September 7, 2021
Have you heard of the wedding tradition and saying, “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”? Unless you are living under a rock, you more than likely have! And as a bride-to-be you are probably on the search for something to borrow and a blue accessory. But why make all this effort searching for these items? Where does this little rhyme come from? And what is the actual meaning?
In my detective work, and a lot of help from the internet, I discovered that this darling saying comes from a Victorian era Old English rhyme. Except the rhyme is a little different than what we say today. “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe”. Apparently these items are good luck charms for a bride to carry on her wedding day, warding off bad fortune for her marriage and future children. But what about that sixpence?
Although most brides no longer stick a sixpence coin in their shoes, I still think it is a neat wedding tradition that deserves a bit of a spotlight. A sixpence is a British coin that brides would stick in one of their shoes to represent prosperity. This was meant to give luck to the couple as they started their lives together. Not only in their marriage, but also in their economic success. It is a bit more difficult to find a sixpence these days, since it stopped production in the 1980s. However, some brides still find a way to get their hands on one to keep this wedding tradition alive! But if you don’t have the British coin and want to invite all the luck you can, then any coin will do!
Getting your hands on something old seems pretty simple, just go thrift shopping! Many brides today will accept anything old for this wedding tradition, but back in the day this wouldn’t fly. Traditionally, your something old had to be from family, and be seen as an heirloom. This would often be a gift to the bride from her family before her wedding ceremony. This symbolized continuity and was thought to give luck when it came to the fertility of the bride and the protection of her future children.
Finding something new is probably the easiest task of them all! You will buy so many new things for your wedding. Whether it is your shoes, dress, ring or even a new hair cut, you can claim it as your something new! And the best part is, unlike something old, traditionally this doesn’t have to be given to you. your something new symbolizes the future you have together as a married couple. You are beginning a new journey with your best friend, and with that you deserve a new token of optimism on your wedding day!
Today we typically borrow anything from anyone! The shoes you love from your best friend’s wedding, or your sister’s veil. It doesn’t really matter who you borrow from now, but traditionally it did! Brides were to borrow something from a happily married woman who had healthy children. This was in hopes that their good luck would rub off on the bride. And a lot of the time, that something borrowed was the other woman’s underwear. Yeah, kind of weird. Let’s just say that we should all be grateful that something borrowed is now more about honoring a loved one with any item of theirs, not just their underwear.
I love this wedding tradition! It is always so much fun to see how my brides incorporate something blue into their wedding day. Traditionally something blue was meant to represent love, fidelity and purity. This was thought to bless the marriage as these qualities are desirable in any relationship. Typically something blue was a garter worn under the brides gown, but today it can really be anything you would like! I have had brides with family heirlooms, blue pins in their hair, a touch of blue on their shoes, and so many more! And if you are worried about interrupting your color palette, no worries! Keep your something blue small and discrete. Maybe even keep close to wedding tradition and have a blue garter!
This little Old English Rhyme is a fun tradition to follow, but definitely isn’t guarantee to bring you success! There is a lot of work to put into your wedding and every day after that. While you are looking for your “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” remember to find small tokens that are meaningful to you and enjoy the hunt!
I’d love to talk more about your wedding tradition and how I can best capture them for you! As a wedding photographer I pride myself in capture the moments and details that make your wedding day unique and special to you. Let’s connect and talk more about the details!
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