Keeping Tradition Alive: The Old, The New, The Borrowed, The Blue

Hello Lovely People,

Wedding traditions are passed down throughout history, but as time moves forward, it can be easy to forget what they truly represent. Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to explore what the rhyme “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” really means, and how you can use it in your celebration!

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What the rhyme is and the history behind it

The full rhyme is as follows:

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

So where did this all come from? This saying is an Anglo-American tradition that likely originated in Lancastershire, England. Two of the earliest written accounts of the saying are both from London. One account is from St. James Magazine and a second is from Charlotte Sophia Burn who was the president of London’s Folklore Society. Many brides choose to implement the 4 or 5 different components of the rhyme into their wedding for good luck in their future marriage. Now let’s break down this traditional saying.

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Each item and its meaning

Something Old

Incorporating something old represents protection for the bride’s future baby and continuity.

Something New

Use something new in your wedding to symbolize optimism for the future.

Something Borrowed

Throw in something borrowed to symbolize happiness and luck if you wear something that a previous bride wore on her wedding day. It is advised to wear an undergarment from the previous bride if she had children to pass along that blessing of fertility.

Something Blue

Something blue is meant to represent purity, love, and fidelity. Wedding veterans suggest wearing a blue garter, but we leave it open to other ideas as well.

A sixpence in her shoe

This often-ignored part of the rhyme is meant to represent prosperity in your life as a newly wedded couple.

Photo Credit: Reasons 2 B Cheerful

The importance of the tradition

While it is cute and fun to incorporate all 5 of these things in your wedding, it is definitely not mandatory. It is a nod to folklore customs and some good luck, but we know that your happily ever after isn’t based on an old, blue garter. If you can’t hit all of the 5 different points, don’t stress! We promise you can still have a luck-filled life with a happy and healthy relationship.

Photo Credit: Anna Lui Photography

How to incorporate it

Should you decide to include some or all parts of the rhyme into your special day, look no further to discover some new ideas than our weekly blog post! We will be going into how you can do old, new, borrowed, and blue separately each week, but don’t be fooled into believing that you need 4 or 5 different items. There can and will be overlap in the items that you use, don’t feel bad for combining!  We can’t wait to see how you style your wedding with all of our old, new, borrowed and blue ideas heading your way!

Photo Credit: Lukas & Suzy VanDyke

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