Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

October 22nd 2008

Every bride knows the old saying, but why do we believe following it holds the key to our future happiness?

According to superstition, something old ensures the bride’s friends will be faithful when needed and something new promises success in her new life. Something borrowed means she may take with her the love of her family and blue symbolises fidelity.

But with tradition comes impracticality.

It is a long-held tradition that the bridegroom should not see the wedding dress before the ceremony, but did you know that is supposedly unlucky for the whole outfit to be tried on before the day. The bride should look at herself in the mirror only at the last moment and even then a final adjustment should be made.

It is deemed very unlucky to try the veil on with the dress before the day, however to wear the old bridal veil of a happily married woman is lucky and many girls choose to wear their mother's or grandmother's veil.

And, a final word on your outfit girls &ndash don't let a friend try on your veil after the wedding as it's supposed to mean she'll run off with your husband!

Wedding traditions not only apply to the bride, but also to the groom, the cake, wedding rings and even when you choose to marry.

The groom

There are fewer superstitions for the groom to consider, but it is said to be unlucky if he drops his hat, although a small horseshoe carried in his pocket will bring good luck.

No telegrams should be passed to the bridegroom on his way to the church, and any sums of money he has to pay out during the day should be offered in odd amounts.

Naming the day

Naming the day should be taken very seriously, as to change the date is considered unlucky unless there are exceptional circumstances.

To marry during a full moon is lucky, but during Lent is poor choice. "If you marry in Lent, you're sure to repent."

The rings

There is some doubt as to the origins of the choice of the third finger of the left hand for the wedding ring. Many believe the tradition began with the Romans, who believed a vein ran straight from this finger to the heart.

The Egyptians used the middle finger of the left hand, while ancient Gauls and Britons favoured the little finger. Roman Catholics preferred to use the right hand for wedding rings until the middle of the 18th century.

The cake

The decorative tiered cake popular today is said to have been created by a baker inspired by Wren's design of St Bride's Church. However it bears little resemblance to the bridal cakes thrown at a new wife as she entered her new home in Elizabethan times.

Today the cutting of the cake is a focal point at any reception, a tradition rooted in history when the first cut was made by the bride to ensure the marriage would be blessed by children.

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