Where do wedding traditions come from? Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe…
Maybe we heard this saying when we were very small, or maybe a relative is reminding us of this and how we need to continue the tradition for good luck. Many brides choose to keep this tradition in one form or another, and they are often looking for a twist on how to pull this one-off. There is a lot of scope to do quirky and original ideas. I was curious, just why did this saying come about? What are the origins? Read on if you’re curious too!
So, along with many other wedding traditions, it’s the Victorians we have to thank for this one. The internet tried to tell me that weddings try to arrange their wedding attire according to this saying, but in my experience, it’s been the family members who remind brides of this saying and encourage them to incorporate it in their day!
Brides carry or wear “something old” on their wedding day to represent the bride’s family and the past. Brides may choose to wear a piece of antique jewellery loaned or gifted from a family relative. This could be added to the bouquet either as part of a brooch bouquet or fastened to the ribbon tying the bouquet together. Brides could choose to wear a vintage gown, either belonging to a grandmother and tailored to fit, or purchasing a vintage wedding dress from somewhere like Fur Coat No Knickers.
Something new represents the couple and the desire for good fortune and success in their new life together. The wedding gown, a bag, shoes, jewellery or the wedding ring is often selected as the new item.
Something borrowed is to remind the bride that she always has the support of her friends and family whenever she needs them so that by giving back the item after borrowing it, she continues the link between herself and her family. The tradition could go one step further in that the loaned item must be from a happily married woman in order to pass on marital happiness. It could be a piece of jewellery to wear or a lace handkerchief.
The “something blue” in a bridal ensemble symbolizes loyalty, purity, fidelity, and love, which could be seen as a little strange as traditionally this is the garter which doesn’t really depict purity to me! Other ways to incorporate blue for the bride could be to wear blue flowers in her hair, or a blue theme for the bridesmaids perhaps. Take some ideas from these creative brides by painting your nails blue, using blue ribbon around your bouquet, wearing blue shoes or even let your groom be your something blue!
A silver sixpence in her shoe
This last part is often dropped or forgotten but sometimes adhered to. A silver sixpence is meant to be tucked in the bride’s shoe to wish the bride wealth in money and love in their new life together. Alternatives to this idea have been traditionally to sew a small pouch filled with bread, wood, cloth or in the States a dollar bill into the hem of a bride’s petticoat to ensure against shortages of food, shelter, clothing or money.
And so there you have it, the story behind the famous saying! Why not check out the other posts in the series, before the big day, cake & champagne toasts, the wedding party? Plenty of interesting reading and useless facts!
Enjoy and thanks for popping by.