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Friday, 30 August 2013

Wedding Tips: Something Old, Something Blue...


Have you heard of the traditional wedding rhyme:


Something Old, 
Something New, 
Something Borrowed, 
Something Blue,

...and are you familiar with the tradition of brides trying to wear something from each line?

Did you also know that there is actually a fifth line:

And a Silver Sixpence in your shoe.

Below I give you some ideas for what you can use for each part of the rhyme and give you the history and traditions behind some of them.

Traditionally, just before the bride left to get married her family and friends used to give her some old, new, borrowed and blue items and a sixpence to wish her luck and show their love.

Nowadays most brides tend to source these items themselves with the exception perhaps of the Something Old which someone in the family may give her.  This could be an heirloom such as a ring, necklace or bracelet from an old aunt or grandparent.

If you don’t have an heirloom you could use a piece of vintage silk ribbon in your bouquet or a button from one of your Dad’s old coats sewn into your dress or perhaps carry a vintage purse.

Modern ideas for this part of the rhyme include using a vintage car or holding your ceremony or reception in an historic venue.

Something New is said to represent the future and the new life the bride and groom will now share.

A bride usually wears a new dress and carries a bouquet of fresh or silk flowers.  Sometimes she will be given a new piece of jewellery by her parents or her Groom and of course every bride wears special new lingerie under her beautiful dress.

Something Borrowed represents happiness ‘borrowed’ from a dear friend or special relative which is ‘carried over’ to the new relationship. It is worth remembering that this item should be returned the following day (together with a thank you note) - this can be carried out by another relative or friend.  It is also said that this borrowing/lending shows that the bride can depend on her friends and family for support.

Suggested items for borrowing are having floral arrangements that include using flowers from someone’s garden, borrowing a handkerchief or a tiara or even borrowing some jewellry from a girlfriend (who’s married of course).


Something Blue represents love, good fortune and fidelity.  There are possibly dozens of opportunities to use the colour blue in a wedding but the most popular are wearing a blue garter, having a piece of blue ribbon sewn in to your dress and having blue flowers in the bouquet.

Other ideas might include having the reception decorated with blue balloons, painting your toenails blue or wearing blue shoes or a blue underskirt.

You might even decide that the Boys should have blue suits for the day or that you should arrive in a blue car.

A Silver Sixpence in Your Shoe - traditionally placed in the left shoe - is seen as a symbol of good luck and to keep away bad spirits.  If it is not possible to have it in your shoe then you could have it sewn into the lining of your dress.  It would make it all the more special if you can get a sixpence that was minted in a year that means something to you such as your birth year or the year your parents or grandparents got married.

This tradition stems from the 17th Century when it was custom for the Lord of the Manor to give a piece of silver to his bride on the day of their wedding.  Later on this developed into the custom of including a silver sixpence in the bride’s dowry.
 by Jacqui Dunster



Sources: Dawn WilliamsYahoo! Contributor Network Jun 20, 2007 and an interview in Wedding Essentials taken from The Martha Stewart Show, January 2008