The union of two lovers has understandably been steeped in tradition for centuries. Over time, some wonderful and interesting customs have sprung up around this important rite of passage.

One of the nicest may be the tradition of the bride’s gathering “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” These four items each represent a special symbol, and the very act of carrying on this tradition provides a real connection with past and future brides and the people close to them at the time of the wedding.

The meaning of the item for “something old” has to do with the bride’s heritage. Usually, a treasured family heirloom will be chosen, often a piece of jewelry.

Almost anything can be designated as “something new,” including the bride’s wedding dress. But to make it meaningful, many mothers or fathers give their marrying daughters a new piece of jewelry or another special gift, such as a brand-new Bible in which to record the family’s names.

The significance of the “something borrowed” is usually interpreted to symbolize the support the bride can count on in her new life from her family. A very nice borrowed token can be as simple as a pair of lace gloves, worn by the bride’s own grandmother at her wedding, especially if that lady was happily-married.

For “something blue,” the hands-down favorite choice of most brides is still a blue garter or a pretty blue ribbon tied around her thigh and hidden under her wedding dress.

There is another part to the old rhyme, which is fast becoming history these days:

“And a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

The sixpence symbolizes good fortune with money and a prosperous life together. One could substitute a penny.

This wonderful four-part “something” wedding tradition is often a last-minute scramble, which, far from diluting the significance of the wedding ritual, only adds to the fun and provides a lighthearted way to deal with the high emotion of the moment.

We’re of the opinion that every little bit of luck helps, and it certainly couldn’t hurt!

By Stephen Kreutzer