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Honoring Traditions To Invoke Good Fortune In Married Life

Dec 27, 2007
"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe." What does this phrase mean and why has it become synonymous with bridal attire and Christian weddings? Most believe the reference to a sixpence indicates that this custom has its roots in Britain probably way back in the Victorian era. Each one of these items when incorporated into the bridal attire is believed to be a harbinger of good luck for the bride.

'Something old' is usually an item which symbolizes strong connections with forbearers and assures the bride that she need not break away from her old ties to start her new life as a wife. Brides usually carry or wear something that they had as children or wear their mother's or grandmother's wedding rings on the right hand. Some brides like to wear lockets with a wedding picture of their mother or grandmother or use the lace from their wedding gowns to add on to their own gown.

When a bride wears 'Something borrowed' it serves to symbolize the importance of the person from whom she has borrowed the item as well as to absorb the success and good fortune that the person may have had in her own marriage or life. Something borrowed is a way of showing how much that person means to you and knowing that you can always depend on your friends and family for love and support even when you may not be around them anymore. Brides usually borrow their mother's , grandmother's and best friend's wedding rings or other pieces of jewelry which they may have cherished and thought of as good luck charms.

'Something new' is not very difficult to choose from unlike the others. It could be a picture of the bride and the groom tucked into a locket beside the picture of the bride's mother or grandmother. Or it could be a piece of jewelry that the groom may have bought for the bride while courting. This item is meant to represent the union of two individuals who are embarking on an entirely new journey in life together.

'Something blue' has a biblical origin being associated with the Virgin Mary and stands for 'fidelity'. It is believed that Roman brides wore blue wedding gowns to denote modesty, purity and faithfulness. Blue wedding garters are a popular option, but brides may also opt for other things in blue like blue underwear, blue ribbons or a blue bow stitched into the lining of the wedding gown.

Not many are able to recall the last phrase 'and a silver sixpence in her shoe'. The custom of tucking a silver sixpence into the left shoe of the bride is a Scottish tradition aimed at attracting wealth and financial security for the newly married couple. In keeping with time honored traditions and adorning her attire with all these symbols , the bride is made to feel like she is part of a much larger picture, having so much to look forward to and yet have old friends and family to love and to bank upon when needed.
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