The reason for bridesmaids stems back to ancient times when it was believed that evil spirits wanted to put a hex on a bride on her wedding day and that the attendants who were dressed similarly to the bride would confuse the evil spirits enough so that they wouldn't be able to carry out the hex because they couldn't tell which one was the bride.
The veil dates back to ancient Rome, when it was flame-yellow, always worn over the face, and called a flammeum. Its purpose was to conceal the bride from the groom who had likely never laid eyes on his betrothed before. It prevented the groom from being able to back out of the marriage because a bride was unattractive!
The reason the engagement ring and wedding band is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand is due to the misconception of the ancient Egyptians that the "vein of love'" ran from this finger directly to the heart. It was later proven that this was not the case.
Each item in this popular poem represents a symbol of good-luck for the bride. Superstition suggests that if a bride carries all of these items with her, the marriage will be happy one. These days, bride most often include this ritual for the fun of it!
"Something old, something new.."..
"Something old" symbolizes continuity with the bride's family and the past. "Something new" represents hopefulness and optimism for the bride's newly found union.
"something borrowed, something blue"..
"Something borrowed" is often an item on loan from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is said to carry over to the new bride. The borrowed item is also supposed to remind the bride that she can depend on her friends and family for support in her marriage.
As for the "something blue", this colour has been connected to weddings for centuries. In ancient Rome, brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and faithfulness. Before the late 19th century, blue was a popular color for wedding gowns, which has been seen in recent years in lieu of the "traditional" white dress.
"and a silver sixpence in her shoe."..
And finally, a silver sixpence in the bride's shoe signifies wealth and financial security. It dates back to the Scottish custom of a groom putting a silver coin under his left foot for good luck during the ceremony. These days, a penny is sometimes substituted or omitted all together.