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Something old, something new, borrowed and blue

Something old, something new, borrowed and blue

by Niamh Bartley

There are thousands of ways to interpret this rhyming couplet when it comes to your wedding, but where did it all start? When did superstition become tradition, and why? We’ve done a bit of research and come up with some answers and some possible ways to include these ‘crucial’ elements in your big day!

Something old
There is definitely a sentimentality when it comes to carrying something old with you on your big day, no matter what the tradition is. Supposedly, a bride would carry something old to protect any children she and her husband may have in the future, but for a lot of brides it can be seen as a representation of continuity. Usually the ‘something old’ would have been in you or your husband’s family, like your granny’s wedding jewellery or your mom’s veil. 

How to include it: You could double up the tradition and use the same item as your ‘something old’ and ‘something borrowed’ by borrowing your granny’s favourite earrings from her. A lot of brides use items with sentimental value, and your ‘something old’ doesn’t have to be worn, you could use the same cake knife or topper as your parents did, for example.

Something new
This bit is fairly straightforward, ‘something new’ represents optimism and is symbolic of the new chapter in your life you and your husband are entering into. Many times this comes in the form of a gift from someone close to you, maybe even the groom, or else the bride buys herself something. It can be anything to do with your day that’s new, maybe even your new husband, but why pass up the opportunity to buy yourself something, right? 

How to include it: The options are endless, new jewellery, new perfume, even your wedding dress is probably new. Jewellery is probably the most popular of all when it comes to your ‘something new’, but don’t be held back by norms, go with what you like.

Something borrowed
In olden times, a bride’s ‘something borrowed’ symbolised borrowed happiness, a bride would borrow something from another happily married lady in her life, like a mother, friend or sister. This happiness would then come upon her marriage. While this is a lovely sentiment, if you want to borrow something from a friend who’s not yet married, go for it. It’s not going to set you up for a life of disaster. 

How to include it: Borrow anything at all. That advice is a bit empty-handed, but if your friend, sister, aunt, uncle or pet has something you would like to borrow and include in your big day, then ask them for a loan. They’ll probably be delighted you thought of them. Many brides borrow veils from family members which is an adorable idea, and, as I mentioned above, you could always integrate borrowed & old to make it a little less cumbersome and a lot more meaningful a tradition.

Something blue
This stems from a tradition of women wearing whatever colour they wanted to on their wedding day, and blue was the top pick. Wearing white has only become popular in recent times (about 200 years ago), and blue meant purity and fidelity so was an obvious choice for brides back then. Brides still incorporate it today because it represents love and purity which is a lovely sentiment to carry around on your wedding day. 

How to include it: A very popular thing to do is have something, like your wedding date, embroidered on the inside of your wedding dress in blue thread. You could also opt for some lovely blue flowers in your bouquet or some blue jewellery.

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