With the arrival of the summer season comes another season in tandem – the wedding season.
June -since ancient times
It seems that everyone knows someone who is cleaning and pressing their finest outfits in order to attend a wedding, be it local or a destination affair, throughout the summer months – most notably June. According to The Inspired Bride, nearly 11 percent of couples tie the knot in June (the least popular months, unsurprisingly, were the winter months, with January coming in dead last of the most popular months for a wedding). The month of June has been the most popular month in which to say your vows since ancient times – after all, the month takes its name from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth. The ancient Romans believed it was good luck to marry during this time in honor of Juno, a symbol of female virility and fertility. On a more practical note, some chose to marry in June so the conception of their first child could be timed for a birth that wouldn’t interrupt work on the spring harvest. That wheat won’t harvest itself, after all!
Common Reason to Marry in June
A much more common reason to marry in June: Since bathing was done with much less frequency than today (if you or your family were poor, you usually only bathed once a year), June weddings were popular in centuries past because many people took their annual bath in during that month. If you were planning on getting married soon, you knew you would smell your best around that time — regular bathing didn’t become a more common activity until the 17th century. Also, in June, fresh flowers and herbs – which the bride carried in order to cloak any potential body odor, obviously — were in season and thus more readily available.
Bouquets of Flowers
In order to convey the time of year in which their wedding took place, with the advent of photography during the Victorian era, wedding photographs became part of a tradition, and even though bathing was more common, brides were seen carrying bouquets of flowers in order to convey the time of year.
Even though June remains the most popular month in which to get married, other traditions fell out of favor as time passed. For instance, Sunday used to be the most auspicious day for weddings, according to The Farmer’s Almanac. In the 17th century, Puritans in the New World put an end to Sunday weddings, believing such celebrations to be inappropriate on the Sabbath (those Puritans just didn’t know how to have fun, did they?).
In the late 18th century — the early years of the United States — Wednesday was considered a lucky day for weddings, as it was identified in this old rhyme: Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all; Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all.
Of course, we now know that with the 40-hour work week, Saturdays have replaced Wednesdays as the most desirable day of the week on which to wed.
If your summer vacation or journey takes you to a wedding of a friend or loved one this month, consider yourself now supplied with plenty of factoids to impress your fellow wedding guests. It will make the time pass more quickly as you wait for the happy couple to cut the cake!