The saying, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is a traditional part of a bride’s attire on her wedding day, and is said to bring good luck to the bride and her marriage. But where did this tradition come from, and what does it all mean?
The origins of this tradition are not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated in Victorian England. The Victorians were known for their love and passion for symbolism, and it is thought that the phrase “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” was created as a way to incorporate various symbols of good luck and the bride’s outfit.
The “something old” symbolises continuity with the bride’s past and their family history. This can be an item of clothing or jewellery that was handed down from a family member, or something that has sentimental value to the bride. The idea behind this is that the bride will take a piece of her past with her into her new life. It could also be a piece of lace or other material that had been used in previous weddings of the couple’s close circle. Additionally, it is a lovely way of incorporating loved ones no longer alive into the special union between a loved couple, hence why many continue to participate in such a tradition for such a special occasion in one’s life.
The “something new” represents the couple’s bright future together. This could be along the lines of a new piece of jewellery or a new article of clothing. The idea behind this is that the bride will start her new life with a fresh start and new possessions – it could be the wedding dress, the shoes or anything else that has newly come into her life (it does not necessarily have to be something of that materialistic nature!) This is a symbol of hope and optimism for the future.
The “something borrowed” is a symbol of good luck from a happily married friend or family member. The bride is traditionally supposed to borrow something from a happily wedded figure in their life as a way of hoping and taking some of that happiness with her into her new marriage. Again, it could be in the form of an article of clothing or accessory. Not only is this said to be a way of asking for good luck and blessings from loved ones around the bride and groom’s special day, but it is also a way of respecting the act and commitment of marriage, as the bride would be minding something of sentimental value to others that continue to love one another.
The “something blue” is a symbol of love, purity, and fidelity. Blue is also traditionally associated with the Virgin Mary, and is said to represent faithfulness. The bride often wears a blue garter or has a blue ribbon sewn into her dress – sometimes even a blue hair accessory, a blue ribbon on the bouquet, or even blue nail polish. The colour blue is associated with loyalty and trust: two parts that are crucial and essential for a strong and lasting marriage, full of love and happiness.
It is interesting to note that this tradition has evolved throughout time and different cultures have their own versions of it. In some cultures, the bride is supposed to wear a sixpence in her shoe; this symbolises wealth and prosperity. In other cultures, the bride carries a piece of sugar in her glove or pockets, symbolising the sweetness of the love in the marriage.
The tradition of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is a charming reminder of the past and a way to incorporate good luck into the bride’s attire. It is a reminder of the continuity of family and support, and the bright future that lies ahead. And while it may not a must-have for every bride, it is a fun gesture and way to personalise the big day, and to honour the traditions of the past. Some brides choose to incorporate other traditions or personal elements to their wedding day attire. Here at WowWee.ie, the important thing is to make the day special and meaningful for the bride and groom, regardless of opinion on traditionality. It is important to remember that it is just one small part of the bigger picture, as a marriage should be built on a foundation of trust, respect, and commitment, all regardless of whether or not such traditions are used.
It is also significant to note that this tradition is not just limited to brides on their wedding day, as it can be applied to anyone looking for good luck and positive change in their life. It serves as a reminder to hold on to the things that are important to us, while also looking forward to the future and embracing new opportunities and adventures that lie ahead. It is a reminder to strive for balance and to surround ourselves with unconditional love, support and guidance.