Old, New, Borrowed, Blue - What's It All About?

Posted by Mark Atkinson on

Old, new, borrowed and blue flower wrist band

“Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.”

Everybody’s heard this phrase, right? Right, but who knows where and when its origins lie? Well, here at Elegance of Elena, we do and we’re here to tell you that it’s from a traditional old English rhyme which goes through all the objects, detailing how each can bestow good fortune on the bride.

Something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue,
and a sixpence in her shoe.

One of each item is given to the bride, either on or before her big day by her mother, her sister, a best friend or indeed a member of her wedding party. In fact, anybody can gift the bride one of these traditional bringers of good luck, or she can find them for herself, but the trick is to incorporate them into her wedding outfit seamlessly and discreetly.

But before we give you a few novel ideas about what to use for each of these good luck talismans, we’ll go through the meaning of each of the items in the rhyme.

The Meaning of "Something Old"

In olden times, if the bride had something old secreted about her person, it would ward off what was known as the “Evil Eye” and keep her future children free from harm. Nowadays, however, the "something old" represents continuity, with modern couples often seeing it as a chance for the bride to wear an aged family heirloom in the shape of a grandma’s necklace or an auntie’s cameo brooch to the ceremony.

Ideas for Old items include: 

  • A locket or other piece of jewellery, once belonging to an ancestor.
  • A piece of upcycled jewellery such as a pearl necklace even bought at a charity shop!
  • A vintage charm or accessory like a classy clutch will bring the bride good luck and make a fashionable statement.
  • A religious item which could be an old Bible or a much-loved book that’s been passed down through the generations, could be read from at the ceremony. 

The Meaning of "Something New"

Something new doesn’t really take a great deal of working out, as it represents hope and optimism about the bride and the couple’s future together. Indeed, the couple is about to begin a whole new chapter of life. As such, entering a marriage holding, wearing or carrying something new makes complete sense. The something new can be absolutely anything you can imagine, so there’s really no need to dwell on or worry about searching for the right item because they’re in every shop, aren’t they?

Ideas for New items include:

  • Wear a gorgeous new perfume on your wedding day and whenever you wear it in the future, you’ll be right back on the most amazing day of your life!
  • Have something like a handkerchief specially monogrammed, or embroider your new initials onto your wedding dress.
  • Buy matching bracelets or bangles for yourself and the significant ladies in your wedding party, and ask if they’ll wear them throughout your big day.
  • Brand new lingerie will be a fantastic something new that both you and your husband can enjoy on your wedding night.
  • Your wedding dress itself will be new, so better make sure it’s the one you’ve always dreamed of!
  • Another great something new would be one of our selection of Monthly Subscription Boxes. They’re choc-full of amazing wedding-related gifts, offers and advice designed to make your special day even more fabulous!

The Meaning of "Something Borrowed"

Incorporating "something borrowed" into your wedding ensemble is said to bring the happy couple good luck, especially if it’s on loan from a happily married friend or relation, because it’s thought that the good luck would rub off onto the newlyweds! The traditional superstition specified that the bride should borrow undergarments from a female friend or relative with a happy marriage and healthy children, but nowadays, it's more about honouring a loved one by having something of theirs with you on the happiest day of your life.

Ideas for Borrowed items include:

  • Borrow your happily married friend’s veil from her wedding, and her happiness will become yours, so it’s believed.
  • Borrow the wedding rings of another couple, just for the vows!
  • Another classic something borrowed is the knife used to cut the cake at another couple’s wedding.
  • Borrow one of your friend’s handbags or clutch, and she might even forget you’ve taken the Louis Vuitton or Prada!
  • Your groom needn’t be left out, so ask if he could borrow his best mate’s cufflinks or pocket watch.
  • Borrow another couple’s wedding vows, especially if you loved hearing them when you attended their wedding.
  • You could borrow your dad’s tie or bowtie and wear it either in your hair, attached to your dress or even as a bohemian-styled bracelet.

The Meaning of "Something Blue"

The colour blue represents love, purity and fidelity, the three essential qualities for a long and happy marriage. Like the something old, it’s also thought to fend off the negative effects of that pesky Evil Eye, so it really is a double-whammy item!

Ideas for Blue items include:

  • Pretty blue flowers such as clematis or miniature irises can be sprinkled into your wedding bouquet to fend off the evil spirits
  • An azure ribbon can also be added to your bouquet, being the easiest way to integrate something blue into your wedding day.
  • The handkerchief we mentioned earlier could be embroidered in blue thread with your newlywed initials.
  • You could let everybody know that sapphires are blue. You know, just in case anybody wanted to buy you one!
  • You could integrate something blue into your wardrobe by wearing blue shoes beneath your wedding dress.
  • If you’re wearing a garter to your wedding, it would be fairly easy to make it a blue one!

Let Us Help – Give Us a Call!

If you’d like to discuss anything you’ve read in this blog with us, or if you’d just like a chat about your forthcoming nuptials, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0116 462 5347 or e-mail us at: info@eleganceofelena.co.uk

We can’t wait to hear from you!


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