WARWICK HOUSE BLOG

Keeping With Old Traditions: “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue…”

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by Laura Howes

We’ve all heard of the saying, but where did it come from and does this tradition still exist today?

The Origins

According to sources, the poem emerged from Great Britain during the Victorian era. It may surprise you to know that, back then, the rhyme held a much deeper meaning than simply being a fun tradition for brides to play around with on their big day. Legend says that a terrible curse, known as the Evil Eye, could take away a woman’s fertility with but a glance so the mentioned items were worn to confuse the spirit.

The Items And Their Symbolism

These things included the underwear of a woman who had already reproduced (something old/borrowed) to trick the Evil Eye into thinking that she was by now fertile, and a garter (something blue) which was said to protect the bride from some form of infertility curse too. Nowadays, when women slip on a blue garter, they probably have no idea about its true symbolism. And even if they did, would the meaning be as important to them in the twenty-first century as it was in ancient times?

Relevance In Today’s Society

The fact is that weddings are a very different affair nowadays, and age-old traditions like this one are therefore becoming irrelevant to modern culture. No woman wants to run the risk of being infertile as she enters matrimony but, then again, gone are the days when marriage was only ever a sacred union of two minds and bodies. More and more brides have already become mothers prior to getting wed, which reflects how our perspective, as a wider community, on marriage and relationships has changed over the years.

Creating New Traditions

So, rather than clinging onto a two-century-old poem, we have let it take on a new meaning with up to date symbolism. For instance, we might today translate the wise words into being about continuity, optimism, sharing and fidelity. An improved version, you might agree, that focuses on happiness and positivity rather than fear and negativity going into life as a married couple!

Where To Seek Inspiration

If you want to keep with old traditions such as the one discussed in this piece, then it can be difficult to know where to start. Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue are all a bit vague and can be interpreted in different ways by each and every bride. So, as a source of inspiration, why not check in once again with Pinterest (a saviour for those in the process of planning a wedding!) and see what others have pinned in this context?

You’ll find all sorts of interpretations and ideas concerning this wedding tradition, not to mention a few suggestions you would never have come up with yourself in a million years!

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