This good luck saying dates back to the Victorian era, and continues to be one of the most significant traditions to be followed by brides of today. Each item in this poem represents a good luck token for the bride. If she carries all of them on her wedding day, her marriage will be happy.
Something old symbolises continuity with the bride’s family and the past. It is the link between the generations of the family so it is quite common for a bride to wear a piece of antique jewellery which belonged to a relative, or she may carry a handkerchief passed down by her grandmother.
‘Something Old’ ~ Cameo handed down from Grandmother is attached to the brides sash on her wedding gown. Image via United with Love
Something new means optimism and hope for the bride’s new life ahead. It is also symbolic of the bride and groom creating a new life together which will endure forever. The wedding gown is often chosen as the new item but the bride can use anything from her shoes, to her earrings or lingerie for her something new.
‘Something new’ ~ Brides jewellery. Image via Arushie Bridal Couture
Something borrowed is usually an item from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride. The borrowed item also reminds the bride that she can depend on her friends and family. It could be a hair piece or jewellery from a girlfriend or something she wore on her wedding day. The item that is borrowed must be returned afterwards.
‘Something Borrowed’ ~ If you love your best friend’s perfume, why not borrow her scent for the day? Image via Arushie Bridal Couture
Something blue refers back to ancient times when the colour was a sign of faithfulness, purity and loyalty. Christianity has long dressed the Virgin Mary in blue, so purity was associated with the colour. Before the late 19th century, blue was a popular colour for wedding gowns, hence the old proverb “Marry in blue, lover be true.” Some brides like to have fun with the blue element and choose to wear blue like a statement piece. They may go for a pair of bold blue shoes, while others prefer something more subtle like a blue satin garter or bracelet with a pale blue topaz stone.
‘Something Blue’ ~ Gorgeous blue satin shoes. Image via Silver Touch Event Planning
For an extra piece of good luck, we wanted to share with you the complete phrase for the tradition:
Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.
A silver sixpence in the bride’s shoe represents wealth and financial security. This token possibly dates back to a Scottish custom of a groom putting a silver coin under his foot for good luck. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe!
These days, a dime or a copper penny is sometimes substituted, BUT if you want the real thing on your wedding day, we’ve found the business for you! You can purchase your own silver sixpence up to 100 years old from Silver Sixpence, and the great news is – they ship internationally!
‘A silver sixpence in her shoe!’ Image via silversixpence.com
And if you enjoy a little bit of history…a sixpence is a coin that was minted in Britain from 1551 to 1967. It was made of silver and worth six pennies.
So there you have the meaning behind the good luck tradition. We would love to hear your ideas for something old, new, borrowed and blue – so please leave your comments below.