Why do people tie old shoes and cans on the back of newlyweds' cars?

@tammyr (5945)
United States
June 9, 2008 2:46pm CST
This is an old tradition that lots of people partake in, but do we know why? I know it makes a lot of noise so everyone will look at them as they travel to where they are going, but I'd like to know where the tradition came from. Where did it start? WHY??? Also are there any other wedding traditions that you have in your family? What are they?
5 people like this
15 responses
@jillhill (37358)
• United States
9 Jun 08
I wonder why too.....and I remember a time when they used to write just married all over the car with shaving cream...and it took the finish off a few! I think that tradition as calmed down....In my family though we have a tradition that when there is a wedding all the aunts sing....going to the chapel! LOL....it embarasses almost everyone...even though we aren't half bad! LOL
4 people like this
@GardenGerty (70656)
• Marion, Kansas
9 Jun 08
In my first in law family the bride's brother had my husband's brother pulled over on the way to the reception, and they had secretly stolen his wallet. He got put into a squad car and handcuffed. (The guy had connections, he was a small town firefighter, and got the cops to join in the "fun"). It really hurt the bride's feelings that the joke went so far. She had thought they were just supposed to pull him over, then say, "congratulations" and send him on his way. Boy was she MAD.
3 people like this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
9 Jun 08
My cousin got married and they put shaving creme on the car. Her new hubby was FURIOUS!!! I was working at a detail shop at the time and offered to clean up the car and re-wax it for them for free, but I think he just wanted something to rant over because they never did come in.
3 people like this
@jillhill (37358)
• United States
9 Jun 08
I don't blame her.....I would be mad too!
3 people like this
@Valenas (1510)
• United States
9 Jun 08
Perhaps the shoes tie into the phrase "Walk in someone else's shoes." In that phrase, shoes represent life. The old shoes, may then, represent their old life, the one before they were married. They might tie it on the back of the car as a way of putting their old life behind them. I am not sure of the can's use. Maybe it is to attract attention? "Hey, look at me, I am married now, and I am starting a new life."
4 people like this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
10 Jun 08
That is a good reason! There is a link down there VVVV if you want to find the reasons behind any traditions in weddings. I still haven't found where the cans come in though.
1 person likes this
@weemam (13389)
9 Jun 08
I don't know pal , but it would nice to find out , Maybe it's because we are always skint after a wedding and we maybe can't afford NEW shoes :) xx
3 people like this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
10 Jun 08
LOL That is a great reason!! I know weddings can be expensive, even if it is a small tado!
3 people like this
@weemam (13389)
10 Jun 08
See!! and you thought I was daft lol :) :) xx
1 person likes this
10 Jun 08
I think it's for attention. Well you driving down the road rattling in the back. You pass some elders and say whoopie we just got married. and show off. and try and get as much attention due to your sudden marriage. Which will most likey fail in the next 5 months Heh -Sound
3 people like this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
11 Jun 08
It is sad but true. Many people today get married and divorced like it is nothing!!
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48830)
• United Kingdom
9 Jun 08
Lol Tammy I really do not know where it came from The Tradition in my Family is which I will not follow lol the Bride gets Kidnapped and the Groom has to find her I really do not know where these have all come from lol
3 people like this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Angel gave a great link with customs and the origins. I have heard of people kidnapping one or the other of the newlyweds. I think they said it originated in Greece, but I may be wrong.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (70656)
• Marion, Kansas
9 Jun 08
I do not know if that is part of the tradition of chivaree or not. When my daughter married, her new husband put her in the wheel barrow and wheeled her around the block. I think my brother looked that one up for me and he said it meant that no matter what it took that Jason would take care of Samantha, even if he had to carry her, or push her in a wheel barrow.(Old European, even if they could not afford a horse.)I had thought it was just to embarrass her so to speak. He said he did not know why, but his family always did it, and he was the youngest of five siblings.
3 people like this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
10 Jun 08
What a sweet tradition! I wouldn't be embarrassed at all! I think it is great that he did it in the spirit of family tradition!
2 people like this
• United States
9 Jun 08
I have always heard that leather was used on the back of carriages to ward off evil. Here is a link on certain wedding traditions if you want to check it out. It gives a different reason for shows however. http://www.hbs-e.com/wedding_album/wedding_customs_1.htm I also have always heard that the noise that cans make would ward off evil spirits from the newly wedded.... LMAO I cannot find a straight answer to this question though as every page I look at has a different version.
2 people like this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
11 Jun 08
LOL I can't see you being that mean!! LOL I do search when I want an answer to something like this, but I thought it would be more fun to get others thoughts on the tradition. I also want some other traditions from around the world. I got everything I wanted and then some! Thanks again for the link, it is a great one!
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
10 Jun 08
I like this reason that I got from the link you gave: "The best known, which is still upheld, is to tie shoes to the back of the newlyweds' car. This has evolved from the Tudor custom where guests would throw shoes at the newlywed couple. It was considered lucky if they or their carriage were hit."
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Thanks for the link. I will go check it out! I am sure it will be woth taking a look at! (I really started this because I am too lazy to do a search!) I guess there are as many reason behind each tradition as there are traditions, eh?
2 people like this
@lexus54 (3577)
• Singapore
10 Jun 08
I don't know about the shoes, but my guess is that the cans are tied to the car to create a lot of noise and attract attention when the bridal car travels along the streets. It's probably a way of announcing that the couple is now married and they have to tell it to the whole world. In my country, well at least for the Chinese, wedding dinners are times when the couple will be mocked by some of their relatives and friends. The couple will usually be made to do all kinds of ridiculous things all in the name of fun. It is an opportune time for them to poke fun at the couple and usually the couple has to oblige. It can be a tormenting time for the couple sometimes.
