Well before I met my husband, an astrologer I met while touring the Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, India, predicted that I’d marry “a soft-hearted businessman who wasn’t born in the US.” Really? I asked. “Oh yes,” he replied. “If you marry an American, it will be a disaster.”
Almost two years later, on 10.10.10—a date predicted by another Indian astrologer—I wed a Nicaraguan-born businessman in not one but two ceremonies (Catholic, then Greek Orthodox) on the Greek island of Corfu.
Both events were full of rituals—those which reflected my Greek heritage and Emilio’s background, and others that just seemed useful, like burying a bottle of booze upside down at the wedding site to ensure fine weather on the day of the wedding, a tradition from the Southern United States which friends from New Orleans tipped me off to try. And each ritual made the day feel even more special and sacred, because it tied our marriage to so many other unions that came before ours.
My latest book, Lucky in Love, was born out of a desire to give other couples that same feeling—that their wedding is the most extraordinary day. I’ve always loved rituals; in fact, I majored in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University during college. One of the first things I learned there was that societies develop rituals around liminal stages, life transitions, in an attempt to recognize the importance of that moment, and also to soothe the anxiety that change always brings. (Once I buried that bottle at the Corfu Sailing Club, I was done worrying about potential rain on my outdoor party—I had done all that I possible could to influence the weather!)
Years later, while working as the Executive Editor of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, I realized that while there are as many styles of weddings as there are couples, every bride and groom, or groom and groom, or bride and bride, wants the same thing: a wedding that is unique, meaningful, and personal. This book is meant to help couples achieve just that. It’s a collection of rituals, traditions and customs from all over the world that are specifically focused on bringing luck to people getting married. As couples read it, they can choose rituals from each of their own cultural, religious or ethnic traditions, or use these customs as inspiration to develop new customs of their own. Personally, I just love seeing the rituals brought to life in gorgeous drawings by artist Emily Isabella.
As a folklorist, a weddings editor, and a bride, I firmly believe that weddings are equal parts planning and magic. There are countless other books devoted to the planning. This one brings the magic.
Here’s what people have been saying about Lucky in Love.
“Ever wonder why Southern couples bury a bottle of bourbon, or where the idea of bridesmaids comes from? Author Eleni N. Gage has the answers in her new book Lucky in Love: Traditions, Customs and Rituals to Personalize Your Wedding. This charming read pairs bespoke illustrations with a ton of info on wedding traditions. Breeze through the pages and choose a few to add extra meaning to your day.” —The Knot
FYI for the bride-to-be: Why do we wear white dresses? Eleni Gage explains this—and so much more—in Lucky in Love. —Brides
This thoughtful book by former Martha Stewart Weddings executive editor Eleni N. Gage helps you combine you and your partner’s cultures and traditions to plan a wedding (and a marriage!) that’s entirely your own.—”36 Gifts for the Girl Who Has Everything—The Bride!” on Martha Stewart Weddings
“A colorful collection of wedding-planning folklore—and a heartfelt way to wish a newly engaged friend the very best.”
—Martha Stewart Living