Why Do Brides Need To Have Something Old, New, Borrowed, And Blue?

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Reader’s Digest

Claire Nowak4/18/2017

The traditional wedding rhyme goes: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in your shoe.

It describes the four (technically five) objects a bride should have with her on her wedding day for good luck, and brides have been following this custom for centuries. But why?

The mantra started as a Victorian-era rhyme that came out of the English country Lancashire. In that time, the ‘something blue’ was usually a garter, and the blue and old items protected the bride against the Evil Eye, a curse passed through a malicious glare that could make the bride infertile. ‘Something borrowed’ was preferably the undergarment of a woman who already had children. Legend says that wearing this would confuse the Evil Eye into thinking the bride was already fertile, and the curse would be thwarted. (Find out where the bouquet toss comes from.)

These special items have taken on slightly different meanings today, but their symbolism is still important for brides on their special day. According to The Knot, ‘something old’ stands for continuity; ‘something new’ shows optimism for the future; ‘something borrowed’ symbolizes borrowed happiness; and ‘something blue’ represents purity, love, and fidelity.

And if a non-British bride is so lucky to find a sixpence to put in her shoe, she uses it as a wish for good fortune and prosperity. With all that settled, here’s why bridesmaids all wear the same color.