A Washingtonian Wedding: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue . . .

Emily explains the roots of a longtime wedding tradition.

. . . And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe. I did a little research, and that’s how the singsong poem actually ends. Surfacing sometime during Victorian England, the rhyme has endured as a group of four good-luck charms for brides on their wedding day.

Depending on which Web site you read:

“Something old” symbolizes continuity with the bride’s family, usually an item from her family.

“Something new” symbolizes the new union formed between husband and wife that will last forever. It’s a symbol brimming with optimism, excitement, and hope.

“Something borrowed” symbolizes a “borrowing” of happy marital relations, usually from a friend or family member.

“Something blue” is a color linked with weddings throughout history. It’s a symbol that denotes fidelity, modesty, and purity.

And “a sixpence in her shoe” is a Victorian good-luck charm, just as a penny heads side up is good luck in this country.

My “something old” is a handkerchief from my grandmother, embroidered with her initials. My “something new” is my wedding gown! “Something borrowed” is a piece of lace from Drew’s mom that was passed down to her. Whenever Drew’s brother, Blake, gets married, I’ll pass it on to her. And “something blue” is an item I’ll wear underneath my dress from my maid of honor, Jen. I’m not wearing a penny in my shoe.


Emily, a Washington bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Nashville this fall. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.

To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.