…Something Borrowed, Something Blue

That age-old tradition of incorporating “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” has been followed to the letter by even the most modern bride, if not for superstitious reasons then perhaps for more sentimental ones. But those who want to question the circumstances that made this old poem almost a bridal Gospel truth before making it a wedding must-do might just be a tad surprised at its Victorian historical background. For one thing, the actual poem went thusly:

Something olde, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

Each of the “something” component in the poem is a symbol; nevertheless they all have a lot to do with the bride’s transition from singlehood to being someone’s wife. The ‘old’ means the bride will uphold her past and continue to honor her family even after taking on someone else’s name and forging a new life.

Of course the ‘new’ part of the deal signifies hope for this new life, while the ‘borrowed’ memento has to be from a friend or family member whose own marriage has been relatively happy and smooth-sailing. The bride carries the ‘borrowed’, hoping that its true owner’s marital luck will rub off on her, somehow. Blue, on the other hand, symbolizes loyalty and fidelity, while the sixpence is a token for a comfortable financial life with the new husband and family.


I’m just guessing here, but the last line of the bridal “something” poem might have been omitted in modern times because no bride with a sixpence in her shoe would be expected to glide down the aisle without wincing and limping like a wounded soldier. These days, coins carried by a child attendant on a little satin pillow are the more preferred version.

With that said, what are the best something old, new, borrowed, and blue for today’s practical bride? There, that’s the keyword: practical. That’s not to say you should be all corny-traditional and not think out of the box ideas for your little symbolic mementos. Some things any bride-to-be has to remember is that there’s no written rule that all the “somethings” have to be visible, and some of those can carry two or more “somethings” at once.

So, while garters usually become first choice to fill up the “blue” part of the deal, you could opt to incorporate it in any inner wear or other accessories instead. If you want your guests to see that you stuck to the “something blue” tradition, make sure the color doesn’t clash with your chosen motif. Go for quiet and tasteful blue gem stones and leave the turquoise jewelry for your Caribbean honeymoon.

Or, use just the tiniest hint of blue makeup on your eyelids, or use an antique hair clip or comb with tiny blue crystals or ornaments embedded in them. A blue thing can be old or new, so that’s hitting two birds with one accessory.

Any bride can pull out all the sentimental stops when it comes to the “something old” part. Anything that your mother, grandmother, favorite aunt, or any other female relative (or even male, for that matter) chooses to pass on to you will definitely make your wedding day memorable. Be it jewelry, a tiara, a veil, gloves, accessories, or anything else that has your family history written on it, wear it or carry it on your person throughout the wedding ceremony to honor both your ancestors and your past.