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Bridal Traditions: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

Posted on November 14th, 2007 by Courtney in Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Traditions 3 Comments

Silver coinSo maybe you’re all about the contemporary wedding: you’re going green, you’re adding a dash of color to that gown of yours, and you’re even getting married far, far away on a beautiful tropical island. But even if you are a completely modern bride, there’s one tradition I bet you’ll keep: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Sound familiar?

It’s a cute little rhyme that you’ve probably had memorized since you were a little girl, right? But do you have any idea where it comes from? Most brides don’t, they just know it’s supposed to bring good luck.

Well, it’s time for a little history lesson ladies!

The rhyme we quote so well in our sing-song voices actually comes from an Old English Rhyme that originated in Victorian times, and it hasn’t changed too much since then. The poem originally went like this:

Something olde, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

The big question though, is why exactly each of these items is so important on your wedding day? Well, it’s all about tradition. Even though the poem originated in Victorian times, it was customary for brides to follow its advice for hundreds of years before then. Each item is meant to bring the bride luck, in it’s own symbolic way:

  • Something old symbolizes continuity with the bride’s family and the past.
  • Something new means optimism and hope for the bride’s new life ahead.
  • Something borrowed is actually supposed to be loaned from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride.
  • Something blue goes back as far as ancient Rome, when brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity.
  • The silver sixpence of course represents a wish for wealth and good fortune. Really, where would you put it other than your shoe?

So now that there’s actually some meaning behind each of these items, be sure to incorporate them into your big day! You certainly don’t want to turn your back on an age old tradition. Besides, there’s so many fun ways to incorporate old, new, borrowed, and blue items, that the good luck might just be an added perk!

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