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Wedding Traditions and their Meaning

Updated on March 10, 2015

Traditional Wedding Practices

There are many wedding traditions and all are very unique and meaningful. Having recently watched the movie Something Borrowed I started to wonder where these traditions came from and what they meant.

It started as a superstition but today it bears a certain amount of meaning depending on the bearer. These are items that will be taken into a new life and will be a representation of what that new life will bring to the newly married couple.


The History

This tradition derives from an Old English rhyme, "Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe".

These chosen items were good luck charms for the bride to be on her special day. Traditionally they are given by relatives. Ideally a mother or a sister and also by close friends.


Something Borrowed

Something borrowed denotes "borrowed happiness" from the bearer. They are in a way lending you the happiness that they have in their married life to give you a good start on yours.

It's important that the bearer is truly and happily married for the tradition to bear fruit.

Examples of something borrowed can be:

  • a friend's piece of jewellery
  • a flower that can be used for your bouquet
  • a handkerchief from one of your parents that you can keep tucked under your bodice

Did you practice these traditions during your marriage?

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Something Old

Something Old represents continuity in one's life and marriage.

These items should have been in the family for a long while maybe even being an antique to further impress the gravity of commitment and endurance of one's marriage.

Some examples of this token includes:

  • antique family jewellery
  • locket with picture of parents, grandparents,etc
  • Antique combs, pins, etc

Something New

Something New brings optimism for the future along with good luck and success. A new marriage will endure many changes and this in particular can help a couple through these.

These items represent something new:

  • a picture frame to put the couple's first photo in as newlyweds
  • a key to a new home or car

Something Blue

Something Blue will represent the lasting needs between a couple for a marriage to last. These are purity, love, and fidelity. When a couple is brought together in marriage they start anew, with much love and commit to one another through good times and tough times.

The usual items to represent this tradition are:

  • a blue garter
  • a blue pen for the contract signing
  • a blue bouquet


These wedding traditions are in no way intended to dictate one's marriage or happiness. They are simply there to encourage, enlighten and be something that they can also hopefully carry down to their own children one day.


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    • livelovelaugh5 profile image

      livelovelaugh5 6 years ago

      Hi Singaporean, Thanks for the comment! I know what you mean! Hopefully readers take an interest and visit our profiles to learn more about us.

    • Singaporean profile image

      Singaporean 6 years ago from Singapore

      For Asians, we do have our own Wedding Customs and Traditions to follow.

      There are some similarities among the different ethnic groups too.

      Coincidentally, I've written a few pages about our Customs and Traditions at my website.

      But HubPages forbid us to be too promotional about our sites, so I will leave it to Luck and Faith for readers to find these pages at my website :)