Weddings have so many fun traditions tied to them. We always find it interesting to find the impetus behind some of these traditions and to explore their relevance today. We shared a few fun traditions in an earlier blog https://www.brixandcolumns.com/wedding-traditions/, we thought it would be fun to focus on one from back then.
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is a traditional wedding rhyme that you’ve probably heard at one time or another. Almost everyone has heard this rhyme, but almost nobody knows where it came from and what it means.
According to several sources, the rhyme originated in England during the Victorian Era and symbolized luck for a bride on her wedding day. It identifies four good-luck objects (plus a sixpence) that a bride might want to include somewhere in her wedding outfit or carry with her on her wedding day. Each ‘something’ is usually a small token of love that a bride’s mother, sister, relative, or attendants will give the bride on her wedding day. The bride can even give them to herself! These tokens can carry over to grooms and bridesmaids, too.
Something Old represents the tie between the bride’s past and her family. It can be any object that has ties to the bride’s past, such as a piece of jewelry or small article of clothing either worn independently or sewn into the dress.
Something New represents optimism for the new chapter in the bride’s life and the future she will spend with her spouse. It is used as a token of hope for the happy couple’s long future together and can be the exchange of rings or even the wedding dress itself.
Something Borrowed represents the sense of happiness that will transfer over to the bride and bring good luck to the happy couple for years to come. It is also representative of the level of support that the happy couple will have from their family and friends. Common items include jewelry, a garter or a trinket to add to the bouquet or headpiece. Grooms might choose to borrow their grandfather’s cuff links.
Something Blue represents love, purity, and faithfulness which are all key qualities for a solid marriage. The traditional ‘something blue’ was often a blue garter worn beneath the bride’s white dress. But there are other ways to incorporate blue, like wearing a blue piece of jewelry or including a blue element to the bridal bouquet. Some brides might place a little note written on blue paper, from a family member or friend, in her shoe! Grooms can sport blue ties, socks or cufflinks.
And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe. This last segment of the poem is often forgotten but is one we fully embrace here at the vineyard, as the name of our farm is Six Penny Farm. This name came about because of our last name, Pence, and because we have six in our family. This Victorian Era British coin is meant to represent prosperity for the couple as they start their lives together. Although the sixpence was officially decommissioned in the U.K. in 1980, it can still be obtained for those sticklers to detail or can be replaced with a penny (oftentimes with a memorable date). As a memento to remember your wedding day at our vineyard, we provide an actual sixpence along with a frame-worthy version of this traditional rhyme to all couples that book a wedding with us.
This wedding rhyme can be an entertaining tradition to follow at your wedding in a way that works best for you. Borrow a bit of this timeless tradition as you put those finishing touches on your special day.
Sources: danversport.com, theknot.com
Photos courtesy of: Tall and Small Photography; Ameigh Photography; J Ellis Photography; Pinterest