Balance seems to be the main focus of the royal wedding, with Prince William and his bride Kate Middleton under pressure to make the day their own while maintaining traditions. While this can be stressful for many new couples, there is something special and sentimental about these time-honored acts. With this in mind, TODAY style editor and Bobbie Thomas highlights a few old-fashioned wedding customs that offer a little love and luck.
The ‘ribbon pull’
While the big day is all about wishing luck and love to the newlyweds, some wedding traditions focus on bestowing good fortune to others in attendance. Dating back to Victorian times, a "ribbon pull" is a unique wedding reception activity in which sterling silver charms attached to long ribbons are baked in between the layers of the wedding cake. Before the bride and groom share their first slice, the bridesmaids gather so that each can pull one ribbon, claiming for herself a future good promise. Some southern weddings here in the States have also adopted the tradition, especially near New Orleans. ($18:95 - $20.49 for set of 6; )
Along with four-leaf clovers, horseshoes are famously lucky. According to an old English tradition, it was customary for the bride to be given a decorative horseshoe to carry down the aisle on her wrist. Should you want to adopt the idea, you can find more lightweight versions made specifically for modern brides. In fact, Princess Diana had a small 18-carat gold horseshoe for luck tucked into the petticoats of her wedding dress. Just be sure that the ends face upwards so your luck never runs out! ($16-22;
The Welsh tradition of giving a lovespoon to a paramour dates back to the 17th century. The spoons had handcrafted symbols carved into the handle (usually done either by the courter or by a hired carver) to convey the giver's feelings — hearts for love, vines to grow together, etc. Now, you can purchase these special spoons pre-carved to express any number of well wishes. ($18-30, ; $67-125 peterengler.com)