Saturday, August 13, 2011

Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue

One of the most popular customs in any religious or civil wedding is the bride carrying items on her wedding day that are old, new, borrowed, or blue. Not only is this tradition well respected because it rhymes (and rhyming is fun), but the meaning behind it also has ties to the family, the couple, and the love surrounding the union.

Old: The ‘old’ item that is carried by the bride signifies the bride’s family, her heritage, and the continuation of her family’s lineage. This particular item that the bride carries shows her connection to her family, and how she will incorporate her own history into her marriage. Old items can include jewelry, a handkerchief, or the wedding dress, if passed down from mother or grandmother.
         Ex. My ‘old’ item was the earrings I wore with my dress, which were the same earrings that my mom wore with her wedding dress in 1985.

New: This item represents the bride’s new life with her husband, and her dreams for the future. The ‘new’ item will be very easy to find since the bride’s dress, wedding ring, shoes, bouquet, or accessories will probably be new.
         Ex. My ‘new’ item was my dress, but it could have also been my shoes, bouquet, head piece, etc.

Borrowed: Borrowing an item from a loved one shows that through past, present, and future, family and friends will be there to lend their support and affection. The ‘borrowed’ item should typically come from a happily married woman that the bride knows, so that luck and love is shared from her successful relationship to the bride's blossoming one. ‘Borrowed’ items can include jewelry or a veil. One important aspect of this particular part of the tradition is that the item must be returned after it’s borrowed or else it’s not… well… borrowed.
         Ex. My ‘borrowed’ item was a necklace from my mom that I wore as a bracelet. My mom has been happily married for 26 years, and I hope that some of the love from her and my dad’s marriage rubs off on my new marriage.

Blue: The ‘blue’ item is symbolic of loyalty, purity, joy and fertility. The ‘blue’ item the bride carries acts as a good luck charm in her upcoming marriage. If blue is one of colors involved in the wedding, then the bride can carry blue flowers, wear blue jewelry, or a blue sash with her dress. However, since many brides will not have the color blue featured in her wedding’s color palette, retailers make up for this by making blue undergarments. Garters frequently feature the color blue, and wedding day underwear can be found in blue. Brides looking for quirkier options can also paint their toenails blue or wear a blue temporary tattoo.
         Ex. My garter was white with a blue ribbon in the middle, which was purchased from Michaels for only $5.

An even older version of the rhyme goes “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a silver sixpence in your shoe”. This addition symbolizes wealth – financially and emotionally. Although it may be hard to get ahold of a silver sixpence, if one can be found, why not take advantage of this addition to the tradition?

Bottom Line: The wedding tradition of “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is usable by a large number of brides since it’s applicable in both religious and civil weddings. Gathering the different items involves friends and family and incorporates their own histories into the bride’s new marriage. This particular wedding-day custom is fun to put together, and may actually work to bring a little luck to the bride and her groom.

1 comment:

  1. I had "lucky" tupence...3 of my shoe. Aunt Brenda allowed me to borrow that was my borrowed item, too.