Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue | Chapel Hill, North Carolina Photographer

This Victorian rhyme is a time-honored tradition that is believed to bring the bride good luck.

(c) Barbara Bell Photography | Event Photography in Chapel Hill, NC

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.  Another is to be married in a location of historical significance.

(c) Barbara Bell Photography | A wedding held in the historic city of Salisbury in England

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.  Whether it’s your wedding dress, a piece of jewelry, or a new key to your home tucked into your bridal bouquet, the significance of this new union is what matters most.

wedding photography in durham, nc

(c) Barbara Bell Photography | The King's Daughters Inn, Durham, NC

“Something borrowed” is an opportunity for the bride’s friends or family to lend her something special as a token of their love.

Brides in San Francisco City Hall

(c) Barbara Bell Photography | San Francisco City Hall Wedding

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. In ancient Rome, brides wore blue to symbolize love and fidelity.

Credit: Barbara Bell Photography | Chapel Hill, NC

Did you know that this ancient rhyme also ends with “…and a silver sixpence in her shoe?”

Credit: Pinterest

The final line of the poem is to signify that by placing a penny (because really who has a sixpence lying around?) in the bride’s shoe, this will bring her a life filled with good fortune.

Credit: Pinterest

I spoke with some recent brides regarding whether they were incorporating this into their wedding details, and the response was a resounding, “Yes!” Brides today – no matter what their style is – are keeping this tradition alive by wearing something old, new, borrowed and blue.

Credit: WHCC | Does your guest book show off a little something blue?

Need some inspiration for your own wedding planning?

Julia, who got married last month, used the following:

Something old:

“The lace sleeve from my mother’s wedding dress (it was 63 years old!) will wrap the base of the flowers in my bouquet.”

Something new:

“My wedding dress”

Something borrowed:

“I will wear a jeweled hair comb that a friend of mine wore in her wedding.”

Something blue:

“My wonderful bridal shoes are midnight blue silk, and I just love them!”

Thank you for sharing, Julia!

(c) Barbara Bell Photography | Love is all around you.

If you are married and used the traditional rhyme, what did you use for your old, new, borrowed, and blue?

If you are planning your wedding, what are you thinking of using to keep this ancient tradition alive?

Tag me on Instagram to show me what you are using! @BarbaraBellPhotography