More than likely, you have heard this phrase before but you may not know that this superstition dates back to 1883 and comes from an Old English rhyme. The old, the new, the borrowed and the blue are all meant to be a token of good luck for the bride.
While this tradition can seem outdated, it is still incorporated into modern marriages of today and in current times this rhyme has many different interpretations. Couples have been known to incorporate objects such as vintage looking stamps for your invitations for the old, a new sports car to take you to the reception for the new, dancing your first dance to your parent’s wedding song for the borrowed, or blue cocktails. Call me old-fashioned, but personally, I like the idea of all four of these items being on the bride’s person as she walks down the aisle.
Something Old is meant to represent the bride’s family, usually her mother or grandmother. Something old is a symbol of continuity. Brides may choose to wear a piece of antique family jewelry which belonged to a relative or a locket with photos of parents or grandparents. Or, they may select something from the mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gowns.
Suggestions: A vintage necklace, a locket, a handkerchief, a family heirloom like a bible or book of poetry, a small piece of their mother’s or grandmother’s own wedding dress wrapped around the bridal bouquet
Something New represents good luck and hope for a bright future. The wedding dress can be chosen as the new item but it could be anything that is purchased new for the wedding such as the wedding rings or bridal bouquet. Wearing a new item on your wedding day conveys the message that you and your husband are creating a new union that will last forever.
Suggestions: Your wedding dress, shoes, jewelry, veil, wedding ring
Something Borrowed is to represent to the bride that friends and family will be there for her on a special day and in the future. This item is supposed to come from a happily married woman and symbolizes lending her own marital happiness into the new marriage. Anything can be borrowed but it must be returned afterward.
Suggestions: Your veil, a piece of jewelry, hair ornament, a handbag
Something Blue in ancient times is the symbol of faithfulness, purity, and loyalty. Typically, the blue item is a garter but it can be anything from jewelry to stunning blue shoes. The color blue also represents love, modesty, and fidelity.
Suggestions: Blue shoes, garter, have your initials or wedding date embroidered with blue thread inside your wedding dress, blue ribbon on your flowers, a blue sapphire ring
A silver sixpence in her shoe is mentioned at the end of the original poem is and represents a wish for prosperity and good fortune. We typically forgo this part of the rhyme in the United States, but the custom remains popular in Britain and is typically a gift from the bride’s father as a way for him to wish her prosperity, love, and happiness.