This week is a busy wedding week for us here at The Empress. We have a wedding rehearsal on Thursday and a beautiful Princess-themed wedding on Friday. Then we move directly into Arkansas’ largest bridal event, The Arkansas Democrat Gazette Bridal Show, on Sunday. With so much wedding fever in the air, I started wondering about the wedding traditions that we adhere to. What do all of these traditions symbolize? So I did some research on the ever popular “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue” and found that it was a ceremony for luck that began in Victorian times (perfect for us here at the Empress and our love of Victoriana!). Each item in this sort poem represents a good luck token for the bride – if she carries them, it is said her marriage will have good fortune
Something Old: The old item has several different meanings, but one general theme: a link of continuity from the bride’s past. Some say this is a desire to remain connected with your family even after you established a family of your own. Other sources say it represents the life you are leaving behind. Another idea is that the tradition of family values and the connection family brings is being passed down to you. It is safe to say that all of these assumptions are correct; the bride is leaving behind her past to start a new beginning, but not to forget where she has been. Things you can use for the something old theme are: jewelry from your mother, grandmother or great-grandmother, an old wedding photo from your family, a love letter from your father to your mother, a picture of your parents in your purse, an old handkerchief, a childhood pillow to hold your rings, a piece of lace sewn into the hem of your gown.
Something New: means optimism and hope for the future. It conveys the message that you and your husband are creating a new union that will endure the test of time. Many brides choose to use their wedding gown, flowers or rings to symbolize the “something new” in this tradition.
Something Borrowed: Again, there are several meanings behind borrowing an item from a friend or relative. Some sources say borrowing something is borrowing happiness from a happily married woman, so that their happiness will carry over to the new bride. Other sources have said it is symbolizes the love and adoration you have for the person from whom you have borrowed the item from. If you borrow an item from your happily married grandmother or mother, you can fulfill both of these meanings. Doing this lets your parents (or grandparents) know that you admire their marriage and the respect they have for each other and that you hope to have an equally happy marriage. The borrowed item also signifies to the bride that she can always count on her friends and family for support. Items that can be used for the something borrowed theme could be: family jewelry, a prayer book from your mother or grandmother, strands of pearls, or your parent’s cake cutting set.
Something Blue: The color blue has been connected to weddings for centuries as a symbol of love, modesty, fidelity, good luck, purity and loyalty. Many brides incorporate this color into their clothing, by either wearing a blue stoned jewelry item or wearing a blue garter. However for a modern spin, you could use blue toe nail polish, blue eye shadow, a blue ribbon tied into your flowers, blue underwear, even wear light blue shoes! The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination