Every bride has heard the “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a sixpence in your shoe” line — probably chimed at her by a wedding planner or a parent as the bride tries to decide what she’s going to wear on her wedding day. The saying dates back to Victorian England, with the sixpence falling from favor over time. The items are to be worn or carried by the bride on her big day, but does anyone know why?
In short, they are supposed to act like good luck charms for the bride and her groom. Usually given to the bride by her sisters, parents, or friends, each one of these “somethings” offers some specific type of luck for the marriage to come.
Wearing or carrying something old on your wedding day represents continuity. It is the same idea that drives many women to wear their mothers’ wedding dresses. It brings with it the stability and longevity of the mythical “past,” and hopefully imparts those qualities to the new marriage that is about to take place. It is also said to provide protection for the baby to come. You can choose to wear a piece of your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown or perhaps a piece of their antique jewelry.
Something new symbolizes the future and optimism. A marriage is all about starting a new future together, so it makes sense to carry or wear a token that represents the shiny newness of this stage of your life. This is probably the easiest of the categories to fulfill, as a new dress, new shoes, new veil, or new jewelry. Pearls and rhinestones are a classic favorite.
Why would you want to wear something borrowed on the most important day of your life (up until this point, probably)? Because carrying or wearing something borrowed brings with it the blessing and “borrowed” happiness of the lender. The tradition indicates that this item should be lent by someone who is truly happy for you and your future spouse, so the item will carry that happiness with it. You can borrow your sister’s veil or her earrings or necklace. Or, perhaps borrow your grandmother’s lace handkerchief.
Blue is a color heavy with symbolism — it means purity, loyalty, and love, three things that make a marriage happy. Blue and white go beautifully together, but if blue isn’t one of your wedding colors or would actively clash with the colors you have chosen, blue on your undergarment or shoes is a good way to sneak some in without disrupting the whole color scheme of the wedding. Many brides choose a blue garter. Don’t like that idea? Perhaps wear a sapphire earrings or necklace.
And . . . A Sixpence in Your Shoe
This is a part of the rhyme that few people have heard, as it’s largely practiced just in the UK, but carrying a sixpence in your shoe is said to bring prosperity and good luck to your marriage. And, what is a sixpence – a British coin worth one-fortieth of a pound sterling, or six pence.
Visit Stuff4uand4u to see what we might have to help in your search for old, new, borrowed or blue!