The phrase “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” is often used when referring to one’s wedding day. But what does it mean? Well, the saying comes from an Old English rhyme that names four lucky objects every bride should wear or have on her for her wedding day. Nowadays, this can also extend to grooms. There are dozens of methods that brides and grooms use to follow this saying to bring good luck to their wedding day. For instance, a bride might way a family heirloom such as a pair of diamond earrings for “something old” and an embellished belt for “something new.” After designing your custom wedding bands with Pittsburgh jeweler Lisa Kotchey, you will be ready to come up with your own ideas to follow this popular tradition.
A long time ago, brides would wear “something old” in order to protect themselves from the Evil Eye, which was thought to cause infertility. However, nowadays it is used to represent continuity. Most couples incorporate this part of the saying into their outfits by wearing a piece of clothing gifted to them from an older relative or a family heirloom. Some brides even wear an older relative’s wedding dress or take a piece of a vintage wedding dress and add it to their outfit as a belt or choker.
Other methods for incorporating “something old” to your wedding include:
Renting a vintage automobile to drive away on
Adding a vintage photo booth for guests to take photos in
Using a family Bible to place your wedding bands on
A locket containing pictures of relatives
“Something new” symbolizes the bride’s new life and optimism for the future. Your dress could be your “something new.” A new pair of earrings, a necklace, or a bracelet can also be used. Customizing a piece of jewelry fully embraces this tradition, as you will be the first person ever to wear it. Not only that, but you have full creative control over your new piece of jewelry, and can tailor it to your own personal sense of style and taste. But something as simple as a new haircut can also work. Couples often have the most fun with this part, as it is easy and fun to come up with new takes on incorporating their “something new” into their wedding. In the past, couples have put their own spin on this tradition by:
Designing a custom pair of cuff links
Embroidering the ring-bearing pillow with the date of their wedding
Purchasing a special multiple-finger ring featuring the bride’s new last name or initials
Wearing new perfume for the special day
The “borrowed” item typically symbolizes happiness. It is also supposed to bring the couple good luck. According to tradition, it was said that borrowing an item from a happily married friend or relative would make their good luck rub off on them. There is also something comforting about holding onto something with sentimental value as you say your vows.
In the olden days, brides would borrow undergarments from a friend or relative to encourage healthy fertility. Unsurprisingly, most brides don’t follow this method nowadays. Popular methods include:
Wearing a friend’s veil
Borrowing a relative’s wedding shoes
Placing flowers from a family member’s garden in your bouquet
“Something blue” is probably the least intuitive part of this saying. It was also supposedly meant to deflect the dreaded Evil Eye for brides. The color is meant to symbolize love, purity, and fidelity. All three are universally believed to be three key qualities for a successful marriage. Traditionally, the bride would wear a blue garter under their wedding dress. Nowadays, brides have found their own methods for adding “something blue” into their wardrobe or wedding accessories. There are tons of ways to get creative with this tradition:
Dying their hair blue
Wearing sapphire jewelry
Painting their nails blue
There is a certain beauty and joy that comes from following this centuries-old wedding tradition. Knowing that generations of brides in your family before you have taken part in this gives you a sense of intimacy and kinship with them that cannot easily be replicated. The ability to contribute to this tradition and turn your “something new” into “something old” is even more exciting. Many brides enjoy doing this by designing their own custom jewelry that they then pass down to their own children.