride would ensure good luck, while something blue symbolizes faithfulness fidelity and good luck and wards off evil spirits to boot.

Step 2. Disguise the bride with a veil.

Ancient Roman and Greek Brides wore veils as protection from evil spirits that sought to harm them because they were envious of happy people. Put herbs in your bridal bouquet. In ancient times bouquets were a mixture of flowers and herbs because strong smelling herbs would ward off evil spirits, bad luck, and ill health.

Happy bride

Step 3. Confuse the spirits with decoy bridesmaids.

In the past bridesmaids wore dresses similar to the bride in order to confuse any nearby evil spirits who wish to harm the bride.

Step 4. Seal your love with a kiss.

During Roman times all legal contracts were sealed with a kiss. Not only is the kiss a symbol of the bride and groom’s love it also denotes their agreement to enter into a lifelong contract.

Step 5. Carry the bride across the threshold.

In ancient times, it was considered unlucky if the bride were to trip while crossing into her new home, or enter with her left foot so her new husband gets the honor of carrying her through the doorway.

Follow these superstitions and enjoy a happy marriage. Did you know England’s Queen Victoria married in a white gown in 1840 and originated the Western tradition that has last to this day before then brides simply wore their best dress.

Key wedding superstitions vocabulary

Wearing a veil brings good luck
Carrying the bride over the threshold is considered lucky
It is considered unlucky if a bride crosses a nun or monk’s path
Set the date for the wedding
The bride should wear something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
something blue symbolizes faithfulness fidelity and good luck
marriage rituals are meant to offer luck
agreement to enter into a lifelong contract
to follow these superstitions

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