Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.
This saying dates back to the Victorian era and is well known for its association with the bride at a wedding. Brides, even today, will try and ensure that they include each in their wedding outfit, as belief has it, that to do so, brings good luck. Whether you choose to marry in a beautiful Castle Wedding Venue or registry office, these traditions are usually followed.
This symbolizes the link with the bride's own family and the past, particularly the bride's mother or grandmother. Something old is symbolic of continuity. To symbolise this link, brides may choose to wear a piece of antique family jewellery which belonged to a relative or a locket containing a photograph of parents or grandparents. Alternatively a bride may choose something from her mother's or grandmother's wedding gown, such as a piece of lace.
Represents good luck and achievement, and the bride's desire for a bright future in her new married life. The wedding dress is often selected as the new item, but it could be anything that is purchased new for the wedding day. Wearing a new item on your wedding day conveys the message that you and your husband are creating a new union that will endure everlastingly.
This is to signify to the bride, that her friends and family will be there for her both on her special day and in the future when help may be needed. "Borrowing" is particularly important, and the borrowed item has to come from a happily married woman, thereby lending the bride some of her own marital happiness to carry into the new marriage. Anything may be borrowed, but it must be returned afterwards. An additional way to include a borrowed item into your wedding day could be to borrow a friend's piece of jewellery. If you have a close friend who has worn the same piece of jewellery for as long as you have known her, you might consider borrowing this particular item for your wedding day as a reminder of your friendship.
The colour blue, in ancient times was the symbol of faithfulness, purity and loyalty. Frequently the blue item is the garter and in olden times the couple wore blue bands on the border of their wedding clothes to denote, love, modesty and fidelity.
This bridal custom is the most purely symbolic custom of all and its meaning has remained unchanged throughout the years.
The original rhyme was:
and a silver sixpence in her shoe.
A Silver sixpence in her Shoe is to wish the bride wealth. Some brides still place a penny in their shoe during the marriage ceremony.
Other traditions and folklore associated with weddings include;
The Engagement Ring
The engagement, or betrothal ring, symbolizes the pledge of a future together, sealed with the giving and accepting of a ring. The diamond engagement ring, as we know it, has been around since the 1400s and was first found in Medieval Italy.
The Engagement Party
A special party was held to ascertain a formal contract before family and friends of the intended marriage, known as flouncing. Following a flouncing, the couple could no longer have contact with other suitors.
Bridal Showers or Hen Parties
This event has its roots in Holland and originates from friends of the intended bride showering her with gifts if her father did not approve of the husband-to- be and refused to provide a dowry. Bridal showers were also meant to reinforce the friendships between the bride and her friends, give her moral support, and help her prepare for her marriage.
Bachelor Party or Stag Nights
This was the last chance before his new wife took over the finances, for the groom to gather money by gambling for his own future use and it originated from the ancient Spartan soldiers. This was a night when the groom would say good-bye to the carefree days of bachelorhood.
The first known white wedding dress was worn in 1499 by Anne of Brittany, for her marriage to Louis XII of France. Since early Roman times, white symbolized a joyful celebration. In the twentieth century white stood for purity. Today it is a symbol of happiness.
The wedding veil, symbolizing a wife's obedience to her husband, began in days of old when a bride stood beneath a canopy to signify she was under the protection of her groom. The lifting of the veil at the end of the ceremony symbolizes male dominance. If the bride takes the initiative in lifting it, thereby presenting herself to him, she is showing more independence.
Inviting women to be members of your bridal party dates back to ancient times. One Roman custom was to dress the bridesmaids in a style similar to the bride, to confuse evil spirits who were trying to kidnap the bride.
The Best Man
Several centuries ago, men who had decided upon a wife often had to forcefully take her, or kidnap her, if her family did not approve of him. The groom-to-be would occasionally face resistance from her male family members, or from rival suitors who would fight him off. The groom would therefore bring along his "best man" to help him fight for the woman.
The Bride's Bouquet
The bride's bouquet carries many charming traditions among the different peoples of the world. Orange blossoms, a favourite of many brides, were at one time, when the Saracens carried them, thought to be a symbol of fertility.
The custom dates back to the royal marriage, in 1858, of Victoria, princess of Great Britain, and Empress of Germany, to Prince Frederick William of Prussia. Victoria, eldest daughter of Britain's Queen Victoria, selected the music herself.
Bride On Groom's Left
Because the early Anglo Saxon groom so often had to defend his bride from would-be kidnappers, she stood to his left, leaving his sword-arm free.
Giving Away The Bride
For centuries, female children were deemed to be the property of their fathers. When it came time for the daughter to marry and her father approved of the arrangement, by 'giving her away', he was actually transferring ownership of his daughter to the groom.
The Wedding Cake
Beginning in early Roman times, the cake has been a special part of the wedding celebration. This tradition evolved and spread to England in the Middle Ages where the guests of a wedding would bring small cakes and heap them together. During the Middle Ages, it became traditional for the couple to kiss over a small cluster of cakes. Later, a clever baker decided to gather together all these small cakes and cover them with frosting. Thus, the modern tiered cake was born.
Toasting comes from an ancient French custom of placing bread in the bottom of the glass - a good toaster drained the drink to get the "toast."
Tossing The Bridal Bouquet
Tossing of the bridal bouquet is a custom which has its roots in England. It was believed that the bride could pass along good fortune to others. Tradition says that the single woman who catches the bouquet is the one who receives the bride's fortune and will marry next.
The throwing of rice on the couple has always been symbolic of wishing prosperity and good luck. In the modern Western world, rice is often replaced by confetti, which is thrown for luck. Remember to ask your wedding venue if this is acceptable.
The tradition of tying shoes to the back of the couple's car originates from Tudor times. Back then, guests would throw shoes at the bride and groom. If they or their carriage were hit, it meant good luck was bestowed upon them.