Something Old, Something New,
Something Borrowed, Something Blue,
And a sixpence in your shoe.
We all think of the poem when we think of weddings, but what does the saying mean and how could the items in the poem be modernised for both a bride and groom?
The poem is Olde English, and although no one knows exactly where it originated from, it is said to have become popular during the Victorian era in Britain. Superstitious brides would collect five items or charms as depicted in the poem to ward off the ‘Evil Eye’ during their wedding day and marriage. Although not many brides believe in the superstitions today, it’s a lovely way to add a touch of tradition into a big day.
‘Something Old’ represents continuity during a marriage with links to the bride’s family and past. The tradition is to include treasured items handed down through generations of your family, like necklaces, brooches or cuff-links. You could add a small picture of your family members into a locket to carry with you during the day, take a button or cuff-link from a man in your life and sew it into your gown, or if your mother had lace on her own wedding dress, turn it into your veil. We love the idea of adding a modern twist to the tradition by celebrating the childhood of you and your partner. Do you both still have your favourite teddy or toy from when you were young? You could sit them together with photos of you both as a children during the reception.
‘Something New’ represents optimism and success for the bride’s new life. A lot of brides use their bridal gown as their ‘something new’. With this rhyme of the poem representing the future, you could exchange gifts with your partner and open it on the morning of the wedding; a jewellery piece to wear or a charm to add onto your bouquet, or a watch with an inscription for him. This could also be a good opportunity to look ahead to future plans you both have together and represent it with a little trinket.
‘Something Borrowed’ represents borrowed happiness and to remind the bride her friends and family are always there for her. In tradition, most items are taken from parents and grandparents, but why not borrow an item from a sibling, cousin or close friend? Popular items include jewellery and handkerchiefs, or even parts of your bridal outfit, such as a pair of shoes or hair accessory. We love the unique idea of taking a swatch of a close relative’s gown and lightly stitching it into yours, following the idea of borrowing happiness from an already happily married couple. The groom could follow suit and borrow items from his siblings or from his best man.
‘Something Blue’ represents love, purity and faithfulness to the bride’s other half. A popular item for this is of course a blue garter or underwear for only your partner to see. How about hiding the colour blue in secret spots around your gown? Perhaps a little blue heart on the inside of the bodice, your names stitched into the hem of the skirt, or maybe a hidden shade of blue within your manicure. And for him, how about a surprise message from you inside his tie?
‘A sixpence in your shoe’ is the part of the poem that is usually forgotten, but represents good fortune and prosperity for the couple. Unless your parents or grandparents still have a piggybank hidden somewhere, finding a sixpence can be rather difficult. Plenty of online stores create beautiful jewellery and accessories incorporating the sixpence, such as this ankle bracelet by SixpenceForYourShoe on Etsy. Cuff-links are a great way for husbands-to-be to incorporate the rhyme, like this pair of Vintage Silver Sixpence Cuff-links from Bobby Rocks. You could take inspiration from the poem and look for a coin released during the year of your wedding, or maybe the year the two of you met.
For those who don’t want to make much fuss about the items but still want to keep the tradition, this Bridal Charm Pin is perfectly elegant and simple to attach to the inside of your gown or onto your bouquet. Or, for those who are crafty, you could follow Something Turquoise’s tutorial and make your own charm pin.
Credits – Wedding Row Kentucky – Woods Photography – Anna and Spencer – Happy Wedd – Wedding Party App – Made 2 Style – Les Moineaux de la Mariee – SixpenceForYourShoe – Bobby Rocks – Betty’s Glamour Box