Something borrowed, blue, old & new – what does it mean?

Whether you’re currently planning a classic wedding or one more unconventional, there are some traditions you can observe regardless. Gathering your ‘something borrowed, something blue…’ is one of these. No one’s quite sure where this long-standing tradition originates from. According to The Spruce, the full saying of “something olde, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a silver sixpence in her shoe” first appeared in print in the late 19th century. Ever since then, finding items to match each part of the saying has been a route to good luck for wedding days around the world.

Bride and groom

In this blog post, we take a look at the meaning behind the rhyme and reveal the dreamy details that will help you weave each part into your own wedding day.

Something old

Thought to represent continuity, your something old is a great way to include a memento from years gone by into your wedding day ensemble. Wedding Ideas shares their ideas to inspire your something old:

“We love the idea of wearing your mother’s or grandmother’s jewellery on the big day. It might be a brooch, garter, neckline or a pair of earrings. Maybe you had a christening bracelet you want to wear on your wedding day. Something old doesn’t have to mean clothing or accessories, either. If you’ve an old family cake topper you could use that. If there’s an old family veil that your mother, aunts or older sisters wore on their big days, ask to borrow that. Wedding veils don’t date too much, so this could be a money-saving item for you, too.”

Something new

Pretty much any part of your wedding could fall into this category. However, keeping your choice meaningful to your relationship will help to complement its hidden meaning. Your something new should represent your optimism for the future and ambitions for life after marriage. You can even get your groom involved; wedding morning gifts from generous grooms make the perfect something new!

Something borrowed

A token of borrowed happiness, your something borrowed isn’t just a way to cut costs. In Victorian times, this borrowed item would preferably be a borrowed undergarment from a woman who has had children. Borrowing an undergarment like this was thought to confuse the ‘Evil Eye’, quashing the curse of infertility for new wives. These days borrowed items come in all forms, from a spritz of someone else’s perfume – read more about the importance of perfume on your big day – to a lent piece of jewellery.

Something blue

Your something blue symbolises purity, love and fidelity, but traditionally it was thought to provide greater protection for brides-to-be. Like something borrowed, something blue protected brides from the Evil Eye, a curse thought to be passed via the glare of a jealous onlooker. Most brides incorporate their something blue as a garter, whilst others opt for a more visible accessory. Pale blue shoes are a great choice for those looking to add a twist to their traditional ensemble.

A silver sixpence in her shoe

Often considered the forgotten part of the saying, brides are now increasingly incorporating the silver sixpence as a nod to British custom. The sixpence represents good fortune and prosperity, and there are various accessories and mementos that you can purchase to fulfil this final part of the saying, including necklaces and shoes with the sixpence already built in.

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