Weddings all over the globe are steeped in tradition and superstition, varying between cultures and individual families; but jewellery is almost always involved in one way or another. The most prevalent jewellery tradition is the wedding ring itself; a never ending circle symbolising never ending love, worn as an outward sign of your betrothal to another (also seen as a sign of your wealth and/or status in certain cultures). It has been worn on the third finger of the left hand since Roman times, when it was believed that there was a vein in that finger than ran directly to the heart.
Nowadays, wedding rings are often more elaborate than a plain gold circle; fitted shapes, mixed metals, gemstones, engraved patterns, some aren’t even a full circle anymore with cut outs or open sections to fit around more unusual engagement rings.
Another common jewellery tradition in Western cultures is for the bride to wear pearls – often passed down through the generations or as a gift from her groom or father. The association of pearls with weddings reaches back to the ancient Greeks, who believed they would promote marital harmony and prevent the bride from crying; symbolising the unblemished perfection, purity and innocence of the new bride.
There are plenty of old rhymes with guidelines/ warnings, some of which are no longer well known, such as this little one that I have never heard which bodes well for my upcoming wedding day, but not for the most popular day for weddings – Saturdays.
Monday for wealth,
Tuesday for Health,
Wednesday the best day of all,
Thursday for Losses,
Friday for crosses,
Saturday for no luck at all.
But another rhyme that has remained relatively popular, and is at least known of by the majority of brides, is “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence for her shoe”. I have never really known what each of these items were meant to for, simply been told by generations it would be bad luck not to abide; but have since discovered that having an “old” item is meant to represent a link to your family and past, a way of remembering loved ones especially those who are no longer around. He colour blue symbolises love, fidelity and purity, and the sixpence is to promote future wealth.
I can’t say that I am a particularly traditional or superstitious person, but I can safely say that I will have my old, new, borrowed and blue items along with a lovely pair of pearl earrings ready and waiting for my wedding day – just in case – but who needs any excuse to wear beautiful jewellery on their big day?!