Something Olde, Something New ...

Updated: Jun 2, 2018

So where does this little gem come from? Well, it is actually an extract from a poem that dates back to the late 19th century. It is a tradition – or superstition that originated in ‘Lancastershire’ and the oldest written reference to the poem was found in an 1871 issue of St. James Magazine and reads:

"Something olde, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a sixpence in your shoe.”

It relates to the small tokens or charms that the bride was meant to receive from her loved ones. This tradition was to ensure that her marriage would be filled with love and happiness forever, but what does it all mean?


Something olde represents continuity and is usually an item that connects the bride to her family and the past. The most common items to give a bride to are a piece of family jewellery or even a family picture reduced in size to fit into a locket.


Something new offers optimism and hope for the future and is often accepted to be the wedding dress itself – or even some nice sexy underwear.


Something borrowed symbolises borrowed happiness and is usually something that the bride borrows from another happily married couple or friend of the family. However, if this happens to be something that is an item cherished by the person doing the lending – make sure you don’t lose it!


Something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity –apparently because the Virgin Mary always wore blue and so the colour has taken on this meaning. If blue doesn’t fit with the bride’s colour scheme of the day, then she will have to find a more subtle way of including it!


A silver sixpence in your shoe if the bride is happy to have a coin in her shoe all day! This is a good luck gesture customarily placed in the shoe by the father of the bride. This is meant to bring her prosperity, love and happiness in her marriage ... and, possibly a sore foot on her wedding night as well!



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Darren Baldwin Wedding Photographer, Peacehaven, Brighton, East Sussex