There are a lot of old world traditions and superstitions we still hold true to some degree in modern times. When it comes to weddings, there seem to be even more superstitions than in other areas of life such as the groom not seeing the bride before the wedding or the fear that giving the bride pearls will lead to tears in her marriage. One of the many traditions to stand the test of time on the bridal scene is the one about “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” and while we follow it still today, many people do not know the meaning behind the items other than that it is in keeping with tradition. Here is a brief overview of the history behind something old, new, borrowed, and blue to help give you some insight.
The something old could very easily refer to the saying itself because it dates all the way back to 1871 in the oldest written account of it. The old actually refers to the notion that a bride should have something old and passed down from generation to generation. This was believed to ensure she would be able to carry on the family lineage by way of healthy children. The something old is usually jewelry passed down from one generation to the next, but it can also be the dress, a veil, a hair clip, or any other item made more beautiful with age.
While the other parts of the saying have documented meanings, the something new is less well studied. While there is no documented meaning behind it, adding something new to the wedding day can be seen as a symbol of the new journey the happy couple is about to embark on together as they start a new life. The something new can be anything the bride desires from the shoes she wears on the big day to a new necklace.
The something borrowed part comes from the belief that a happily married bride should pass on an item to the new bride. It is meant as a good luck charm and was once believed to ward off bad spirits which could interfere with the happiness of the new union. The something borrowed item can be any item a bride is willing to loan another bride for the big day. From hair clips to a bracelet, something borrowed is up to the lender.
The use of something blue is meant to ward off evil spirits. The old tradition was to wear a blue garter belt under the wedding dress but the something blue has been updated to the modern bride and may now be any number of items. From blue beaded hair clips to a blue sash draped around her waist, the modern bride finds plenty of interesting ways to incorporate the blue into her big day.