Whether you’re a traditional bride, a superstitious bride….or just a bride who likes to get onboard with all things “Bridal” – the “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue” Rhyme is just something that we do…is it to bring us a bit of luck? Is it to ward off evil spirits? Does anyone REALLY know what it means and why we do it?
Well – it turns out that ACTUALLY – there is a bit of meaning behind it all! Let us break it down for you!
So – the “Something Old” represents continuity from your old life into your new one. Essentially bringing elements of your life as a single woman and making them work in your life as a married woman. It show’s where you’ve come from, what makes you “you” and you could even say – it represents you continuing to be “you” in this new chapter of your life. Traditionally this would be something gifted to you from an ancestor – a piece of heirloom jewellery, your mothers dress or wedding veil or an antique hairpiece or tiara.
For me – my something old was my grandmothers engagement ring – a sapphire surrounded by diamonds – which my mother lovingly stitched into the lining of my wedding dress so it was close to my heart. My grandmother was too poorly to attend our special day so wearing something she had worn almost her entire life, something that represented her marriage and our family – was special to me and I felt – brought me a lot of luck (and as it also happened to be a sapphire – it came in quite handy when my something blue didn’t work out).
This represents the new chapter of your life and your hopes and excitement for the future. Wearing something totally new on your wedding day shows that you are excited to be moving into this new stage with your new husband – that you’re committed to a life together and all that it may bring. Finding a “something new” is quite easy for most brides – for many, almost everything they wear on their wedding day – from their gown, to their underwear and shoes is new, at least, to them.
For me – my something new was easy. It was my wedding ring. It was the one thing that I hadn’t worn at all until the big day (which as it turns out – probably wasn’t the smartest thing I ever did because it’s ACTUALLY a little too big). I’d worn my dress for several fittings, I’d broken my shoes in and I’d tried my jewellery and hair piece on several times to make sure they were right….but my ring had never been on my finger before that big moment. For me – it was the first thing I would put on as a married woman – so it was fitting that it would be my “something new”.
Your “something borrowed” is a symbol of happiness and luck for the future. It’s generally something a bride “borrows” from another happily married woman – from a couple that they respect and admire and may even aspire to be like. It could be a part of your wedding ensemble – such as your veil or a piece of jewellery or even a goodluck charm that you attach to your gown or bouquet.
I actually almost forgot about my something borrowed – and in the end had to “borrow” a lace handkerchief from my mum (that I had actually gifted to her” to use). My parents were married 35 years the year I walked down the aisle, they barely spent a day apart their entire life and so my mum was really the only person I could ever conceive of borrowing something from on the day.
Why Blue? (other than the obvious rhyming thing…..) Well, traditionally Wedding Dresses weren’t ACTUALLY white! White gowns only actually became popular duing the Victorian Era after Queen Victoria wore a white dress for her wedding. In Ancient Roman times, brides actually wore blue for their wedding – as a symbol of their love and fidelity. Finding something blue is really easy – whether it’s a piece of blue ribbon on the inside of your dress or around your bouquet, blue shoes or blue undies or even a blue garter….incorporating blue into your wedding outfit is much easier than any of the others.
My something blue was a wee bit of a disaster! My sister, who couldn’t travel for my wedding because she was heavily pregnant with my gorgeous niece, sent me a garter with blue ribbon to wear on my wedding day. However…..for the life of me I could NOT get it to stay up under my wedding dress…..every time I moved it fell further down my leg and by the time I walked to the front door – it was around my ankle. I was in a bit of a panic as I left the house because I didn’t have my “something blue” (and as it turns out – I’m a bit more of a superstitious traditionalist than even I knew)….thankfully my bridesmaid was there to remind me that my something old (my grandmothers engagement ring) contained a blue sapphire – so technically I already had my “something blue” right there with me.
And don’t forget “A Silver Sixpence in her Shoe”
Because…it’s not a rhyme without it, right?! The silver sixpence represents prosperity and good wealth. Placing one inside your shoe is supposed to bring you and your new husband wealth and financial security for life. BUT…..here’s the problem….not only was a “sixpence” part of the British Currency…they also stopped being circulated in 1980s and were only made in silver until the late 1940s…..so getting your hands on one can be a tad on the tricky side….don’t despair…there are lots of online retailers and gift stores that produce novelty silver sixpences for the exact purpose of being used by brides.
I couldn’t find one on the day – but my mum had a British 5 pence piece in her purse so I figured that was close enough. Turns out walking around with a coin inside your shoe isn’t ACTUALLY that comfortable….so I hot-glued one to the bottom of my shoe and it’s still there to this day!
So there you have it – the real “story” behing the tradition. We reckon that when it comes to the crazy adventure of wedding planning and marriage – a little luck goes a long way – so whether you’re a believer, a traditionalist or just love the idea of doing all things a Bride-to-be should – it can’t hurt – can it?
Mrs TW x