Something Borrowed…

… no, this is not in reference to the recent romantic-comedy with the oh-so-adorable John Krasinski; this is in reference to the age-old tradition of brides to bring luck to their wedding days by carrying something borrowed — something blue — something old — and, of course, something new.
A tradition started in the early 1700’s, it still carries over to today’s brides, a comfort of generations past; originating from an Old English nursery rhyme — “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver six-pence in her shoe” — each individual item is intended to act as a good-luck token for the bride.  Carried together, the items are meant to bring about a happy marriage.

Each item has its own significance; “something old” ties in family and the bride’s past; “something new” looks toward the future she plans to make with her husband; the “something borrowed” is supposed to be from a friend or family member, letting the bride carry over some of their own happiness and good fortune; and as for “something blue”, the color has a history of symbolizing fidelity, purity, and love.  The final line, “a silver six-pence in her shoe”, is often dropped out in 21st century America, possibly due to the impracticalities arising with today’s footwear; however, in the height of its day, it was used to represent financial security and wishes toward wealth and comfort.  For those interested in kicking it old school, many wedding companies to this day still sell six-pence pieces as keepsakes!

Today, there are many opportunities for a bride to get creative in incorporating the four “Somethings” into their wedding, ranging from traditional to avant-garde.

Something Old:

Traditional:  your grandmother’s wedding ring, a family heirloom, your mother’s wedding dress, sewing a piece of your baby blanket into the hem of your dress…

Contemporary:  locket with pictures of your family, arriving in a classic car (i.e., Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Bentley) rather than the usual limo, an ‘old’ song during your reception (Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Nat King Cole…), vintage accessories — gloves, clutch, pill box hat with demi-veil — or having the wedding itself at a historic location…

Something New:

Traditional:  new garter, new dress, new jewelry, new charm for charm bracelet…

Contemporary:  new lipstick, new customized perfume for the bride, new purse, new shoes, new gloves, new parasol, new photos, a key to your new home, a new penny from the year of your wedding…

Something Borrowed:

Traditional:  jewelry from a close family member, i.e., Grandma’s pearls, Mom’s earrings, Aunt’s silver hair combs, piece of ribbon or lace to tie around bouquet…

Contemporary:  a charm from a friend, hooked onto your veil or bouquet, your father’s watch, a long-time family friends’ timeshare for your honeymoon, the song from the bride’s (or groom’s) parents’ wedding to dance to…

Something Blue:

Traditional:  blue garter, blue shoes, blue handkerchief from father of the bride, blue hair pins, blue accessories (sapphire necklace, earrings, hair combs, ring), blue monogram sewn onto the dress, blue embroidery, blue petticoat, blue guestbook, blue boutonnieres for the groomsmen, blue corsages for the bridesmaids, blue string tied around your finger…

Contemporary:  blue nail polish, blue temporary tattoo, blue unmentionables (but only if they won’t show through!), blue rhinestones added to shoes, blue centerpieces at the reception (if blue isn’t actually in your color scheme and you want to be subtle, ask the florist to add blueberries or just a sprig of bluebells to the floral arrangements), blue sash on the wedding gown, blue buttons to bustle your dress, blue eyeshadow, blue tinted contacts, a blue pen for signing your marriage certificate…

Whatever items you choose, or even if you decide to ditch the tradition altogether and come up with your own, here’s to your wedding (and all the days after!) being full of happiness and good fortune!