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Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

This well-known saying is an old English rhyme most sources trace back to the late 1800’s. In its complete form the rhyme reads: Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a silver Sixpence in her Shoe. Since the Victorian Era, brides have continued in the custom of incorporating at least the first four items listed in this poem for good luck in their marriage. Often, these items would be contributed by the bride’s family and attendants before the wedding.
The “Something Old” represents the continuity of the bride’s past, the link to her ancestors, and her movement into the future. A common object used to symbolize the link to the bride’s family is an heirloom piece of jewelry. 

“Something New” represents the hope for a bright future and the new life a bride and groom will share together. Usually, the bride’s dress fulfills this element of good luck. 

A few explanations exist for the “Something Borrowed” item in this tradition. The inclusion of an item loaned from a long-term happily married woman symbolizes “borrowed happiness.” Another source suggests that the borrowing of an item represents the support from family and friends for the bride on her wedding day and in the future when needed. A third source suggests that brides used to borrow undergarments from a fertile woman to promote the same sort of luck for the new bride. WHAT? That’s weird. . . moving on to “Something Blue.” Research suggests that this tradition stems from the wearing of blue bands on the bride and groom’s clothing to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity. A common way brides incorporate the something blue is on the bride’s garter.

The final line of this rhyme, "a silver sixpence in her shoe," has been incorporated into the wedding attire of modern brides by the affixing of coins to the sole of their wedding shoes. The sixpence was part of English currency used in Britain from 1551 to 1967. A sixpence, also known as the English Tanner Coin, can still be purchased as a commemorative piece, but most brides in the United States will substitute 6 pennies or a dime(a pence as a unit of currency is referred to as a one-cent-piece). It represents financial security and good fortune for the bride and groom. 

Today, brides are finding new ways to incorporate this tradition into their weddings. Browse this online article for some great ideas, or create some new traditions of your own!
Sources Used to Write this Article:
Wikipedia. “Penny.” 29 April 2014. Web. 14 May 2014. < >
Williams, Dawn. “Wedding Traditions: Ideas for Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue, How to Personalize This Tradition for Your Wedding Day” Yahoo Voices. Dawn Williams. 20 June 2007. Web. 14 May 2014. < >


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