A Wedding is such a personal event that it takes on the shape and spirit of the bride and her groom. That being said, even the most modern, laid back wedding I have some to document, there is always room for some good old tradition.

One of the most followed and fun traditions is about what the bride should wear on her special day. I am obviously referring to the famous something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. But where does it come from and what does it actually mean?

The History

This wedding recipe comes from the old Victorian rhyme “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your shoe”. This is a list of good-luck tokens a bride should include in her wedding outfit or carry with her  on her wedding day. A that time, superstition was much stronger than today, and those token were to act as a shield against the Evil Eye. While such believes are no more, this recipe has become a fun tradition that many still honour today. Let’s have a look at each token’s meaning.

The meaning of Something Old

If the Something Old used to be a way to ward off the Evil Eye and ensure fertility, nowadays it is a way to celebrate continuity. It often is a piece of jewellery or garment that belonged to an older relative that is passed from one generation to the next.

The meaning of Something New

The Something New is the most obvious one. Like a wedding, it symbolises a new beginning and optimism for the future. While the bridal gown is often something new, it can also be an excuse to treat yourself with something else.

The meaning of Something Borrowed

Back in the days when the Evil Eye spread fears among all, the something borrowed was to protect the bride against infertility. Apparently, it was custom for the bride to borrow the undergarments of a female friend or relative who had been blessed with healthy children. Thankfully, nowadays this has taken a more sentimental meaning, honouring a loved one and it can be any item that comes to mind such as a pice of jewellery or a comb.

The meaning of Something Blue

Blue is the colour of love, purity and fidelity which were the foundation of a good mariage. While traditionally it was a blue garter the bride wore underneath her white dress, nowadays, your something blue can be anything. From some blue flowers in your bridal bouquet to a piece of jewellery, a blue ribbon or a pair of bespoke glittery shoes.  

The meaning of Sixpence in your shoe

A sixpence coin symbolises prosperity. It is often given by the father of the bride just before he walks her down the aisle. It is worth noting the sixpence was decommissioned in the UK in 1980 but I have seen brides choosing some great alternatives. It can be a penny dated from her year of birth or her engagement or the wedding. 

Final thoughts

We live in the 21st century and things have greatly evolved since the victorian era. While the Evil Eye is somewhat no longer a concern of the day, I do think there is still room for folklores and traditions in a wedding. After all, a wedding is one of the oldest tradition in mankind history. This recipe counted 6 tokens but you do not have to have all of them. You can pick and choose the one(s) that is the most meaningful to you. It could definitely bring some extra fun to your wedding planning and preparations. 

I appreciate this whole post has focussed on the meaning of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue from the perspective of the bride. However, it is worth noting this does not need to be restricted to her. It could be spread across the whole wedding, including the groom and it goes without saying but it has its place also in a same-sex wedding.