Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in her Shoe”
Whether you stumbled upon this phrase whilst planning your wedding or heard it many years before you even thought about getting married, this phrase is one that most of us know. This is one of the wedding superstitions I find most intriguing. To the contrary, I am not even a superstitious person at all! Except for walking underneath ladders – mainly because I have this deep fear that they will suddenly and mysteriously drop right on my head at that very moment I am passing by (who’s with me?). Often wondering where this phrase comes from, I decided to do a little digging. I hope you enjoy the discovering process with me!
According to many sources there is printed evidence in the 1894 edition of the Pennsylvania newspaper, The Warren Ledger, which listed this old English rhyme as a Puritan Marriage Custom. What does it all represent, and how can you incorporate this into your wedding day? Let’s have a look.
Something old represents the continuity of the bride’s family and past. Continuity by definition is ‘the quality of something that does not stop or change as time passes: a continuous quality’.
You can incorporate this into your wedding day by adding a little something to your wedding attire passed on from your mother, your grandmother, or previous generations. Consider earrings, jewellery, a garter/veil, or even a wedding dress (or elements thereof if you are not brave enough to go for the entire vintage look). Some families have heirlooms they pass onto their children on their wedding day (if this is one of your traditions, you have this one sorted then!). This might also be a good time to start such a tradition. Even if you are not the superstitious kind, this is can be a precious memory passed on from generation to generation.
Something new represents welcoming an optimistic future with new experiences and things to come. I find this so exciting!
Something new is probably the easiest one of them all. This can be anything from new shoes, a new dress, new accessories, or anything else you wish to incorporate into your wedding attire. Maybe this can even be ‘Something Old’ for your children one day – start your own traditions (that is also something new, go figure)!
Something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness. The bride would usually borrow an item from a friend or family member whose marriage is good and strong and this would then carry over to the bride and groom.
Options for items borrowed would generally be a piece of jewellery, or perhaps a veil or garter. Borrowing something from a friend or family member for your wedding day is such a positive way to include them, and make them feel part of this incredibly special day. This is a memory that not only you, but they will always cherish.
Something blue represents purity and love of the couple, as well as their faithfulness to each other.
You can incorporate this into your wedding by adding a little blue to your garter (this is a very popular choice). Another option would be to sew in your initials and the date of your wedding to the inside of your wedding dress. If you do not wish to have blue as a part of your attire, you can consider getting a blue robe to get ready in on your big day.
A Sixpence in her Shoe:
Traditionally a sixpence would be passed on to the bride from her father, to give her all the blessings a father can. ‘A sixpence in her shoe’ represents a wish for good fortune and prosperity and good health. This part however, is often left out, but you might as well complete it by adding this one!
This one is mostly a British custom but if you wish to add this one it should be fairly simple. You can insert a sixpence (or any coin as a substitute; it is the thought that counts I would say) in your left shoe. It is unclear whether the sixpence should be there during the entire event though I am sure that the ceremony only would suffice!
I hope you had fun reading this, and that you have learned something new. Maybe this even encourages you to incorporate this tradition into your wedding, or at the very least inspired you to start your own traditions as newlyweds.
Image Credit (Left to Right, Top to Bottom): 1. Jana Marnewick Photography; 2. Greer G Photography; 3. Weddings Illustrated; 4. Something Turquoise ; 5. Reem Acra via Strawberry Milk Events; 6. Remain Simple; 7. Today; 8. Southern Weddings; 9. Southern Prep; 10. Crystal Avenues; 11. The Heart Over Heels; 12. The Knot; 13. Wedding Party App; 14. Amy Arrington Photography via Style Me Pretty; 15. Endora Jewellery Design; 16. Reasons 2 B Cheerful; 17. Charlotte Mills Bridal via Love My Dress; 18. Larkspur & Linen; 19. Stevie Saylor Photography