Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue?

 

The Tradition

 

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.

 

Something Old

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

 

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.

 

 

Something Borrowed

 

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.

 

Something Blue

 

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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

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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!

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30 Comments:

  1. What great history, Robin! And it makes perfect sense with the explanation, doesn’t it!

  2. I had a blue garder too. It was easy to hide. Thanks for reminding me of these wedding traditions. I am going to share with my neices who will be getting married in the coming years.

  3. My best friends daughter is getting married. I had to share this with her so she would be full of wisdom about the wedding traditions before her big day.

  4. Loved this information on such a sweet tradition. I had no idea about the sixpence.

  5. What a fun look at the traditions and history behind the wedding tradition we all seem to know and practice. I have a chapter in my book about my wedding day, as I guess my choices for something borrowed and blue might have been bit non-traditional at the time. I also had no idea about the sixpence. Thanks for the insights, Robin!

  6. This is a great article and I love the rhyme that you put in there. Something Borrowed Something Blue very catchy. Thanks for the great post Robin.

    Lori English

  7. What a lovely tradition to pass down to new brides. My mother made sure that I had all those bases covered before she let me walk down the aisle. And, that’s what mothers do. Thanks for the lovely memories.

  8. Great explanation of the meaning behind these traditions. 🙂

  9. This was so much fun to read. Of course I had heard this rhyme many times. I even followed it myself.. Except I dont remember what the Blue item was anymore. I loved getting the background on this rhyme.

  10. You never disappoint and this is no exception! Great article and a fun read.

  11. Thanks Robin for this wonderful post on wedding traditions and what they mean….so interesting! Great share!

  12. I love these old wedding traditions and have immensely enjoyed the occasions when I was able to contribute one of the above items to the bride.

  13. Sonya Kolodziejska

    You always write great pieces and not only that, you put together beautiful pieces and the colours are always gorgeous.

  14. I just love traditions like these. They warm the heart and really help center you during a special time.

  15. Lovely elucidation of the tradition, Robin!

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