The concept of having (or wearing) something old, and something new on your wedding day to bring you luck, is one of the many widely-held bridal traditions. You’ve probably heard the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” expression a million times, but what exactly does this custom entail and how can you tie these themes into your wedding?
The something old, something new routine stems from an Victorian English rhyme dating back to 1898, which goes “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in your shoe.” Since in the U.S. a sixpence isn’t easy currency to come by, you don’t have to worry about sticking something in your footwear. But the other four must-haves are believed to bring brides good fortune… and who doesn’t want that?
According to wedding historian Susan Waggoner, something old represents the couples’ past lives. Something new naturally reflects the bride and groom’s future shared life together, something borrowed typically means incorporating an item belonging to a happily married woman (like your mom, grandmother, or sister) for good luck, and something blue symbolizes fidelity and purity. Your family members (or groom) might gift you with any of these lucky tokens prior to the wedding, but you can also round up a few pieces of your own.
For our wedding I wore my great grandmother Ruth’s pearl bracelet (something old), pearl and diamond earrings that I purchased to match my dress (something new), my mother’s Chanel perfume (something borrowed) and I tied a light blue bow inside my dress to represent my new last name, Boe (something blue).
While it’s obviously not mandatory to honor all four of these traditions in your nuptials, no matter how superstitious you might be, it’s a fun way to creatively blend the past, present and future. Check out our roundup of ideas below, and keep in mind that you’re not limited to only small, wearable pieces – get creative!
Vintage Getaway Car
Relatives Wedding Dress
Fabric from a Relatives Wedding Gown
Antique Lockets with Family Photos
Wedding Gown (Now that’s an easy one!)
Glam Hair Piece or Tiara
Embroidered Ring Bearer Pillow
New Last Name Embroidery (on inside of wedding dress)