April 11, 2018

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

And a Sixpence in her Shoe

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” You’ve most likely heard this rhyme before. But what does it actually mean, and where does it come from? It’s a fact that western weddings have a lot of tradition tied into them. Let’s unpack this wedding tradition, explaining its history and its relevance today:

History – The original rhyme went like this:

                            Something old,

                            something new,

                            something borrowed,

                            something blue,

                            and a sixpence in her shoe.

This rhyme originated in England during the Victorian Era and symbolized luck for a bride on her wedding day. Specifically, each “something” represents an item to be given to the lucky bride before she walks down the aisle.

Something old

This item represents the tie between the bride’s past and her family. It can be anything that has ties to the bride’s past, such as a locket with a picture of a loved one inside or a small article of clothing belonging to a loved one or relative cut into the shape of a heart and sewn into the dress.

Something new

This represents the new chapter in the bride’s life and the future she will spend with her spouse. It is used as a token of hope for the happy couple’s long future together. Something new can be an exchange of rings between the husband and bride, or it can be the bride’s dress itself.

Something borrowed

This item usually comes from a family member or a friend of the bride who is happily married. The reason for this is that the sense of happiness will transfer over to the bride and stay with the happy couple for years to come, and that the bride can always seek support from her family and friends. Common items include jewelry, a garter, or even the dress.

Something blue

Blue is the color of love, purity, faithfulness, and modesty. To keep with tradition, the bride can wear a blue piece of jewelry. But for a modern take, you can write a little note or other small message in blue on the bottom of her shoes.

And a sixpence in her shoe

Lastly, a sixpence was a coin in Victorian England. Nowadays, it symbolizes lasting wealth for the couple which, if we’re being honest, everyone can use. Sixpence coins can often be found in wedding shops.