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Author Topic: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?  (Read 11238 times)

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goldilocks

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Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« on: November 10, 2014, 11:57:03 AM »
My DD wants her wedding at 5:00.   (no real reason, she just threw that out).   I seem to vaguely recall hearing that weddings are supposed to be on the half hour instead of the hour.

I don't think this is etiquette, I think it's just superstition.

anyone know about this?  Will it bring good luck?

kareng57

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2014, 12:01:32 PM »
I've never heard of it as a tradition or superstition.

I think the only wedding I've ever attended that was on the half-hour was at a very popular chapel where the weddings were scheduled pretty much back-to-back all day.

Clarin

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2014, 12:03:00 PM »
Mine was at 3pm and we've been happily married for over 19 years. So I say go for on-the-hour if you want good luck.  ;)

daen

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2014, 12:10:41 PM »
I vaguely recall hearing somewhere (perhaps in the eHell story archives) that it's lucky to be married on the "rising clock", ie as the minute hand is coming up from half-past to the hour. I've never come across it anywhere else, so I suspect that it's no longer considered important  - if it ever was.

turtleIScream

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2014, 12:19:18 PM »
My mom told me the opposite. Who knows where these superstitions come from?
Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not. - Uncle Iroh

TootsNYC

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2014, 12:52:51 PM »
I don't remember ever seeing that, back when I worked w/ wedding invites & their wording. And Prince William and Catherine Middleton married at 11am, so they certainly weren't following any such guideline.

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2014, 01:24:49 PM »
I did some looking around. There is indeed a "rising clock" superstition. It can take two forms. One is that a wedding should be held before noon; the other that the wedding should start after the half hour. Putting both together is sometimes considered particularly auspicious.

In England, until late in the 19th Century, weddings had to be held before noon, sometimes specifically between 8 AM and noon. At various times this was in law or in Canon (Church) law, or just in custom..

Various reasons are given for it. One is that the couple were supposed to be fasting until the wedding. Another is prevention of "clandestine weddings." A wedding should be in public, and, for some reason a morning wedding made that easier. (A clandestine wedding was not necessarily a runaway couple. It could be a marriage by force, or the family wanted to hide the fact that a child was marrying someone socially inferior. Anther issue was that a couple could claim that hey had been married privately, when in fact they were liking in sin. Should the husband die, the wife & children would have no claim on his estate & the community would have to support them. Or the wife could run off & marry someone else.)

Nutrax
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EllenS

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2014, 01:33:06 PM »
I did some looking around. There is indeed a "rising clock" superstition. It can take two forms. One is that a wedding should be held before noon; the other that the wedding should start after the half hour. Putting both together is sometimes considered particularly auspicious.

In England, until late in the 19th Century, weddings had to be held before noon, sometimes specifically between 8 AM and noon. At various times this was in law or in Canon (Church) law, or just in custom..

Various reasons are given for it. One is that the couple were supposed to be fasting until the wedding. Another is prevention of "clandestine weddings." A wedding should be in public, and, for some reason a morning wedding made that easier. (A clandestine wedding was not necessarily a runaway couple. It could be a marriage by force, or the family wanted to hide the fact that a child was marrying someone socially inferior. Anther issue was that a couple could claim that hey had been married privately, when in fact they were liking in sin. Should the husband die, the wife & children would have no claim on his estate & the community would have to support them. Or the wife could run off & marry someone else.)

Wow, I never heard of that.

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2014, 01:38:59 PM »
Quote
when in fact they were liking in sin

Oh, dear. I do hope most such weddings were based on loving, not liking. I meant living in sin.

That "before noon" thing is why Lydia Bennet is worried that she might not get married to Mr. Wicjkham on the appointed day, as the wedding was scheduled for 11, but her uncle was called away at he last minute
Quote
upon business to that horrid man, Mr. Stone. And then, you know, when once they get together, there is no end of it. Well, I was so frightened, I did not know what to do; for my uncle was to give me away; and if we were beyond the hour we could not be married all day.

