Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

What to Choose for This Important Wedding Tradition

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You’ve heard the rhyme dozens of times. When brides walk down the aisle they are to carry with them “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.” What does the rhyme mean, though? Where does it come from, and what is a bride to carry in order to ensure she’s meeting the requirements of this important tradition? We have the answers, and the advice you need so you can rock the rhyme all the way down the aisle.

The History Behind the Tradition

The tradition we follow today comes from an old English rhyme that, in full, said, “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe.” Just as it does now, the rhyme was meant to offer good luck to brides on their wedding day, with each charm holding special significance:

  • Something Old: Continuity
  • Something New: Optimism for the future
  • Something Borrowed: Borrowed happiness
  • Something Blue: Purity, Love, and fidelity;
  • Sixpence in Your Shoe: A wish for good fortune and prosperity

Clearly, if you’re superstitious (and what bride couldn’t do with a little bit of luck and good fortune on her wedding day?), these tokens offer important significance. This means that if you want to be as true to tradition as possible, you’ve got to choose your tokens wisely. Here are some ideas for what to carry for each. Note: We’ve left out the sixpence. That remains mostly a British tradition, but don’t forget it if you’re planning a destination wedding across the pond.

Something Old

  • A family heirloom, such as a necklace, locket, or ring. Tie it to your bouquet if it doesn’t match your jewelry set.
  • Family bible. Say your I Dos using a bible that has been in the family for generations.

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  • The garter. Is your fiancé the same man who took you to your high school prom? If you still have that garter, slip it on under your dress and hold to tradition.
  • A vintage find, such as gloves or a faux fur wrap for brides holding their ceremonies in the winter.

Something New

  • A new cake topper. Don’t think that all your customs have to show up during the ceremony. Save some for the reception with this adorable cake topper.

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Something Borrowed

  • Borrowed jewelry. Not only will this allow you to meet tradition, you can save some money, especially if you borrow a family member or friend’s jewels that were outside your budget.
  • Borrow a veil from a friend whose style you admire. She’ll be honored and glad her purchase is receiving additional use.

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  • Borrowed bible passages. Choose the same bible verse, or vows, as your parents or grandparents. What better way to honor tradition than to use the same words to say I do?

Something Blue

  • A blue handkerchief. Think you may cry tears of joy during your ceremony? Plan to bring a handkerchief, and make it blue.
  • A sapphire. You don’t need this beautiful gem to be your birthstone to incorporate a simple sapphire necklace or ring into your wedding ensemble.

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  • A blue ribbon or sash tied around your bouquet.
  • Blue shoes. Why not? Pop a bright shade of cobalt blue shoes to really rock the tradition.
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