In The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions, Jenn Thompson dissects some of our most tried-and-true American wedding traditions.
How interesting! Being a pesky feminist and all [:-)], we know how riled up I get about notions of "property." That said, this tradition is harmless and fun, and unlike some other traditions, won't horrify my fabulous single friends.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue (and a Sixpence in My Shoe?)
This rhyming phrase neatly lists a number of English customs dating back to the Victorian age which, when worn in combination, should bring the bride oodles of fabulous good luck. The something old was meant to tie the bride to her family and her past, while the something new represented her new life as the property of a new family. The item borrowed was supposed to be taken from someone who was already a successfully married wife, so as to pass on a bit of her good fortune to the new bride. The color blue (Virgin Mary-approved!) stood for all sorts of super fun things like faithfulness, loyalty, and purity. The sixpence, of course, was meant to bring the bride and her new groom actual, cold, hard fortune. Just in case that wasn’t enough, brides of yore also carried bunches of herbs (which most brides now replace with expensive, out-of-season peonies) to ward off evil spirits.
I have some fun ideas for old. Since my mom's wedding dress was also lace, we talked about clipping a subtle part of the lace and sewing it into my dress. That way, I'm carrying her dress with me. Something new will be my dress and my shoes. Borrowed is tougher... my sister and my cousin both wore the same vintage family necklace for their weddings, but it's not going to work with the neckline of my dress. My sister does have these fantastic diamond earrings that I think might be perfect (and she does fit the "successfully married" requirement) - so I guess I'll just have to wear her diamonds. As for blue? I was a huge fan of these babies, but I much prefer the idea of wearing red shoes. I love the idea of a custom wedding dress label made with blue thread - something simple, just our initials and date... and maybe bordered in lace from my mom's dress? Oh, and a coin?! Sure, why not... but someone else is in charge of remembering that one.
Maybe I can skip carrying herbs if I just use Aveda shampoo that day... close enough, right?