Something Old, Something New

We’ve all heard it: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” But did you ever wonder where it came from? This old poem dates back to Victorian England and each item represents a good luck charm for the bride. There is actually a last line that goes with it as well: “And a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

Here's something blue!

Here's something blue!

It’s fun to adhere to this custom if you wish. Traditions, symbolism and even a touch of superstition add meaning, beauty, and fun to all occasions.

Here is the meaning of that old chestnut: The ‘something old’ symbolizes a connection to the past. The bride can carry or wear anything that was not purchased for the wedding. Many choose to wear something from their mother or grandmother, such as a piece of jewelry.

‘Something new’ represents hope for the new life that awaits the bride and groom. That’s an easy one to fulfill.

Wearing something from a family member gives greater meaning.

Wearing something from a family member gives greater meaning.

‘Something borrowed’ represents good fortune. The bride should borrow from a good friend or family member, who’s life is happy, in the hopes that their happiness will rub off on the bride and groom.

And blue has long been connected to weddings. In ancient Rome brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty and fidelity.  You will see the Virgin Mary dressed in blue in most paintings, symbolizing purity. And until the late 19th century blue was the popular color for wedding gowns, not white.

Blue shoes for fun... and for something blue!

Blue shoes for fun... and for something blue!

The sixpence in the bride’s shoe represents the hope of wealth and financial security. This may actually be a Scottish custom. Placing a coin in one’s shoe for the wedding certainly can’t hurt. Encourage the groom to do the same. At least you’ll have something left after the wedding expenses.

This is just one example of the many traditions and superstitions that stretch back across centuries and continue today. It’s fun to carry on these ties with the past, and when we understand where they came from and what they mean, its even better.

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