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A Serbian Wedding Tradition Wards off Evil – And Vampires, Probably

Published Wednesday, May. 1st, 2024

Gloves of garlic placed on a white table next to a silver cross necklace
Photo: laymul / iStock

Wedding bells, bouquets, and brassieres full of garlic 


Garlic has been used medicinally for centuries as a natural anti-bacterial, and it’s even known for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 


It’s been known to fend off the unwanted advances of a bad date and even the undead… 


But did you know garlic is also used to ward off bad luck, evil spirits, and negative energy at the wedding ceremony? It’s true!


An old Serbian wedding tradition encourages the bride to stash a clove or two of garlic in her brassiere to keep bad luck at bay. 


The bride carries garlic in her bra all day long – while preparing for the ceremony, during her walk down the aisle, and even during the wedding reception! (


If that’s all it takes to keep the wedding ceremony on track, we’re on board! 


So if you’re planning a wedding ceremony, remember: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue… and a pinch of garlic for good luck. 


Just be sure to keep a scented lotion or perfume nearby so that your spouse can snuggle up close for that First Kiss photo…



A bride in a white wedding dress holds her nose with her fingers as if something smells bad. She's holding a bouquet away from her and looks displeased.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue… and a pinch of garlic for good luck. Just don't use too much!



Interested in more wedding traditions & superstitions from around the world?








This fun illustrated book includes traditions, rituals, and superstitions from all over the world, to bring true magic and a touch of luck to your wedding day! 


'Lucky in Love' is a cross-cultural collection of marriage folklore to help you create your own lucky traditions with nods to each other’s heritage, customs from places you’ve visited together, and auspicious rituals that just feel special. Whether you are just engaged or only days away from tying the knot, you’ll gain insight every step of the way. Make your own luck in love!


Written by Eleni N. Gage, an AMM Minister and former Executive Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. Illustrated by Emily Isabella. 





AMM Minister Eleni Gage and the cover of Lucky in Love




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Eastern Orthodox weddings are ornate religious ceremonies filled with symbolism, ritual, color, and candlelight. Read the full article here. 




Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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