Something Borrowed Something Blue

You most likely have heard it before…

Something old

Something new

Something borrowed

Something blue

and a sixpence in her shoe.

Ever find yourself wondering…where did those sayings come from…and does anyone know why your supposed to have something blue? =0)

After doing a little investigating the answer is hinted at within the poem itself.

“A sixpence in her shoe” A sixpence is a coin made in Britain from 1551-1967. The coin was made of silver, in America we would now refer to it as a new dime in her shoe, but sixpence sounds much better. So this wedding tradition is an English originating from the Victorian Era.

Like most other wedding traditions the reasons behind each item has to do with good luck and happiness for the bride and groom. It was believed that if the bride carried each other items from the poem on her wedding day her marriage would be happy.

The “old” symbolizes the continuation of the brides family and the past. Something “new” means hope for the bride’s life ahead of her; now a day’s the something “new” is usually the brides gown. Something “borrowed” is an item that must be given by a happily married family member or even friend, whose good fortune in marriage will carry on to the new bride. The borrowed item is also to remind the bride that she has friends and family which she can lean on in time of need.

Now the big question something blue?  Blue has been a part of weddings for centuries and the reasoning behind the color traces back to Rome. For a very long time a brides wedding gown WAS blue. Hard to imagine right? Before the late 19th century blue was the most popular color for wedding gowns as evidenced in the proverb “Marry in Blue, Lover be True” The explanation makes perfect sense. Brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity. Christianity has long dressed the Virgin Mary in blue, so purity is associated with color.

Last but not least “a sixpence in her shoe” represents wealth and financial security. It may date back to a Scottish tradition of putting a silver coin in your shoe for good luck. Today many companies sell customized sixpence coins for keepsake items for the bride and groom on their wedding day.

Finally the mystery is solved. The meaning behind the poem.

Thank you to as well as World Wide Wedding Traditions.


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