Wedding Traditions: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, And Something Blue

This wedding tradition dates back to the Victorian era and is still quite popular with modern brides.  In fact, a current general trend in our society is to value vintage items and ideas.  This may be partly due to the economy and the desire to hold onto something timeless, like old traditions!

This rhyme is basically a good luck rhyme.  Each of the four elements of this tradition signifies something the bride or the new couple will experience.

Something old represents the ties to the original birth family of the bride and her continued bond to her family as well as the continuity of the person the bride is as she transitions from single to married.  Most often brides choose a piece of jewelry from a grandparent, or a vintage handkerchief or even a wedding dress from a previous generation!

Something new represents the transition to adulthood the bride is going through as well as the new life the couple will enjoy together and the hope for a successful life together along with prosperity.  Most brides use their shoes or wedding gown to represent this item although another common new object is a piece of jewelry that will become the “old” item for a future daughter or grand daughter!

Something borrowed is an item that is supposed to to be borrowed from a happily married woman and represents basically a good luck charm for the new bride.  By borrowing a treasured item from a happily married women, it would ensure your marriage would be happy!  It also symbolizes the “borrowed” help of family and friends in times of need and trials that every family eventually endures. Some of the items commonly borrowed are ear rings or a necklace and is worn just for the day.

Something blue represents long lasting love, purity of the marriage relationship, fidelity and permanence of the marriage.  Another historical reference goes back to ancient Israel; brides decorated the fringe of their robe with blue to denote modesty.  Catholics use the color blue to represent purity and innocence.  The most common piece for this part of the rhyme is a blue garter or blue flowers.

“And a six pence in your shoe”, represents wealth, in both finance and relationships.  Most often this is a silver dime as in some versions of this rhyme, the six pence was a silver coin.  Another meaning attached to the coin was a tradition in England for a young man to give a woman a burnished coin engraved with his initials as a love token.  In Sweden, the father of the bride would place a silver coin into her left shoe and the mother of the bride would place a golden coin into her right shoe so the bride as a form of dowry.

As is the case in many wedding traditions, this one has its roots in superstition.  Even if you are not a believer in luck, this tradition is a fun one to follow as it allows one to think about some of the symbolism the old and new, borrowed and blue have.  This tradition also helps to bridge the generations and bring a bride into a closer relationship with friends and relatives who help provide these 5 elements!

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