Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe
But what does all of this mean and why do brides do it?
Collectively throughout a variety of resources, wikipedia’s, Wedding Bee, The Knot, The Feminist Bride, Weddingguideuk.com, and Martha Stewart, all agree on the first two lines, many provide different historical origins for the last line, however all agree on the meaning.
Something Old refers to the continuity with the bride’s family and the past.
Something New refers to the optimism for the future.
Something Borrowed symbolizes happiness or borrowed happiness from a happily married friend or family member. It is believed that by borrowing the object from a happily married couple that it will carry over into the new bride’s life.
Something blue represents purity, love, and fidelity. According to MarthaStewart.com the color blue has historically been worn by the Romans to symbolize modesty, love, and fidelity. In the Biblical sense, the color blue has also represented purity with the Virgin Mary always in blue. Throughout the ages, with the color blue has represented love, purity, and fidelity, brides used to be wed in blue until the late 19th century.
A silver sixpence is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity to the new couple, not only financially but also in joy and happiness. The history on this tradition is a little hazier. Some sites say that it is a British custom, while others say it is Scottish and originated as the groom’s tradition. How it ended up as a bride carrying on the tradition, who knows?
Now that you know the history on the saying, you are probably wondering when did this saying even pop up? That is generally unknown, but believed to have been commonly recited in the Victorian Era. Martha Stewart’s site also brings up an interesting point which indicates to the time period of the saying. The sixpence was only minted from 1551-1967 which means the saying likely started (at least the tail part of the saying) sometime in 1551 or later.
So what can you do to bring this rhyme’s good fortune into your life?
Old: Finding a vintage piece of jewelry from a grandparent or possibly an old family owned handkerchief wrapped around the bride’s flowers.
New: Some women consider their wedding gown as their “new” item. It could be a new pair of shoes, piece of jewelry or hair clip, or perhaps a “new” “blue” garter (that’s a two for one ladies! J). For many brides they are wearing several new items and that is an easy one to accomplish.
Something Borrowed: This item must be given back after the wedding, but perhaps the wedding gown itself, or something else with meaning between the bride and the family member or friend.
Something Blue: The bride could wrap a blue ribbon around her flowers, wear blue lingerie, paint her nails or toe nails blue, have a blue flower in her bouquet, sew blue into the dress on the inside, or I have seen “I DO” bling to go on the back underneath the shoes on the soles in blue.
A sixpence has been replaced with a dime, a penny, or you can purchase sentimental sixpence special for weddings.
Any other fun suggestions? Let us know!
Something Blue Bridal Boutique
211 South Saginaw Street
Holly, Michigan 48442
Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo
Alfred Angelo Bridal Collection
Forever Yours Bridal Collection
Alfred Angelo & Forever Yours Maids