Ever wonder where that tradition comes from? While there are many ceremonial practices related to the wedding day, this one in particular never really made sense to me. Despite the age of this tradition, women today still abide by it’s instructions to ensure they incorporate each required item in their wedding day apparel. Apparently this rhyming phrase stemmed from superstitious lore which lists a number of English customs dating back to the Victorian age. It was believed that, when worn in combination, these items would bring a bride good luck as she embarked on her new life as a married woman.
Looking at each phrase in detail reveals it’s purpose. Basically it was meant to garner as much good luck as possible for the bride both on her wedding day and in the years to come. The “Something Old” was meant to represent where the bride came from, her past, her family, her heritage. The “Something New” visualizes her now altered and revised role as a member of her husband’s family. For the “Something Borrowed” item, it was to come from a family member or close friend who had already achieved marital success, in order to pass along the same favorable outcome. And the “Something Blue” stood for all things good such as loyalty, innocence and devotion… A lesser known fact is that there is another lyric to this poem, it actually ends with “A Sixpense in your Shoe” which of course symbolized financial prosperity for the bride and groom.
As odd as this short poem may seem on the surface, when understood and applied to what the wedding day and the getting married process stands for, it’s actually quite relevant and apropos. And whether you follow it’s guidelines or not, it still helps to reinforce and remind us all of the joy and happiness wished for every bride down through the ages.