Gettin’ hitched, Ozarks style

Wes Franklin
Guest Columnist

A lot of folks get married in the summertime for some  reason. 

I reckon it’s because there’s a better chance of nice weather. The thing is, if judged by sunshine and thermometers, it’s TOO nice. I guess that’s fine if it’s an indoor wedding. But it seems like there is a part of about every wedding that has an outdoor element to it, be it for photos or whatever. And that means sweating in your fancy duds, and that is not something I particularly enjoy.

 ‘Course, I’m not trying to be dour about it, and this is mostly tongue in cheek. I wish everybody a lifetime of happiness no matter when they tie the knot. 

That being said, since so many folks are undoubtably getting hitched this summer, here are some Ozark sayings related to weddings, courtesy of the late great folklorist Vance Randolph. 

January is a good month to get married in. “Marry when the year is new, your mate will be constant, kind, and true”, goes one saying. May is supposed to be the worst month, for whatever reason. 

It is bad luck to get married in rainy or snowy weather. “Happy is the bride that the sun shines on.” To go further with that, the weather on the wedding day predicts the entire marriage. Sunny in the morning and rainy or cloudy in the afternoon means the first part of the marriage will be happy, but later on not so much. Or vice versa. 

Never postpone the wedding date, or it’s an ill sign. Set a date and stick with it. 

Never buy a used wedding ring, for what should be obvious reasons. Now, if it’s a family ring, that may be different, depending on how happy the person’s marriage was. Once the ring is on the bride’s finger, she must not take it off even once for seven years. 

The bride must never marry in red (especially), green, yellow, gray, or black. White is the very best color for a wedding dress as far as luck goes, but brown or blue are OK. 

Once the bride is fully dressed for the ceremony she must not look at herself in the mirror. The key word is “fully.” Ozark brides used to leave a last little ribbon or trinket or article for last to get around this superstition. 

At the ceremony, the bride and groom need to stand with their feet parallel to the cracks in the wood floor, if applicable. 

After the vows are complete, and the preacher declares the couple are man and wife, it is important the bride step off with her right foot when going back down the aisle and officially starting her married life. 

After the ceremony, reception, and little honeymoon are over, and the bride and groom settle into their married life they need to use an old coffee pot for awhile and not a brand new one. 

The groom needs to wear his wedding clothes here and there for some time after the marriage, even if it’s just at home, for luck. The bride has no such rule, except she must never sell her wedding dress. She can, however, give it to someone else, such as a sister or daughter.