lucky sweep

Traditions, customs, conventions and superstitions are usually all part of a wedding, and although most of these rituals started in times when marriage was a very different thing to what it is today, their core symbolism relates to the unification of a couple – to a 'couple' becoming one.

Furthermore, because they can still apply to 'marriage' as we know it today, they still exist, and are still followed:

  • The Eternal Bond
  • Throwing Rice
  • Carried Over the Threshold and Into the Honeymoon
  • Something Old, Something New
  • A Sixpence In Your Shoe
  • A Kiss from a Chimney Sweep

A kiss from a chimney sweep is a superstition that is increasingly recognised at weddings and originally started in England. This charming practice involves an authentic chimney sweep kissing the bride on her wedding day. The kiss is supposed to be lucky, ensuring the marriage is a happy and prosperous one. Even if a chimney sweep, or a chimney sweep's brush is seen sticking out of the top of a chimney, it is considered lucky.

The tradition of a chimney sweep bringing the bride and groom luck on their wedding day is one that goes back many years, and there are many traditions associated with sweeps. In Victorian times if coachmen and race-goers saw a chimney sweep, they would raise their hats or call out a greeting for luck.

Coal, being connected to the fire and hearth, is also a symbol of the home. During World War I, soldiers carried small lumps of coal into battle, a lucky token for survival.

By royal appointment

The tradition of chimney sweeps kissing new brides for good luck, had its origins 200 years ago... As people lined the streets of London to see King George III pass in his royal carriage, one of his horses began to gallop out of control. A chimney sweep dashed forward and single-handedly stopped the horse and carriage, saving the king. By Royal Decree, King George III proclaimed that all chimney sweeps were bearers of good luck and should be treated with respect. The folklore of a chimney sweep being lucky continues to this day.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh had a lucky chimney sweep on their wedding day in 1947, as reported in a newspaper at the time: 'Not by mere chance a sooty chimney sweep sauntered in front of Kensington Palace, on the wedding morning of Prince Phillip and Princess Elizabeth, thereby, affording the excited bridegroom an opportunity to dash out from the royal apartment, to wring his grubby hand for chimney sweep's luck.'

Another reason they are deemed lucky could be that the high mortality seen in this occupation, led to a shortage of chimney sweeps. You were therefore lucky to meet one.