If April showers bring May flowers, that would make it an ideal month to get married in, right? Not according to wedding superstition.
The adage goes: “Marry in May, rue the day,” and its origins date back to Ancient Rome.
“It was considered a bad omen to marry in May back in Roman times because May was the month of the Feast of the Dead, and three days of that month were devoted to cleansing the evil dead spirits,” Stephanie Coontz, a history and family studies professor at The Evergreen State College, and author of Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage, told Global News.
It seems that society frowned upon couples seeking to get married, thus making their union unlucky, at this time of year because they were meant to be paying homage to the deceased.
“In addition, May was also the festival of the Goddess of Chastity, which may also have made the celebration of sexuality unseemly or unlucky,” Coontz says.
Another text that dates back to 1840s France supports this idea. It states: “The month of May is also in the Black Mountain a month altogether rejected by the young girls who are betrothed; and they frankly say upon the subject, that it is not suitable to marry at a period when the asses are amorous.”
In other words, it’s unsavoury to marry when the animals are mating.
But May isn’t just an unlucky month for marriage, it also extends to family life. According to British lore, children born in May will fall ill at birth, and cats born during the month will be ineffective rodent killers and will bring snakes into the house. The Brits also believe that May 3, 5, 7, 13, 15 and 20 are unlucky days. So, the logic would go that you should avoid getting married on any of those dates.
But much like any superstition, we’ve largely grown to ignore them — especially when a wedding is at stake and May is the only month when your dream venue is available. Thankfully, according to The Knot, the only day in May you should try not to schedule a wedding on is Mother’s Day.
“Make sure your moms are OK sharing this weekend with your wedding,” the website says. “And ask yourself: Do you want your anniversary to fall on the same weekend as Mother’s Day if or when you become a mom?”