Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.
A sixpence is a coin that was minted in Britain from 1551 to 1967. It was made of silver and worth six pennies. So this wedding tradition is definitely English, and many sources say that it began in the Victorian era.
Each item in this poem represents a good-luck token for the bride. If she carries all of them on her wedding day, her marriage will be happy. "Something old" symbolizes continuity with the bride's family and the past. "Something new" means optimism and hope for the bride's new life ahead. "Something borrowed" is usually an item from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride. The borrowed item also reminds the bride that she can depend on her friends and family.
As for the colorful item, blue has been connected to weddings for centuries. In ancient Rome, brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity. Christianity has long dressed the Virgin Mary in blue, so purity was associated with the color. Before the late 19th century, blue was a popular color for wedding gowns, as evidenced in proverbs like, "Marry in blue, lover be true."
And finally, a silver sixpence in the bride's shoe represents wealth and financial security. It may date back to a Scottish custom of a groom putting a silver coin under his foot for good luck. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe. These days, a dime or a copper penny is sometimes substituted, and many companies sell keepsake sixpences for weddings.
The Veil, Cord and Coins Ceremony
- a Filipino Wedding Tradition.
At a traditional Filipino wedding, there are many sponsors in attendance to witness the wedding couples union. These sponsors symbolize guidance and support – and are a respected and trusted group of people that the couple may turn to in time of need.
In the traditional Filipino Veil, Cord and Coin Ceremony two sets of sponsors play active roles.
The first are the Veil Sponsors – usually one man and one woman – often one from each side of the blended family. At a specific point in the traditional Filipino wedding ceremony, the veil sponsors fasten a large veil on top of the bride’s head and over the grooms right shoulder.
This veil symbolizes unity and that the couple shall be “clothed as one.”
The second set of sponsors with an active role in this traditional Filipino ceremony are the Cord Sponsors. After the veil ceremony, the cord sponsors gently twine a white cord loosely in a figure eight around the couple.
This cord is a symbol of the lifelong tie and commitment between the bride and groom.
During the Coins portion of the ceremony the bride cups her hands under the groom’s cupped hands. The Pastor dribbles thirteen coins into the groom’s hands, allowing them to cascade into the brides hands, and spill from her hands into a plate held underneath.
This trickling of the coins is “… a sign of fidelity bestowed irrevocably” and symbolizes “the infinity of the bond of marriage, a union that lasts a lifetime”.
The Garter Toss
Today, the tradition of the wedding garter is tame in comparison to France of the 14th century. In North America, the bride wears two garters; one as a keepsake garter and the other for the throw away.
Both garters are worn on the right leg just above the knee.
Before the removal of the garter, the bride first throws her bouquet to the single women.
The groom removes the throw away garter from the brides leg, sometimes he removes it with his teeth , but more appropriately nowadays he uses his hands. He does this while the bride is sat in a chair.
After the garter is removed, he then throws it to the single male guests. The male guest then takes the garter and places it on the leg of the single female guest who has caught the bouquet.
Those that catch either item are said to be the next to marry. In some instances, it is said that they will marry each other.
The keepsake garter is removed later in private during the honeymoon night.
Numerous wedding garter traditions have been obtained over the years that still seem to become rules of etiquette today. Take a look at a few that are still popular and some that have long since been forgotten.
The garter tradition originated back to the 14th century. In parts of Europe the guests of the bride and groom believed having a piece of the bride’s clothing was thought to bring good luck. They would actually destroy the brides dress by ripping off pieces of fabric. Obviously, this tradition did not sit well with the bride, so she began throwing various items to the guests – the garter being one of them. It became customary for the bride to toss the garter to the men. But this also caused a great problem for the bride….sometimes the men would get drunk, become impatient and try to remove the garter ahead of time. Therefore, the custom derived at having the groom remove and toss the garter to the men. With this change, the bride began to toss the bridal boutique to the unwed girls who were eligible for marriage.
05/13/2010 at 11:43 pm
Thanks for explaining the Filipino traditions here it was really interesting.
05/26/2010 at 09:37 pm
The garter toss history- I didn't know that! so cool, thanks for sharing.
05/28/2010 at 08:24 pm
Great post, thanks for sharing
08/15/2010 at 11:25 am
thanks for sharing. very interesting.