The Surprising Truths Behind Common Wedding Superstitions

Find out the surprising origins behind the common wedding traditions!

Superstition #2: The bride must wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue (and a silver sixpence in her shoe).

something blue
       Photo Credit:  Hoffer Photography

Origin: This Victorian rhyme is a time-honored tradition that is supposed to bring the bride good luck. Wearing “something old” expresses the newlywed couple’s desire to retain connections with their family once they enter into married life. One tradition suggests that the bride’s “something old” be an old garter given to the bride by a happily married woman so that the new bride would also enjoy a happy marriage. Wearing “something new” conveys that the couple is creating a new union that will endure forever and looking to the future for health, happiness and success. “Something borrowed” is an opportunity for the bride’s friends or family to lend her something special as a token of their love. And finally, “something blue” is a symbol of fidelity and constancy. This custom began in ancient Israel, where brides wore a blue ribbon in their hair to symbolize this promise to their new husbands. What you may not realize is that the rhyme actually ends with “…and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” Story says that placing a penny in the bride’s shoe will bring her a life filled with good fortune.

Today: Many modern brides find it fun to keep with tradition by wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Think of creative ways to incorporate all four items into your wedding-day ensemble. For example, Kate Middleton’s “something old” wasn’t a handkerchief or locket but rather her Alexander McQueen bridal gown, which featured “traditional Carrickmacross craftsmanship,” a lace technique dating back to the 1800s.

More Superstitions:

► Why it's bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony
► Why brides and grooms toss the bouquet and garter
Why couples save the top tier of the wedding cake
► Why the groom carries his bride across the threshold