Something Old, New, Borrowed, BlueIf you’ve participated in weddings, you might have heard a line uttered in reference to gifts usually bestowed upon a bride: “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” As per tradition, these items bring good fortune for the marriage when included with the bride’s outfit. The line itself comes from an Old English rhyme that also mentions “a sixpence in the shoe.” According to Victorian-era English lore, these items ward off the Evil Eye curse that caused infertility in the bride. Today, this tradition is still in practice, but let’s take a closer look at these gifts and their implementation.

Something Old

Typically, “something old” was a talisman to ward off the Evil Eye curse and protect a bride’s future offspring. In wedding traditions, this is a small piece of jewelry or a clothing item that belonged to a family elder or ancestor. This item symbolizes continuity. Sometimes an heirloom or other family item is gifted to the bride before a wedding. In a modern ceremony that may not include a bride, a groom or someone outside of the gender binary may still want to incorporate something old into the celebration. This could be something like cufflinks or another piece of jewelry or accessory fashioned from something old or of significance to the family.

Something New

“Something new” represents optimism for the future, and it is typically reflected in the presents offered to the couple at a wedding shower, engagement party or reception. A gift registry put together by the soon-to-be-newlyweds includes items that the couple wants for their life together. Of course, new items purchased to be worn on the big day also check the “something new” box quite nicely.

Something Borrowed

As per lore, “something borrowed” is intended to bring good luck to the couple, as the item borrowed is typically offered by a married happy couple. The idea here is that they’re sharing their good fortune with the couple to be wed. In folklore, this would have involved a bride wearing a friend or relative’s undergarments so that the good luck would rub off. Sharing underwear is probably not the best idea today, but small adornments and accessories can be loaned in keeping with the tradition. Some ideas may include shareable items such as a necklace, pocket square or brooch. If you’re a friend of the engaged, you could lend an item for use on the big day.

Something Blue

The color blue often represents love, purity and faithfulness, viewed to be essential elements to any successful marriage. In the past, a bride would wear a blue garter under the gown. Today, the color blue can be used for any aspect of a wedding celebration, from the attire to invitations to the theme for the ceremony/reception. If you’re not sure how to incorporate blue, consider offering blue-colored gift cards to retailers that sell home improvement items, home goods or the items in a gift registry.

A Sixpence for the Shoe

Traditionally, a bride would include a sixpence in her shoe for prosperity and good fortune. Although sixpence coins don’t exist in the United States, these brides would tuck a penny, presented by her father, in her shoe before walking down the aisle. The penny might be from the year the bride was born or the year the couple met. Today’s wedding participants can modify this tradition as they see fit.

Wedding traditions such as “something old, something new” can be fun to incorporate; however, no one should feel obligated to adhere to them. It’s up to the engaged couple to decide on the particulars of their big day. After all, it’s their life together and they should have the ultimate say.

Category: Get Ordained Wedding Materials

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