The tradition of the June bride…
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
It is often said that June is the most popular month to marry, and this is currently holding true for me, as many of my enquiries are for the same weekends in June 2020. So if you are yet to book your celebrant for that month next year, you need to get a wriggle on!
It got me wondering why June is such a popular month…. And the most obvious reason is the weather, with June supposedly the driest month of the year. Sadly I fear that may not be the case for 2019, when we are expecting our monthly rainfall all in one week here in Cornwall! Yet thinking back to this time last year, we were definitely in the grip of a heatwave – which is hard to believe right now when the rain is horizontal and the wind is howling…
But back to June weddings: the month of June unsurprisingly derives its name from the Roman goddess, Juno. But did you know she was the protector of women, and considered the equivalent of Hera, the Greek goddess of love and marriage? So 2000 years ago a wedding in June was considered particularly good luck, and those who married in Juno’s month hoped they would be protected and watched over by her.
Then there’s the Celtic calendar: the first day of May marked Beltane, which we know as May Day, and it was celebrated with feasts, fairs and courtship rituals. Young couples would pair up and many would marry on or around the next important event in the calendar, the summer solstice. Thus June became a popular month to wed, although the Celts believed any of the ‘light’ months (May through to August) were good months for a marriage ceremony.
On a more practical note, June used to mark the first harvestable food of the year, which could be served fresh at a feast. Plus if a bride married in June, she was more likely to give birth to her first child the following spring or summer, meaning she would still be fit and healthy enough to help with the all-important autumn harvest, and have enough time to recover from childbirth before the next big harvest.
And of course if you believe everything you read, you might have heard that June was a popular month for marriage in the middle ages because it was the month after everyone would take their annual bath! So the bridal party and all their guests would be sweeter smelling, and of course, a posy of fragrant herbs and flowers would aid the aroma (but that’s another tradition altogether!).
Anyway - congratulations to those of you marrying this June and planning weddings for next June. And to quote a Celtic blessing:
May the sun shine all day long, everything go right and nothing wrong. May those you love bring love back to you, and may all the wishes you wish come true.