Traditional brides incorporate something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in their weddings. Many brides are unfamiliar with the origin and meaning behind the old-new-borrowed-blue custom though. This tradition stems from an old English rhyme “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in your shoe.” Traditionally, family members and the bride’s attendants gave old, new, borrowed, and blue items and a sixpence to the bride as tokens of love on her wedding day for good luck just before her marriage. Today, brides are working the old, new, borrowed, and blue objects into their weddings themselves. Here are some ideas for brides to personalize the old-new-borrowed-blue custom for their weddings.
“Something Old“ represents a continuation of the past moving to the future. The item can be an antique, an heirloom object, or a sentimental piece that represents the bride’s past.
- Get a vintage purse to match the bride’s gown
- Bring out the great grandmas jewelry to wear like an engagement ring or wedding band, a brooch, earrings, a bracelet, a necklace, or some sparkly hair pins
- Pin your grandfathers broach onto your bouquet
- Sew a button from one of the bride’s father’s old coats on the inside of the bride’s gown at the hem or place it in her purse
- Wear a headpiece, tiara, or veil that has been handed down from generation to generation
- Wear vintage white gloves
- Display your parents’ cake toppers or use it as the wedding cake topper
“Something New“ represents optimism for the future and the new life the bride will share with her groom.
- Buy a new lipstick in a pretty shade
- Buy a new clutch to use on the day of the wedding
- Select a new jewelry item to wear on the day of the wedding like a bracelet, earrings, or a necklace
- Wear new lingerie that you may have gotten at your Bridal shower to wear under your gown
“Something Borrowed“ represents “borrowed” happiness. A lot of brides have a borrowed item from a long-time happily married couple for this, but it can also be something borrowed from a friend or other relative. The borrowed item should be returned to the owner following the wedding day with a thoughtful thank you.
- The Groom can borrow his grandfather’s pocket watch or have the bride carry it in her purse
- The groom can wear his father’s silk handkerchief
- Use a best friend’s strapless bra for the day (interesting suggestion!)
- Borrow a headpiece or hair bobbles/hair tie
- Use your sister’s silver knife she used at her wedding to cut the cake with at the reception
- Wear borrowed jewelry from a happily married best friend or family member
- Borrow the flower girl or ring bearer from a friend’s wedding (make sure you return this child!) lol
“Something Blue“ represents love, good fortune and fidelity. This can be done is so many ways! Some will not want blue to be a dominant wedding color and so they will prefer to limit the blue color to less visible areas. The something blue item is also an opportunity for the bride who loves blue to embrace the color blue as one of her wedding colors.
- Make it fun and wear a blue Garter
- Have the groom wear a blue undies 😉
- Paint the bride’s toenails or fingernails with blue nail polish
- Have the florist use blueberries in the table centerpieces
- Wear blue shoes
- Wear sapphire, tanzanite, opals, or aqua marine jewelry
- Use a blue stone on your bouquet
- Drive a blue car for transportation
- Pack blue lingerie for the honeymoon
A Sixpence in Your Shoe – This is actually new to me as well! The sixpence represents good fortune and prosperity, which we all want! The sixpence is usually placed in the bride’s left shoe, but it can also be carried in the bride’s purse. Silver sixpence coins can be purchased from various online stores that sell them specifically for weddings, but many brides have found other ways to interpret this custom by using various items and carrying the item instead of placing it in their shoes.
- Buy a silver sixpence to use for the wedding
- Get a coin from your country or your grooms country
- Carry another valuable object like a different coin, jewelry, or a large dollar bill
Some people may consider this a superstitious belief and since many people do not believe in superstitions, they do not follow this tradition. This is something that is entirely up to the bride (and groom) to decide upon (unless you have grandparents or parents who wish that you follow tradition…then you better get to collecting!).
In some Latin American cultures, one of the traditions is that during the ceremony, the groom traditionally presents the bride with 13 gold coins to symbolize giving up his worldly possessions. Also, a rope or garland is wound around the couple, symbolizing eternal love and equal responsibility.
Please let us know of any wedding traditions that are implemented in your culture. We would love to read about them!