Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

New Ideas for an Old Wedding Tradition

Bottom of dress in hallway with blue shoes

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It's a long-standing wedding tradition that brides wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue on their wedding day for good luck. Most brides interpret that practice in a similar way—with a blue garter, some borrowed and old jewelry, and a new wedding dress. However, if you're looking to add some creativity to your special day, there are many other stylish ways to incorporate old customs in a new way.

The History of This Tradition

The full saying is "Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe," and it first appeared in print in 1883. American brides often leave off the last part of the saying, gathering only the first four items.

Ideas for Something Old

Something old symbolizes the bride's family, her past, and tradition. The vintage trend is here to stay so there are plenty of ways to incorporate something old. In addition to wearing a relative's dress and jewelry from her wedding day, you can use:

  • An old locket, pin or pocket watch incorporated into the bouquet
  • An old family Bible with the rings tied on top 
  • A strip of lace from your mom's wedding dress wrapped around the bouquet or sewn into your dress
  • A new locket filled with old pictures of loved ones (this one counts as both old and new). Wear the locket or add it to the bouquet.

Ideas for Something New

Something new is a symbol of a bride's new life ahead of her. You may choose to designate your dress as your something new like many brides before you or you may receive a gift the morning of the wedding from your husband-to-be. It could be earrings, a necklace or a bracelet that would be appropriate for the ceremony. Other ideas include:

  • A new perfume was chosen especially for the day
  • New makeup with a (new) signature-shade lipstick
  • Your new initials monogrammed on a handkerchief or on a necklace
  • New lingerie hid under your dress
  • A new haircut

Ideas for Something Borrowed

Something borrowed is traditionally loaned from another happy bride, and it symbolizes happiness.

  • A friend's veil from her wedding
  • A cake knife or cake topper from a relative or friend's wedding
  • Your cousin's wedding shoes
  • The earrings your mom wore on her wedding day
  • Flowers borrowed from a family member's garden for inclusion in the bouquet

Ideas for Something Blue

Something blue is a symbol of fidelity, purity, and love. For Christian brides, it is also a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Options for something blue include:

  • "Something Blue" Perfume by Oscar De La Renta
  • The couple's names and wedding date embroidered inside the wedding dress in blue thread
  • Sapphire jewelry
  • Bright blue heels or blue-bottomed flats
  • Blue nail polish

A Sixpence in Her Shoe

A sixpence in her shoe is a symbol of future prosperity and wealth. The sixpence is a British coin that was in use from 1551 to 1967. If you have a chance to purchase an antique coin, tape it to your sole for good luck. You might prefer to use a coin from the year you met your future husband or from the year you were born.