Today’s modern bride still loves loves the classic tradition of carrying something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue with her on her wedding day. There is a superstitious belief that these charms will bestow good luck on her and her marriage. This is a wedding tradition that the bride often does without question. I know I blindly did it on my own wedding day, without thinking about where this bizarre rhyme about good luck charms even came from. But now, as I explore top wedding traditions and superstitions in this series, curiosity has gotten the best of me. Why DOES the bride carry something old, new, borrowed and blue?
(If you Wedding Superstition #1 in this series, Rain On Your Wedding Day, you can read it here)
Wedding Superstition #2
Carry Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue For Good Luck
Well, we have Ye Olde England to thank for this one. This catchy rhyme appears to have originated in 19th century English folklore, and used to end with “And a sixpence in her shoe” which has been dropped from today’s version. Here is what it all means.
The bride should carry something old with her as a symbol of her tie to her family and her past life. It signifies continuity. And there are so many cool ways that you can incorporate this into your wedding day. Wear your grandmother’s jewelry to give your bridal look a vintage feel, or wear your mother’s veil. Everybody loves to contribute to wedding traditions and they will be honored if you ask.
The bride wears something new to represent her new life as the ‘Property’ (oh dear!) of a new family. This is a charm that brings hope and optimism for the future. Considering how many new items the bride will be wearing: her wedding dress, her wedding shoes, her bridal lingerie, perhaps a wedding gift from her husband-to-be, this is an easy peasy piece to check of the list.
Something borrowed signifies borrowed happiness. Traditionally it was supposed to be taken from another wife in a successful marriage, in the hopes that a little of that good fortune would rub off on the bride’s own marriage. Today, you can borrow anything from anyone. Get creative and ‘borrow’ your wedding venue by saying ‘I Do’ in a friend’s backyard. Or use this as a wonderful excuse to borrow your best friend’s Manolo Blahniks you’ve been coveting. Whatever you choose to borrow, explain to the person why you are doing it to give the tradition more meaning.
We can thank our Catholic ancestors for the tradition of carrying something blue. Blue is the color of faithfulness, loyalty, and virginity (ahem!) which every good and decent bride possesses! Am I right ladies? I find it funny how this symbol of purity has evolved today into what is usually a blue garter tucked high on the bride’s thigh, which the groom removes with his teeth in a saucy production for the wedding guests. Gotta love a modern twist on tradition!
So there you go! That’s why the bride carries something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Now that you understand this superstitious tradition, you can make it special and unique, and give it more meaning for your own wedding day!
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