The informant for this piece is my aunt, who worked for the Cherokee Government for several years and is still heavily involved in the organization. She grew up in Tulsa, OK, but has also lived extensively in Tahlequah, OK.
In this piece, my aunt talks about the folk belief that if it rains on your wedding day, you will have good luck in your marriage.
AJ: Have you ever heard it when we say “it’s good luck to have rain on your wedding day”?
Me: Yeah. I remember at Ashley’s wedding I heard you say that.
AJ: I don’t really remember where I heard it. I always thought it was a Cherokee saying, but I’ve heard others say it too. It’s not that hard to figure out. If it rains on your wedding day, you will have good luck in your marriage.
Me: Where did you first hear it?
AJ: I think I was really young, and one of my cousins was getting married, maybe June or Kelly, and it was raining. My mom went up and told her that it was good luck for it to rain, and that it rained on her’s and Pa’s wedding day, and they were married for over fifty years.
Me: So what about it do you like?
AJ: I think it’s a nice thing to say. Rain is usually seen as something bad, and a bride’s wedding day is the most important and happiest day of her life, and she doesn’t want to think that rain is going to ruin it. So I think it probably started when somebody said that to calm their daughter on her wedding day.
Me: Do you think it holds any value?
AJ: Well, it didn’t rain on any of my three wedding days, so I guess it has some value there! [laughs] But, it didn’t rain on your mom and dad’s wedding day.
Me: Jury’s still out on that one.
AJ: [laughs] Thirty something years of marriage and the jury’s still out.
Me: You can never be too certain.
Rain on your wedding day is something I’ve actually thought about a lot. I think my aunt is right when she says that it was probably just something told to calm a nervous bride. In life, I feel like we always see rain as something bad, even though rain is for the most part really beneficial to the Earth: it causes growth. The idea that rain on your wedding day is good luck I really like, because it’s taking something we usually see as bad and making it something else entirely. Though, now I’m worried it’s not going to rain on my wedding day, but then again, as my aunt pointed out, it did not rain on my parent’s wedding day and they’ve been married thirty plus years. There’s nothing that truly connects rain to a happy marriage, but I guess it’s still wishful thinking.