Singaporebrides | Essentials

May 2011

Something Special

We’ve all heard of the old saying and its relation to weddings, but what exactly does it mean? We explore the old wedding custom of having something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

“Something old, something new Something borrowed, something blue And a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

That’s the old English saying in its complete form. This adorable little wedding custom dates back to the Victorian era, and symbolises a beautiful continuity from one generation to another, bringing together family and friends during the wedding plans. With all the stresses of putting together a wedding, especially an Asian one—and Asian brides certainly have a lengthy to-do list—this little scavenger hunt can be a lot of fun. It’s also a great way to bond with your family members and friends while preparing for such a memorable occasion.

To use a recent wedding as a very good example, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (no, we shall no longer address her as just “Kate”), chose her bridal gown from Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen to be “something old”. The lace pattern on her dress is called Irish Carrickmacross, which is “an Irish embroidery tradition that dates to 1820,” according to Vanity Fair. For “something new”, Mr and Mrs Middleton gifted their daughter with custom-made diamond oak-leaf earrings with a diamond-encrusted acorn set in the middle, a nod to their new family crest. She also “borrowed” a Cartier halo tiara from the Queen. It was made in 1936 for the Queen’s mother, who then gave it to the Queen on her 18th birthday. And finally, her “something blue” is said to be a blue ribbon sewn into the interior of her dress.

Each item in the saying actually represents a good-luck token for the bride. If she carries all of them on her wedding day, her marriage will be a long lasting and blissful one. “Something old” symbolises continuity with the bride’s family and the past. “Something new” means optimism and hope for the bride’s new life ahead. “Something borrowed” is usually an item from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride. “Something blue” is related to ancient wedding customs. In ancient Rome, brides wore blue to symbolise love, modesty, and fidelity. Before the late 19th century, blue was also a popular colour for wedding gowns, until Queen Victoria appeared at her wedding in pure white.

And finally, if you really want to follow through with tradition, a silver sixpence in the bride’s shoe represents wealth and financial security. It may date back to a Scottish custom of a groom putting a silver coin under his foot for good luck. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe. The sixpence is no longer in production in the UK, but Singaporean brides should have no problems finding silver coins as a substitute!

Here are some ways you can incorporate the four items into your wedding:

Something Old

  • A locket containing a picture of your great-grandparents
  • A family Rosary for the church ceremony
  • Antique combs, pins, or barrettes to wear in your hair
  • A small portion of your mother’s gown sewn into your new one

Something New

  • A key to your new home, hidden in your bridal bouquet wrap
  • New jewellery, probably given by your close relatives at the tea ceremony
  • Your gown, if made-to-measure, is brand new!

Something Borrowed

  • A flower from a relative’s garden, “borrowed” for your bouquet
  • Any gorgeous piece of jewellery you’ve been eyeing from your mother’s collection
  • Your father’s handkerchief, sewn loosely under your gown

Something Blue

  • The sash on your dress
  • A bouquet of blue flowers
  • A blue garter or undergarment
  • Sapphire or Turquoise jewellery

If you forget what is needed to complete your collection of the four items, just look at SingaporeBrides’ logo (can you think of what is old, new, borrowed and blue?)! And to celebrate your new life together, Golden Village and SingaporeBrides are giving away 5 pairs of tickets to the June 2 preview screening of the upcoming Hollywood rom-com, Something Borrowed, starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, Colin Egglesfield, Steve Howey, and John Krasinski! Log on to SingaporeBrides’ Facebook Page today to find out more!