2 people like this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
11 Jun 08
I love customs and traditions from other counties!! In what way do they mock them? Can you give examples? I hope it is not too mean!
@lexus54 (3577)
• Singapore
11 Jun 08
A few common ones I've seen are: (1) couple is made to drink a whole glass of some weird concoction made by their friends. The concoction can be anything, eg. chinese tea mixed with soft drink and soya sauce...yuks! I think you get the idea how horrible such a drink can taste (2) couple is made to stand on chairs, and the wife has to grab some food, eg. peeled boiled eggs, from a plate and pass these to the husband to deposit into another plate, and they can only do this using their mouths (3) couple is made to stand on chairs and made to kiss each other passionately for everyone to see. There are of course others, and it is up to the ingenuity of their friends to think out all kinds of actions to torment the couple. Also at wedding dinners, the groom's bestman or master-of-ceremony may take to the stage and reveal some "secrets" about the bride and groom that others don't know about, and sometimes this can be very amusing. In the older days, wedding dinners are more traditional and seldom do people poke fun at the bride and groom. The younger generation likes to have fun these days, so they play such pranks during weddings. I won't really call them wedding traditions in the true sense of the word.
• India
10 Jun 08
I dont think this tradition is there in India.And I have never seen such a thing and have heard about it for teh first time through your discussion.It somehow really appealed to me.And I personnaly think these things must be hung to ward off the evil eye or as we say "buri nazar" in hindi here in India. Basically they are a newly wed couples and there will be so many people on the road saying " sweet couple! lucky couple! nice couple!" etc which is kind of a nazar and this can hamper things.Like when we say something good we say touchwood so that it comes true.Maybe thats why people hang old shoes and cans to ward off the nazar and lead a happy life :) That is my personal interpretation actually inspite of never seeing or hearing anything of this sort before :)
2 people like this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
11 Jun 08
I think you may be right. The cans for noise to ward off the "buri nazar" You have good insight! If you;d like to see many wedding traditions and where they came from, check out Angel's reply on page one of this discussion for a wonderful link. BTW we also 'touch wood', or 'knock on wood' to keep the bad spirits from interfering in our good thoughts.
@borgborg (821)
• Philippines
10 Jun 08
tradition. as always. in china, they usually make loud noises to cast away bad spirits. but in the US, i really don't know why. here in my country, in some traditional weddings, the guests throws uncooked rice once the couple gets out of the church. it symbolizes prosperity.
2 people like this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
11 Jun 08
We also throw rice but many have now gone to birdseed instead. The uncooked rice can injure birds that eat it off the ground afterwards. Angel gave a great link on the first page if you are interested in some wedding traditions.
• United States
10 Jun 08
I'm not sure why they tie shoes to the back of cars but I'm sure the cans on the back of the car are there to scare away spirits that are driven to harm the couple and their new relationship. They may be there to scare away the fairies or something because fairies were supposed to harm new marriages. I can't remember what but there was something that was supposed to steal away the bride too so maybe they're used for that purpose.
2 people like this
• Philippines
10 Jun 08
good day. maybe it just a way of making noise so as to catch everyone's attention and in a good way to.
2 people like this
• Canada
10 Jun 08
The tradition of cans, I would imagine, is just to draw attention to the newleyweds. Unfortunately, I read somewhere that in the olden days a father would hand the bride's shoes to her husband to symbolize a TRANSFER OF AUTHORITY from father to husband. I think that tradition stinks, and if, at our family wedding reception (we eloped last year) anyone goes near our car with a shoe, I'm going to hit them over the head with it!!
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
10 Jun 08
LOL The link Angel gave said that too, and, they use to throw shoes at the newlyweds and if they OR the carriage got hit it was good luck! How can a concussion bring good luck!?!?
1 person likes this
@royal52gens (5362)
• United States
11 Jul 08
I think the tin cans is a symbol or wish that the couple never know hunger. The shoes, I don't know. We like to play practical jokes on the couple. We try to get access to their house. While they are gone on the honeymoon, we rearrange the furniture. We take all the labels off of the cans of food. Fill the shower stall with other items. Cover the toilet seat with saran wrap. So Tammy, when are you going to get married? Can I have the keys to your house? LOL
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
11 Jul 08
NO TIME soon I assure you. If I do you WILL be invited, but will NOT be given the keys to my house, OR MY VAN LMAO!
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jul 08
Now Tammy, that is no fun. While you are in the church getting married, I will be in the parking lot with a few friends putting your van up on blocks. It will only be off the ground a little so when you walk up it will appear to be normal. When you try to leave, the wheels will spin and spin and spin but you will go no where. hahahaha Or we will detach the drive shaft and tie a few wrenches to the end of it. The wrenches will all be the wrong sizes needed to fix the drive shaft. Once again, you will go no where. Or we will follow you to your hotel and serenade you all night long with bright lights and horns and loud music and cell phone calls and text messages. No peaceful sleep for you. hahahaha
• China
10 Jun 08
it is really upset !!!
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
11 Jun 08
UUMMMM... I will be nice as I can see you are new. This answer adds nothing to the discussion and is very short. There for it violates the guidelines. To find the guidelines, look at the very bottom of your page. You will also see the FAQ, both are very helpful when you are new here. I hope you read them and become a great member here in mylot. Posting things such as this will not make you money because the members of mylot will report it as a violation and it can be deleted. Happy posting!