As a currently engaged bride-to-be, I’ve been considering an old tradition in picking my wedding attire. Most of you have probably heard this Victorian poem at one time or another:
Something olde, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.
For those unfamiliar with the tradition, this poem is a list of items that a bride typically incorporates into her wedding to bring her and her husband good luck. Often the items are found directly on the bride as part of her wedding apparel. While tradition doesn’t specify exactly what items the bride should carry with her, there are specific meanings behind each adjective that should be taken into consideration when choosing an outfit.
“Something olde” should have a connection to the bride’s family. It represents continuity with her past. Examples might be a family member’s wedding gown or an heir loomed piece of jewelry.
“Something new” symbolizes hope for a wonderful future. New items are probably the easiest to account for because it can be anything—the dress, the jewelry or the shoes.
“Something borrowed” traditionally is an object from a happily married bride whose good fortune will influence the new bride’s life. It also reminds the bride that her friends and family can still be relied and depended on. Anything can be borrowed—a veil or other hair accessory, jewelry or even grandma’s ruffle slip.
“Something blue” is a symbol of love, purity, and loyalty. The most popular blue items are the bride’s garter or lingerie; however, if the blue requires more attention the brides’ bouquet could be wrapped with blue ribbon.
“Silver Sixpence” is a wedding tradition from the 1600’s. It was customary for the groom to gift a piece of silver to his bride-to-be as a symbol and hope of wealth. Many brides now days use a penny or a dime. However, there are several websites that sell English sixpence if you want to purchase an original keepsake. For optimum luck the coin should be inserted in the left shoe.
As part of my research, I spoke to ten recently married or soon-to-be married brides. Four of the ten ladies did not use the tradition in their weddings. While I am still unsure what I will do, this seems like a delightful tradition for a unique and sentimental wedding outfit.