‘Something Old, New, Borrowed & Blue’ – and Other Wedding Customs

By | December 28, 2011

The marriage ceremony is a tradition that dates back beyond recorded history, and it is found in nearly every culture across the globe. Weddings are often more than just a celebration for the couple who are getting married, with family, friends and the greater community getting involved in the festivities. The importance of this matrimonial event is still evident to this day, and long-standing wedding traditions have endured through the centuries. If you’re planning a wedding, it’s a good idea to review the most popular wedding customs so you know what to include on your special day.

Firstly, the multi-tiered white wedding cake wedding tradition represents the most delicious of wedding symbols. It’s traditional for a bride and groom to cut the cake together, and often the couple feeds each other the first bite. Then, the couple traditionally save the top tier of the cake and freeze it, to be eaten when their first child is christened into the church. Others save the top tier and eat it on their first wedding anniversary.

Additionally, one of the most entertaining wedding traditions is the throwing of the bridal bouquet. This is when all of the unmarried women at the ceremony gather in the hopes of catching the bridal bouquet and thus earning the title of the next bride-to-be. The bride throws the bouquet over her shoulder and whoever catches it is the lucky lady. Similarly, there is a tradition for the groom to remove the bride’s garter belt and throw it over his shoulder to all the unmarried men in the crowd.

Another area of the wedding ceremony that’s steeped in tradition is the bridal wear. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue,” which refers to what a bride should wear on her wedding day. For “something old,” many brides wear an old piece of jewellery or the wedding veil of one of their older, happily married relatives, such as their grandmother. The “something new” represents the couple’s future success. For “something borrowed,” brides can wear any accessory that a friend of family member has lent to them, but she must return the item for good luck. Finally, the “something blue” originated from when a bride would wear a blue ribbon in her hair as a symbol of fidelity.

Though the rhyme, which originated in Victorian times, may seem familiar, it actually has an additional line which is often forgotten – it goes: “…And a silver sixpence in your shoe.” This final line represents the superstition that, if a bride wears a silver sixpence in her shoe, her and her husband will be wealthy through their lives. Nowadays the tradition is still followed with pennies instead of silver sixpence.