Nutrax
The plural of anecdote is not data

ladyknight1

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2014, 02:09:50 PM »
Our wedding started at 4 PM and we are going strong 17 years later. I've never heard of a wedding on the half hour.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

gellchom

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2014, 02:44:24 PM »
My husband has been a clergyman at the same congregation for 32+ years.  A few years ago, a MOB was freaking out because the wedding couldn't be started any earlier than quarter-til-something for some reason, and he was delayed a bit and she was afraid they would not be able to start before the hour, as it would be unlucky if the minute hand wasn't rising, and she kicked up a fuss.  That was the first time in all these years that I'd even heard of that superstition, although my husband tells me that most people in our congregation have heard of it, so they usually just assume 5:30, 6:30, or 7:30 for start times, depending on the day and the season.

Some superstitions can be fun, but to take them seriously, especially enough to freak out about it, to me seems foolish.   I lost a little respect for that MOB, who I had always considered quite sensible.

And this is an especially silly superstition, in my opinion.  Clocks could just as easily have the 12 at the bottom or side anyway, right?  And how long in the whole history of marriage have there even been clocks with minute hands?  Not until the late 16th century, and even then not world wide.

(Fun fact I learned when googling the history of the minute hand: it was invented in 1577 for the astronomer Tycho Brahe, who needed a more precise clock than was available.  So much for anything to do with weddings.)

I bet you could just declare anything "good luck" or "bad luck" and some people would start following it.  No on ever seems to ask why or how.

The only wedding superstition I can think of that might have some basis is the couple not seeing each other before the ceremony -- but the bad luck to be avoided would be avoiding having two nervous people quarrel, not anything superstitious! Still not worth having to waste reception time taking photos instead of doing them before the ceremony, IMO.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 03:02:59 PM by gellchom »

Margo

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 03:09:20 PM »
I did some looking around. There is indeed a "rising clock" superstition. It can take two forms. One is that a wedding should be held before noon; the other that the wedding should start after the half hour. Putting both together is sometimes considered particularly auspicious.

In England, until late in the 19th Century, weddings had to be held before noon, sometimes specifically between 8 AM and noon. At various times this was in law or in Canon (Church) law, or just in custom..

Various reasons are given for it. One is that the couple were supposed to be fasting until the wedding. Another is prevention of "clandestine weddings." A wedding should be in public, and, for some reason a morning wedding made that easier. (A clandestine wedding was not necessarily a runaway couple. It could be a marriage by force, or the family wanted to hide the fact that a child was marrying someone socially inferior. Anther issue was that a couple could claim that hey had been married privately, when in fact they were liking in sin. Should the husband die, the wife & children would have no claim on his estate & the community would have to support them. Or the wife could run off & marry someone else.)

Wow, I never heard of that.
It was Lord Harwicke's Marriage Act of 1754 (I think - may have the date slightly wrong!) which set the requirements for weddings in England to take place in a (Church of England) Church  (or Synagogue or Friends Meeting House), between 8a.m. and 12 noon and required the reading of Banns or a special licence from a Bishop.  It was primarily a financial issue  - on marriage, a woman's property became that of her husband, (hence the need for formal trusts and marriage settlements for upper class / wealthy women) so could be very tempting for fortune hunters (see Mr Wickham and Georgiana Darcy).

 As well as imposing rules about where and when weddings could be celebrated, the Act also imposed a requirement that anyone under 21 had the consent of their parent or guardian in order for the marriage to be valid, although of course once it had been consummated the father of the bride would be very unlikely to try to set it aside -better married to a wastrel than unmarried and 'defiled'!

The law didn't apply in Scotland, which is why Gretna Green became a popular destination - it was one of the closest villages to the border.

Up until 2012, weddings here could only be conducted between  8a.m. and 6 p.m.

nuit93

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 04:59:40 PM »
I hope not, since I'll likely be starting mine on the hour.

kglory

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2015, 03:31:13 AM »
Quote
when in fact they were liking in sin

Oh, dear. I do hope most such weddings were based on loving, not liking. I meant living in sin.

That "before noon" thing is why Lydia Bennet is worried that she might not get married to Mr. Wicjkham on the appointed day, as the wedding was scheduled for 11, but her uncle was called away at he last minute
Quote
upon business to that horrid man, Mr. Stone. And then, you know, when once they get together, there is no end of it. Well, I was so frightened, I did not know what to do; for my uncle was to give me away; and if we were beyond the hour we could not be married all day.

Fascinating!  I've read P&P many times and never really noticed that part.  Good to learn!

Venus193

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Re: Is the wedding supposed to start on the half hour?
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2015, 09:50:37 AM »
Wow; you learn something new every day.