Many brides stick to the superstition of carrying something old, new, borrowed, and blue with them on their wedding days. But does anyone actually know the origins of this phrase?
The wedding custom is actually part of a smaller English rhyme that read:
Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.
The rhyme can be traced as early back as 1894 where it was printed in a Pennsylvania newspaper and referred to as a “Puritan Marriage Custom”. However, the rhyme originates in Victorian England and serves as a collection of items that each bride is to have on her wedding day for good luck.
“Something old” is meant to symbolize the couples past, their history, and most importantly, the families that came before them. In carrying something old, the bride essentially agrees to carry on her family traditions.
“Something new” symbolizes the promise of a happy future and successful marriage. By having something new with her at the wedding, the bride recognizes the youth of her relationship and the hope of creating new traditions and family with her partner.
“Something borrowed” must come from a happily married couple. This is because the borrowed item is meant as a promise to emulate the relationship of the couple you are borrowing this item from. Most women borrow a piece of jewelry from someone in a successful marriage.
“Something blue” is symbolic of trust, loyalty, and confidence—all qualities one aspires for in a successful marriage. It is for this reason that up until the 1800’s many women chose to wear blue wedding dresses. Today, a hint of blue anywhere on the brides person or clothing is preferred by most, like a blue sash, flowers, lingerie, or rhinestone.
It is safe to assume that the reason we no longer carry a sixpence in bridal shoes is because we no longer use sixpence. But for now, most brides rely on this bridal adage in the hopes of a successful marriage, and it is certainly a tradition that everyone looks forward to.