The age old wedding rhyme, Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, has it’s origins in Victorian-era Lancashire, England. The wedding elements, mentioned were a reminding checklist for how the bride could thwart an otherwise impending curse. The blue and old items were to combat the “evil eye” which would surely leave the unprotected bride infertile. Along those lines, the borrowed item, at the time, was to be the undergarments of another woman who had already had children. Take that curse! I’m going to trick you, with my friend’s undies, into thinking that I am fertile and have kids already. HA! (And yuck!)
And it just seems that the something new was thrown in because they needed something that rhymed with Blue. I kid. The new was most likely a “gift” from the bride’s father as part of a dowery to entice the new husband into the trickery of marriage as a financial arrangement. How romantic!
I’m certain there are modern brides who have thrown all of this crazy out the window for their big day, but I, and my Perspectives Panel embraced the traditions and I’m excited to share with you how.
So, in honor of June as the start of wedding season and, traditionally, the most popular month for weddings, I share with you how we included these timeless traditions and curse rejecting elements in our own weddings.
Although, not even close to getting married, a girl can dream.
Something old and Something blue: My mother’s turquoise and silver bracelet.
Something new: I’d probably get a new pair of shoes.
Something borrowed: I think I’d borrow a friend’s necklace.
Song for First Dance: “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys
~ Caroline 10’s
Something old/borrowed: *Jewelry from my great grandma
Something new: My dress
Something blue: My shoes
Song for First Dance: “True Companion” by Marc Cohen
~ Cristina 20’s (https://www.spatialdwelling.com/)
Something old: *My great grandmother’s jewelry
Something new: My mother gifted me with a bracelet that matched my great grandmother’s jewelry set
Something borrowed: Several women in my family have been married in my great grandmother’s jewelry set so, sadly I have to share it, making it my something borrowed.
Something blue: My shoes
Song for first dance: “Sleepwalk” by The Shadows
Something unique at our wedding or reception: I lost my dad 9 months before my wedding so I did everything possible to incorporate his memory into my day. I had a photo of him on my bouquet, had photos of him and my father-in-law on a memory table and we donated money to The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation in lieu of favors.
~ Jackie O. 30s
“Our wedding was on May 1, 2004 at the Thomas Birkby House in Leesburg, VA. I had really wanted to elope, by my husband said it was out of the question, that we needed to celebrate the day with our friends and family. I have mixed feelings about it. It was a great day, but looking back on it now, 15 years later, I still think eloping would’ve been the better decision! That may be in part due to the fact that I don’t like being the center of attention in any situation, and obviously being the bride doesn’t exactly allow you to “blend in”. I remember my wedding day as being some very special moments, intertwined with a lot of personal anxiety felt throughout the day.
That being said, here are some of the special things we chose for our day:
Something old: I pinned my grandfathers baseball medal into my wedding dress.
Something new: My wedding dress.
Something borrowed/Something blue: My great-grandmother’s sapphire ring (long family history with this ring so it was extremely special to me to wear it on my wedding day. This was also my something BLUE!)
Song for our first dance: Sade’s “By Your Side”
Something unique about our wedding reception – We had scrapbook pages on each guest table and markers for guests to fill out – some drew pictures, some answered questions about predictions for our future (When we would have kids, how many kids.) and we put them together to make a keepsake book from that day.”
September 2001 – Vienna, Virginia
Something old: *My grandmother’s earrings and necklace. The set had been given to her by my grandfather on their wedding day. **And my great-grandmother’s handkerchief.
Something new: My dress.
Something borrowed: My aunt had a bracelet that matched my grandmother’s jewelry exactly. She graciously let me borrow it for the day.
Something blue: My grandmother had passed away just before I met my husband. At her memorial service, the pastor mentioned the idea that our loved ones’ spirits are carried in butterflies. For that, I had a blue silk monarch butterfly added to my bridal bouquet to honor all of the loved ones who we had lost that could not be with us on our day.
Song for first dance: “At Last” by Etta James
Something unique about our wedding reception: I always admired what great dancers my parents were, especially at the Jitter Bug. Instead of a traditional slow dance with my father, I chose “My Girl” by The Temptations, so that I could Jitter Bug with my dad.
June 1981 – Charleston, West Virginia
Something Old: **Handkerchief made by my great grandmother on my mother’s side
Something New: Wedding gown
Something Borrowed: *My grandmother’s (on father’s side) necklace and earrings
Something Blue: garter
Song for first dance: “Can I Have this Dance” by Ann Murray. My sister, who was also my maid of honor, sang it with the band.
Something unique about our wedding reception: The local florist was rude to my parents while they were ordering our flowers so, no florist. My friend from work and I made ribbon roses for tables and she decorated the reception area for us. Silk flowers were in vogue so my bouquet was made by someone else. My friend and I made what the bridesmaids carried.
~ Barbara 60s
Let me see if I can remember everything that happened 52 years ago.
Something old: My mother’s cameo. I still have that.
Something new: My wedding gown, my veil and my shoes.
Something borrowed: My grandmother’s handkerchief that she embroidered, I gave that back to her.
Something blue: The blue lacy garter on my leg.
Something unique about our wedding reception: The unique thing that happened was my husband’s parents, both of them, walking down the aisle with Russ, my groom, and both of my parents walked down the aisle with me. It was something they did back then.
We hope to have many years more together.
August 1955 – Rahway, NJ
Something Old: **My Nanny ‘s handkerchief
Something New: My dress and everything underneath
Something Borrowed: Can’t remember
Something Blue: My garter
Something unique about our wedding reception: We had a late showing priest. All of the attendants were down the aisle. Jack, my groom, managed to get word to me of the problem. My dad and I made an entrance 15 min later.
*A special note, that the jewelry set worn by all was one in the same. Many of the brides in our family have worn this jewelry set and have carried the **handkerchief made by my mother’s grandmother.
1 thought on “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue”
Thank you for the memories, Jen! Of the weddings I attended, and those I didn’t. Always so nice to share in other people’s memories.