Couples prefer 'something new' to replace age-old wedding traditions

05 Apr 2018

The old saying: 'Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' might need to be updated soon as more couples turn their backs on centuries-old wedding customs

As more couples shun age-old pre-wedding traditions, the one superstition most are still hanging on to is spending time apart the night before their nuptials.

However, the phrase ‘Something borrowed, something blue’ might need a re-think in future as virtually one in five Brits admits to turning their back on traditional wedding ways.

Avoiding their other half, throwing the bouquet and a host of other superstitions associated with British weddings no longer hold any relevance for 20% of people who responded to a study conducted on behalf of comparison website Compare Cover.

Offering a horseshoe to the bride, throwing confetti and picking bouquet flowers based on their symbolic significance were the three age-old traditions most likely to be shunned by today’s newlyweds, with just 6%, 14% and 5% actively seeking to include them in their big day, respectively. 

Less than half of all respondents (46%) were committed to wearing something borrowed or blue, with the strongest surviving tradition proving to be the pledge not to have any contact with a betrothed partner the night before nuptials are due to take place (54%). 

Compare Cover’s business development director Mike Preston said: “In a year where the UK is once again revelling in the uniquely British experience that celebrating a Royal Wedding offers, the idea that long-held traditions should apparently be on the decline might be saddening to some.  

“And yet the fact that more than half of all couples looking to get married in the UK today still believe in not seeing one another the night before a wedding would suggest that the significance of marriage has not lost its gravitas.”

Many superstitions most commonly associated with weddings, including the giving of horseshoes and the significance of flowers within a ceremony, date back centuries - to before Christian times, in some cases.  

As those least likely to observe any kind of tradition across the UK, more than a third (34%) of Scots concede that avoiding their other half, wearing something borrowed or blue, tossing the bouquet and a host of other superstitions associated with British weddings no longer hold any relevance for them. 

Meanwhile, the Welsh are most likely to keep age-old associations going, with 81% of residents striving not to meet with their other half ahead of the big day, and not one single respondent in Wales willing not to adhere to any superstition, of any kind, before they wed.

Mike added: “As a nation, it would appear that it is not the idea of marriage and its associated superstitions we have fallen out of love with, more that we are simply choosing to do traditional things in an increasingly modern way.”

Compare Cover was established in its own right in 2016 as a new brand of Investment Discounts Online Ltd, to offer a specialist life insurance comparison service.The online survey was conducted among 1,000 randomly selected British adults.

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