We know you’ve heard the saying, “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”, whenever a bride is getting ready for her wedding day. So where did this saying come from? And, according to the adage, what does it really signify for the bride?
The full, original rhyme is actually, “Something olde, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” While no one is completely sure of the saying’s origins, it rose to popularity quickly during Victorian era, and it most definitely came over to the US from England. The rhyme first appeared in print in the US in 1883.
Today, most American brides conveniently forego the last part – the silver sixpence. A sixpence was a form of British currency used until it became obsolete in the late 1960s (and continued to be legal tender until 1980). If you’re looking for a true silver sixpence, keep in mind that only coins minted on or before 1920 are made of sterling silver. Those made between 1921-1946 contain 50% silver and coins minted after 1946 contain no silver at all.
What does this saying mean anyway? The rhyme is essentially a set of instructions for the bride to guarantee good fortune in her marriage. According to folklore, if she gathers and wears an item from each category on her big day, she’s ensured a long, happy and prosperous marriage.
Each of the five aspects found within the rhyme have special significance and represent a specific attribute of a successful marriage. “Something old” represents consistency and tradition, “something new” signifies excitement and hope for the future, “something borrowed” symbolizes the adoption of another’s good luck and happiness, “something blue” represents fidelity and love and “a silver sixpence” indicates a future filled with good fortune and wealth.
Many brides today participate in this custom simply for good fun. And today’s brides usually choose similar items to collect to satisfy the folklore. A family member’s vintage accessory, such as jewelry or an evening bag, often is collected for “something old” and can fulfill the “something borrowed” category as well. “Something new” is almost always the bridal gown and could also be the bridal shoes or one of so many other accessories purchased just for this special day.
And as for “something blue”, the brides we’ve filmed have incorporated varying creative methods to include something blue into their attire and we went way back into our archives to find some terrific examples! Many brides, like Lauren and Ashley, have affixed blue labels or stickers to the bottom of their shoes that read, “I Do”! We’ve also seen so many brides have a label sewn into their gown’s lining with their initials, wedding date, etc. inscribed in blue. And another fun way to add the color is to wear standout blue shoes like Allison did on her wonderful wedding day!
February 15th, 2019
by Kristi Chapman
in Tips & Ideas