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—a blue garter, some borrowed and old jewelry, a new wedding dress. But if you're looking to add some creativity to your special day, there are many ways to incorporate these old customs while adding a modern flair.

A List for Luck

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.

Something Old

The bride's "something old" item symbolizes her family, past, and traditions. The vintage trend is here to stay, so there are plenty of ways to incorporate an "old" item into your ensemble. 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.

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," as many brides do, or you may receive a gift on the morning of the wedding from your betrothed. It could be earrings, a necklace, or a bracelet that would be appropriate for the ceremony. Consider:

  • A new perfume 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 worn under your dress
  • A new haircut

Something Borrowed

Traditionally on loan from another happy bride, the "borrowed" item symbolizes happiness. Potential "borrowed" items include:

  • 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 mother wore on her wedding day
  • Flowers from a family member's garden for inclusion in the bouquet

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 spouse or from the year you were born.