You have probably heard the saying something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue way more times than you care to mention. Believe it or not, this saying was not created to drive brides and grooms crazy! There is actually some significance to these words that will make you want to incorporate these items into your wedding plans.
The Meaning Behind the Traditional Rhyme
The old saying actually refers to the Old English rhyme, ‘Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, a Sixpence in Your Shoe’. Each of these are items meant to bring luck to your marriage. It was originally a tradition meant for the bride, but today it has extended out to the groom and in other creative ways.
Each item can be a small token of love given by relatives or friends, often a piece of clothing or accessory. To understand what type of items make sense for following the tradition, let’s first go over the meaning of each and some simple ways you can make them part of your wedding.
Thought of as a way to ward off the evil eye, items like heirlooms and sentimental pieces of jewelry can be gifted to the bride before the wedding. These items also represent continuity and honor the ancestry of the family. Think along the lines of a piece of jewelry the bride will wear, or the groom’s cufflinks can be passed down as well.
A more unusual something old could be a bible or classic book of poetry. A special guest can read a passage aloud during the ceremony.
A bride being gifted the family veil as her something old.
A new item offers optimism for the future. It’s likely both bride and groom will be wearing something new on their wedding day. Many items are bought anyways for the wedding day, such as dresses, shoes, jewelry, hair accessories, flowers, etc. This one will be quite natural to fulfill.
No this has nothing to do with the movie concept, Something Borrowed. No one is being encouraged to steal their best friend's fiancé.
Scene from Something Borrowed.
The something borrowed should be an item ideally be borrowed from a happily married friend or relative with the idea that the good fortune of this person will rub off on the newly married couple. In olden times, brides were urged to borrow undergarments from women with children in the hopes that it would bring fertility to the bride. In today’s times, we don’t need to be as extreme. A hair accessory or jewelry will do just fine. Just be sure to give it back so that it is truly a borrowed item!
While your something borrowed can easily be an item of clothing or jewelry, it can also be another essential part of your wedding. Think or borrowing a cake topper or knife that has been passed down from generation to generation.
The bride borrowing a friend's rosary beads for her something borrowed.
Because the color blue stands for love, purity and fidelity, it was incorporated into weddings to ward off the evil eye. Blue can be easily incorporated into the wedding or wedding attire. Some of the most popular ways are:
- Blue shoes (or shoe stickers)
- A blue garter
- Blue jewelry (like Meghan Markle)
- Blue bouquets (see blog post on why choosing flowers)
- Blue underwear
- A blue clutch or handbag
- A blue jacket or shawl (like Princess Eugenie)
The blue items can be your something borrowed or your something new as well. You will know what you want when you see it.
Typical bridal accessories that are perfect examples of something blue.
As time goes on, our culture is not as superstitious as it once was. Yet the something borrowed something blue saying continues to be relevant today and most brides still follow it. After all, it's better to maximize your luck for a happy marriage rather than to risk tempting the fates. What items will you be incorporating into your wedding to ensure a happy marriage?