Traditional Wedding Customs
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Walking down the aisle is, if nothing else, a practice steeped in tradition. So much so, that even the most modern bride is likely embracing set-in-stone customs throughout her big day without even realizing the root of her choices. But as a wedding photographer, I have always found the origins of some of those traditions fascinating; even the ones which have slowly faded away into obscurity over time. Because of that, I thought it would be fun if our latest blog series were to dig a little deeper into some of those customs you may have never thought to question yourselves. Understanding those origins may even help you to infuse an extra bit of meaning into your big day!
I wanted to start with the “Something Old, Something New” edict. For those of you who don’t know, this one originated with folklore from England in the late 1890’s imploring brides to don:
And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe.
Most of us today have only heard of the first four “somethings”, and don’t fully understand why these items are being gathered in the first place. It has just become a fun tradition for brides to go along with on the day of their nuptials. They are items that were originally meant to represent so much more, however. In fact, they were tokens of prosperity and hopeful fertility for the years to come; good luck charms that brides imbued a whole lot of meaning into once upon a time.
Today, I can say that I don’t see many brides adhering to this custom anymore. If anything, the “something blue” comes into play most often, while the rest of the “somethings” are forgotten or neglected in the excitement of everything else going on. These were only ever meant to be tokens of luck, which means that bucking this tradition will certainly bring you no harm.
Although, there is something to be said for gathering those “something’s” alongside the women who mean the most to you as you prepare to make your walk down the aisle. A favorite necklace handed down through the generations, a diamond hair clip to tuck into your professionally styled locks, borrowed earrings from your sister, and that something blue (new Louboutin’s by chance?) – of course. They are items which can be assembled with love, surely inducing an emotional moment or two as you gather with your female posse in preparation for the big “I Do.”
Maybe they don’t have the magical power to actually bring you prosperity or fertility, but they do have the ability to add to the memories you are creating on that big day. And even if you buck the tradition, you may look back and realize you accomplished a few of your “something’s” without even trying.
Of course, if you manage not to get a one of them, don’t worry too much. After all, apparently women are supposed to be carrying a sixpence in their shoe as well, and I think we can all agree – those just wouldn’t go over all that well with the shoes most brides are wearing today. Luck is what you make for yourself, and there is surely luck to be found in exchanging “I Do’s” with the man you love in front of the friends and family who love you both.
Everything else is just extra.
And all those “somethings” are purely for fun at the end of the day.