Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.
Where did the wedding custom of "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" come from?
Something Old is meant to help the bride keep a piece of her family’s past with her as she heads into her future.
Traditionally, a bride carries some family heirloom, such as a brooch or ring, either attached to her dress or carried with her bouquet down the aisle. This also can be a fabric of some kind from a meaningful time.
Something New symbolizes a bright new future and hope as the bride enters a new chapter of her life.
Traditionally, something new is a gift from either the groom-to-be or the bride’s parents. If you’re like most brides today, though, you’ll be wearing new jewelry, a gown or shoes for your ceremony, so you likely already have this requirement fulfilled.
Something Borrowed represents a number of ideas.
First, since something borrowed generally comes from a happily married woman in your life, it represents equally good fortune in your own marriage. Second, it shows that you will be surrounded by loving, helpful family members and friends throughout your married life. Traditionally, something borrowed is the garter of a happily married woman. (Just make sure you wear a separate tossing garter so hers doesn’t get thrown away!) This can also be jewelry of some kind, such as a ring or earrings. Perhaps the jewelry could be something the happily married woman wore on her own wedding day.
Something Blue represents fidelity and love.
This part of the rhyme has the oldest ties to history. As you may know, white wasn’t a big color for weddings until the late 19th century – but blue was! Often associated with the Virgin Mary’s clothes in Christian art, blue has been associated with purity since the days of ancient Rome. This is also where the saying, “Marry in blue, Lover be true,” comes from. A blue ribbon in the hair or blue gemstone bracelet or necklace is most traditional, but today’s bride tends to express this part of the rhyme via stitching inside her wedding gown or along the bottom hem, with her new monogram and wedding date embroidered in blue on the inside.
The Silver Sixpence represents wealth or just plain good luck (as some Scottish traditions suggest).
Be sure to put it in your left shoe, as tradition instructs!