Wedding Traditions – Old, New, Borrowed, Blue?

Something old, something new, 

something borrowed, something blue,

and a silver sixpence in her shoe.

This saying came from England from the Victorian Era.  Each aspect of the poem embodies an item of good luck, and a good wish for the bride.  Out of the many traditions that we have surrounding weddings, personally, I really like this tradition.  It doesn’t come with a weird background, like carrying a bouquet to cover your body odor, or not seeing the groom, so that he won’t run away  leaving you at the altar because you are not attractive enough.  This one has a very good well-wishing, loving energy to it.  It is based in sending the bride off with positive pieces of her past, present, and future.  And, you as a bride can have fun with it.  If you agree read on!

The OLD represents the brides heritage of the past, continuity if you will.  A time to reflect on the successful marriages that the bride/you have experienced in your life, and the desire to bring that success to your union.   I once read on a post in The Knot that the traditions in the poem are not of great importance, just little tokens, and that you should not stress about them: feel free to go ahead and take the pressure off of yourself by wearing a used pair of hose. (Washed I am assuming?!)  But, I like the idea of putting a little more thought into it.  I do not see it as a stress, but perhaps a time to reflect on what is important in your upcoming marriage, and a way to privately express those thoughts.  Perhaps you have a piece of jewelery from a grandparent, or I have witnessed brides redesigning and wearing their mother/grandmothers old wedding dress.  Another bride wore an antique dress that was about 100 years old!  So cool!  I personally carried my grandmothers lace handkerchief, and it made me feel like her memory was present with me.

Nicole took her mother’s dress and had it redesigned into a modern-day classic.  Nicole has complied with the tradition of something old in a unique and beautiful way.

The NEW represents the optimism and success of the new life ahead.  This is pretty easy, I am sure that every bride is excited and optimistic about their upcoming marriage, just as  I am sure that every bride has something new in their wardrobe for the big event, the shoes, flowers, dress, veil, underwear, etc..  If not, fall back on The Knot’s recommendation of taking the pressure off, by buying a NEW pair of hose!  And, there is that tradition of the groom buying his bride a gift.  I have witnessed the groom giving his bride a watch, or piece of jewelry  and she knew about the gift in advance, and planned on that gift being the ‘new’ item that she would wear.

The groom hands his bride a gift, she wears it to the ceremony and comply’s with the tradition of something new.

The BORROWED.  It is a symbolic form of support from one of your happily married gal pals or relative.  They are passing on their marital success, blessings and bliss to your marriage.  You borrow an item and with it, its’ positive good marital energy and return it afterwards (otherwise it would change the poem to something old, something new, something kept, something….) It is also believed to symbolize that you can depend on that lending person; I think perhaps you depend on them, the lender,  for marital bliss advice.  It is the same as something old with respect to the item itself…a piece of jewelry, watch,dress, scarf etc. will suffice for the borrowed item.   Borrow something that you like and feel comfortable with and presto; enjoy the well wishes that comes with it!

Something BLUE.  Blue has been involved with weddings for many, many years.  Ancient history is involved here.  In Rome, blue was worn by the bride to symbolize loyalty, fidelity, purity, and love.  Before Queen Vicky changed dresses to white, blue was a popular wedding gown color.  In the past the bridal couple wore blue borders on their wedding attire to express the same ideas that the Romans expressed with blue (loyalty, fidelity, purity and love).  I have seen the bride wear  the following items in blue: shoes, nail polish, garters, flowers, rings, jewels, etc. to comply with this part of the poem. Be creative with it.  Or, if you are stressed by this, just go for the blue hose, used preferably to kill two birds with one stone!

This bride wears a beautiful pair of blue suede ballerina flats, adding a lovely, colorful touch to her gown and complies with the tradition of something blue.

And…the part that we U.S.A. Citizens seem to have forgotten: …..and a silver sixpence in her shoe.  So, the poem/tradition is British and the sixpence is a coin from Britain dating from 1551 to 1967.  It was made of silver and worth six pennies.   According to AskYahoo, a silver sixpence in the bride’s shoe represents wealth and financial security. It may date 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, and many companies sell keepsake sixpences for weddings. And these days, who couldn’t use some reassurance on a future fortune?

This is a tradition that you can really sink your teeth into! If you are not the creative type, it is still easy to accomplish, think previously worn blue panty hose and three are knocked off the list!  What I like most, is that you take time out from the hustle bustle of planning and, you stop and think about what is important from your past,  (the happy influencing marriages from your past), and you look at your present day marriage mentors and then you look to your future dreams for your wedded life.  How nice is that?!

Then you fly to England to collect for yourself a sixpence in an antique shop and you have got a nice trip to England out of that deal.  Or skip the trip to England and put a dime in your shoe.  It can be a very inexpensive tradition that you stick to (if you skip the trip to England), that brings around happy, positive, reassuring thoughts to your upcoming nuptials.  Enjoy!

Nicole in the new version of her mother’s wedding dress.

Bethany’s gown is over 80 years old.  The wedding theme was an ‘antebellum period wedding’, this dress was an amazing touch.

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