And a Silver Sixpence in your Shoe."
Every bride has heard the rhyme, and most try to incorporate at least the first four elements into their bridal look (sixpences are harder to come by these days!) But do you know why you're buying a blue clutch bag and wearing your great-grandmother's pearls? At Lily Houston Design, we'd never really given it much thought until speaking with a bride-to-be recently (let's call her Olivia) who was panicking that she didn't have anything resembling an heirloom for her 'something old' and had spent the weekend scouring vintage shops, searching for something to fill the gap.
The more we thought about Olivia's apparent problem, the more the poem bothered us, until we had to do some digging into where it came from and what it all means! And it turns out...nobody really knows where it came from! It was first recorded in writing officially in the 1890s, but folklore claims it for a number of sources much earlier than that. So, that should alleviate some worry, as nobody even knows who came up with the rhyme!
But, more importantly, what does it mean? Historically, British people were very superstitious, and also attributed a lot of meaning to colour, so the whole thing is essentially just one big good luck charm! Something Old represents tradition and continuity of the family, hence an heirloom works well here (but also why scouring vintage shops doesn't have quite the same effect as something from you or your partner's family!)
Something New is a symbol of change, and optimism for the future with your new partner (most brides cover this with their dress, but if you're going for a pre-loved gown, underwear and earrings usually tick this box!)
Something borrowed represents 'borrowed happiness' and is a reminder of the love and support of your family (if you don't want to wear anything that's not brand new or your own on your wedding day, why not pinch a gorgeous dress off your friend to wear on your honeymoon?)
image via Pinterest
Something blue, interestingly, is to represent love and fidelity (there goes that colour symbolism!) and can be incorporated anywhere, from a hidden garter to throughout your colour scheme, the choice is endless!Iona Ice Blue, Mia Powder Blue, Vanessa Cobalt Blue)
As for a Silver Sixpence, it represents stepping forward into a wealthy future, but it would be hard to find one these days, and honestly that just sounds uncomfortable!
When it comes to wedding traditions, the key really is just to take the parts of them that fit you and your day. if you have a trunk of heirlooms sitting in your attic, that's great! But if, like Olivia, there's not really anything that fits the bill then don't worry; superstitions are just that, and in marriage, as in life, you make your own luck anyway!
Love, Lily x