Why do we tie cans to wedding cars?

It’s an old and really quite odd wedding tradition – tying tin cans to the back of the car so that they make a racket as the happy couple drive into the sunset – but there is a real story behind it.


In the UK, the tradition actually dates back several hundred years to the Tudor dynasty when Henry VII founded the House of Tudor, Henry VIII had his six wives and Elizabeth I was the final ruler.  In those days, as the carriage carrying the bride and groom pulled away, people would throw shoes at it in an attempt to hit the carriage as it was considered good luck.

As time passed, people began tying the shoes to the back of the carriage…which inevitably were replaced by cars.  Eventually, the shoes were replaced by cans, presumably because people realised that it was a waste of good shoes and the clatter of the cans was more fun and would draw attention to the newlywed couple as they went on their way.

Another explanation for the tin can tradition originates in France. Years ago, people would bang pots and pans under the couple’s window, cheering them on when they appeared.

The tradition of tying on cans is also thought to date back to Ancient Egypt. In those days, daughters were considered to be the property of their fathers and custom dictated that the new husband was handed a pair of his wife’s sandals by his new father-in-law, symbolising that she was now his responsibility…remember, it was a long time ago and things were different then!