There are so many details that go into planning weddings. Most people don’t realize it until they plan their own, when detail after detail fly in your direction. 

And within those wedding-planning details are a variety of musts and traditions. One of the most common traditions is incorporating something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

That’s a lot of pressure coming from a rhyme that has existed since before you were born (the 19th century!). So before you gather your somethings, you should know where the tradition began.

And that’s where we start today.

 Origin of the Rhyme

To understand the tradition, we must start at the beginning. 

The actual wording from an Old English rhyme dating back to the 1880s is “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe.” 

The thought behind the rhyme is that treasured items and gifts from family members will bring a couple good luck as they take the ultimate step forward.

As the years have gone on, the tradition has evolved and each couplet of the rhyme has its own meaning. 

 Something Old

“Something old” can refer to a variety of things. It has traditionally been used to remind the couple of where they come from, as well as their family’s roots.

Many times, parents hand something down to the bride and groom that holds a special meaning to the family. Commonly, that is a piece of jewelry, such as pearl earrings, bracelets or necklaces; or a handkerchief or cuff links.

 Something New

This idea is straight forward but an integral part of the tradition for the new couple. 

As the couple starts a new journey as husband and wife, the idea of incorporating something new represents the start of a new life chapter.

This item can be as common as the wedding dress or the rings. Also, many couples buy each other a gift and exchange them before the ceremony, and that can also act as the something new. 

Something Borrowed 

This one can be confused with “something old,” but don’t think too much. You can tackle the tasks separately or combine them!

The idea is to borrow something from a couple you look up to — parents, grandparents, friends or a sibling. Incorporating something from another couple’s wedding into your wedding is said to bring a couple good luck from another successful marriage. 

Many times, the bride uses a cutout of her mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress and sews it into her own. Or, again, a piece of jewelry is passed down. A locket or family keepsake like an Add-A-Pearl necklace fits the bill perfectly!

For the men, a handkerchief is passed down, or a tie or watch. 

This one is also the most flexible. Be creative. 

Something Blue

Blue symbolizes the couple’s fidelity, so it’s kind of important!

Unless blue is part of the wedding colors, typically a touch of blue is incorporated in flowers, jewelry, the garter or other accents.

 This old rhyme may feel like a lot of pressure, but there is no federal mandate on following these rules. It’s all in good fun and can make your wedding that much more special and personal.

As you ask around for certain items, you may learn some things from your parents or grandparents about their wedding, and may collected advice for you and your future spouse. 

Happy hunting!



By Alyssa Groh, 22CM Boost