Everybody knows about old-fashioned wedding customs that are still relevant today from wearing something borrowed on your wedding cake to cutting a cake after the wedding meal. Here we have a list of vintage wedding traditions and their origins.

Something Old – Something New – Something Borrowed – Something Blue…And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe! This good-luck saying first became relevant in the Victorian era. The “Something Old” symbolizes a link to the bride’s family and her past, which is why the item would – and still is – a family heirloom.  The “Something New” stands to bring  good fortune and success in her married life, most brides will have plenty to choose from such as her wedding dress or shoes.

The “Something Borrowed” symbolizes that the bride will still be able to rely on family and friends in times of need. A borrowed object can be a token or piece of jewellery from family or friends. The “Something Blue” is an object that symbolizes faithfulness,  most modern brides will choose a blue garter or ribbon or a blue flower in their wedding bouquet.  “A Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe,” is a blessing for wealth.

The idea of engagement rings goes back to the 12th century, but by the 1870s, brides hope to receive an engagement ring like these rings which feature clustered diamonds. Diamonds and pearls are still traditional for engagement rings today.

Keeping the top-layer of your wedding cake might sound a little superstitious, but this tradition is based on very rational thinking. Weddings were often followed by a christening nine month later, so as  fancy multi-tiered wedding cakes became fashionable in the 19th century, couples could justify getting a larger cake by saving the top for the christening.

Carrying a bouquet of fresh flowers sounds terribly romantic, yet the origins of this traditions are less so. Until modern times, brides traditionally carried garlic and dill. The practice probably originated from the time of the Plague, when people clutched the herbs over their noses and mouths to ward off the illness and the stenches of the dead.

Wearing a white dress has become synonymous with getting married, but this is a rather recent tradition. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria donned a white gown in 1840 for her marriage to Prince Albert that brides stopped wearing colourful dresses. Queen Victoria’s choice of colour was extremely controversial in its day, as white was a color associated with mourning.


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