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The Brides Poem

"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue"

The often unquoted last line of the traditional bridal saying gives a hint at its origin. The complete phrase is: "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe." Many sources say that it began in the Victorian era. Each item in this poem represents a good-luck token for the bride. The foundation for the poem is if a bride carries (or uses/possesses) all of these items or tokens on her wedding day, her marriage will be a happy one.

Something Old is meant to represent the link with the bride's own family and the past, particularly her mother or grandmother. It can also be something from or representing a more distant relation. Something old is symbolic of continuity. To symbolize this link brides may choose to wear a piece of antique family jewelry which belonged to the relative. Alternatively she may select something from the mother's or grandmother's wedding gown or ceremony. Other things that may be chosen include a handkerchief, a scarf or a piece of lace.

Something New represents good luck and success and the brides hopes for a bright future in her new married life. The wedding gown is often chosen as the new item but it could be anything that is purchased new for the wedding such as the wedding flowers, wedding jewelry or the wedding rings themselves. Wearing a new item on your wedding day conveys the message that you and your husband are creating a new union that will endure forever.

Something Borrowed is to represent to the bride that friends and family will be there for her on the special day and in the future when help is needed. "Borrowing" is especially important, since it is supposed to come from a happily married woman, thereby lending the bride some of her own marital happiness to carry into the new marriage. Anything can be borrowed but it must be returned afterwards. Another way to incorporate a borrowed item into your wedding day attire is to borrow a friend’s piece of jewelry. If you have a close friend who has worn the same necklace for as long as you have known her, you might consider borrowing this particular necklace for your wedding day as a reminder of your friendship. Perhaps she wore the necklace on her own wedding day.

Something Blue in ancient times is the symbol of faithfulness, purity and loyalty. Often a blue item is the garter and in olden times the couple wore blue bands on the border of their wedding attire to denote, love, modesty and fidelity. Another way to wear something blue is to wear jewelry items that are blue in color (wedding colors), include a blue flower in your headdress or theme your wedding flowers in blue.

A Silver Sixpence in her shoe represents wealth and financial security. It may date back to a Scottish custom of the groom putting a silver coin under his foot for good luck. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe. A silver sixpence is a coin made of silver and worth six pennies that was minted in Britain from 1551 to 1967. These days, a dime or a copper penny is sometimes substituted.



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