This old English rhyme dates back to 1898 and describes a tradition still carried out by many brides today. Over the years, brides have adhered to this poem to incorporate some special wedding day good luck charms into their attire or ceremony. Want to follow the advice of this age-old adage? Knowing the meaning behind each line will help you choose the perfect old, new, borrowed, and blue item for your wedding day. Check out our ideas for both traditional and modern takes on this custom for your big day.
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Cutting a small piece of fabric or lace from your mother or grandmother’s wedding gown and preserving it in a necklace is a beautiful and sentimental way to include something old in your wedding. You could also use the lace from a family gown to wrap your bouquet, make a garter, or even have a seamstress make gloves for a true vintage look! More traditionally, wear an old piece of jewelry, such as a hair comb, watch, or set of pearls.
The line “Something New” describes the anticipation of the bride’s new life, with hope for success and happiness.
Many brides consider their ring or the wedding gown as their something new. But your “something new” could be a new set of earrings from your fiancé, parents, or friend. The “something new” certainly does not have to be a gift that you have received. You can also get creative by buying your dream pair of pumps to walk down the aisle.
“Something Borrowed” symbolizes the support the bride receives from friends and family and how they will always be part of her life. This item traditionally comes from a couple who has had a long happy marriage.
Did you drool over a friend or sister’s impeccable veil? Have you admired that stunning tennis bracelet your aunt always wears? These important people in your life would certainly be thrilled to know how much you like their piece and would be honored to lend it to your for the big day. Just be sure to take excellent care of the borrowed item and return it to its owner promptly.
“Something Blue” represents the bride’s faith, loyalty, fidelity, and purity. From blue lingerie to fun blue heels, you can really get creative with this one! Ask your fiancé to write a note on the soles of your wedding day shoes in blue marker to read before walking down the aisle. Include blue flowers in your bouquet. Or for something extra special, sew a heart-shaped piece of your dad’s blue dress shirt on the inside of your wedding dress.
Typically only those closest to the bride are privvy to what the bride has chosen for her "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." Since the selected items usually carry great significance to the bride, why not share the meaning of these tokens with your guests? Include a short blurb in your ceremony program that describes your selected mementos and the importance behind them.
It’s fun and easy to keep this sweet tradition alive. Tell us what special good luck charms you’ll have with you on your big day!
*Sara Steinhoff contributed to this article.