and a silver sixpence in her shoe.
According to English folklore, every bride should carry something from each of these categories for good luck in her marriage. Each piece is meant to help her in some way in the future.
My husband and I got married at the Brooklyn Marriage Bureau, near where we lived at the time, in advance of our wedding back in Pennsylvania. We came at the end of a long, hot summer day, sweating and a little tired. My husband rode his bike straight from work, in cut-off shorts. I wore a black-and-white polka dot dress and carried flowers from a bodega that we picked up on the way. I know, I know -- a floral designer who forgot about her own wedding flowers! But, this was just our pen-and-paper wedding. We wanted it to be simple and quick, since we just saw it as some paperwork, but my mom sent these things for me to carry. Our legal witness was my sister, and two of our best friends stood with us in the courtroom. It was over in a few minutes, and we were married, with all the good luck that these objects brought with them. Then we went out for Junior's cheesecake. It was perfect.
I recently had the joy of preparing a set of these for my sister's wedding and it made me feel that connection to the women in our family who have come before us and also carried these things. For her wedding day, I gathered the same items that our mom had sent for me to carry. For Something New, I swapped in a new battery (the last thing I had bought, so the newest thing I had) and for Something Borrowed, I lent a favorite bracelet.
Today, I want to share a meditation that I've written to accompany the giving of these small gifts:
Something Old is carried for good luck in motherhood and represents ties to your oldest friends and family. You carry Something Old to remind you of your past, as well as the history of your relationship with your beloved. You carry the past with you, for better or for worse, and on your wedding day you arrive whole and complete with all your legacy and heritage.
We hold Something Old close to our hearts.
Something New represents the future. Holding something new, you think of all that's yet to come in your relationship, all the responsibility and adventure that will come with married life. Holding Something New, take a moment to breathe in the newness of this moment, today you enter into a new chapter of your life.
We hold Something New close to our hearts.
Something Borrowed brings joy in marriage. You carry this item, borrowed from someone with a happy marriage, to have a little of that magic rub off on yours. You hold Something Borrowed, with the knowledge that we cannot keep everything forever, and that change is always constant. Our joys give way to sorrow, which give way to relief, and then joy again. Over and over. We follow the cycle of life, borrowing strength and joy and hope from those who love us, especially our partners.
We hold Something Borrowed close to our hearts.
Something Blue is held to for protection. It is thought to guard against infidelity and other kinds of harm. Something Blue is a shield, and you internalize its strength. You and your beloved will rely on each other for that strength in the years to come. Remember that it is always there, within each of you. You dwell in a circle of its protective light.
We hold Something Blue close to our hearts.
A sixpence, or other coin, is held for prosperity. This talisman protects you from want. Feel the weight of the coin and remember how it feels today, to feel taken care of, to feel loved, to want for nothing. Hold onto that feeling and remember to care for your beloved as they will care for you. Together, you will be challenged by chance and circumstance and will rely on each other to create a rich life from whatever you have. You are rich in love and respect and you carry this wealth with you forever.
We hold a sixpence close to our hearts.