The “Somethings”

Story by Kayla Fugate

Therapists might argue that the key to a successful marriage is open communication, maybe understanding and empathy, or simply listening to your spouse. However, superstition insists that a truly successful marriage is created with something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and the sixpence in her shoe.

In reality, in the midst of all the crazy, detailed planning, a lot of brides realize they have forgotten these “wedding day essentials” and are left scrambling days, maybe even hours before the big ceremony, looking for items to satisfy those sacred requirements. With decisions to be made about invitations, place settings, centerpieces, ceremony décor, menus, and guest lists, these “essentials” are easily lost in the shuffle. Most brides really are not interested in yet another thing to worry about when it comes to their big day.  

The tradition dates back as far as the 1800s, and the meanings behind each “something” are disputed.  Some say something old is meant to preserve your connection to your past, others say it is to protect any future babies born of the marriage. Something new is for optimism in your future marriage, but other sources conclude that this part is in the adage only to make it rhyme and has no meaning.  Something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness, or it gives a bride borrowed luck. It is believed that something blue is a symbol for love and fidelity, but others believe blue is meant to combat any other suitors who may have their eye on the bride. And finally, the thing that most forget is the sixpence in her shoe, which most believe is to bring wealth and prosperity to the marriage.    

No matter the meaning, getting all of your “somethings” in line does not have to be an added stressor to your wedding planning process. You can think of the “somethings” as tokens of love from your loved ones or treats to yourself for your big day. You can go simple and use traditional somethings, or you can make them totally your own. The good thing about the something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue is that those are literally the only rules. Everything else is up for interpretation.

Something Old


Vintage is all the rage these days, so something old is now not just old, but trendy as well.  Look for vintage jewelry in stores. Make this something sentimental and ask your grandmother for a piece she wore when she was young. Better yet ask her if you can borrow it to knock out two “somethings” in one, again there are no rules here.  No one ever said that the something old had to be physically on the bride, either. If your wedding is religious, perhaps your officiant can use an old Bible for the ceremony. If your ceremony is not religious, read a passage out of an old book you like. The older the book or Bible, the more character you add to your ceremony. 

Something New


You can most certainly use this “something” to treat yourself.  Buy yourself those sparkly earrings you’ve been eyeing. Another idea is to purchase a new perfume that you wear for the first time on your wedding day. Every time you smell that scent, you will be reminded of the magic that was your wedding day. Other brides opt to use their wedding dress as their something new. The wedding dress is, after all, one of the most important decisions a bride makes for her wedding day, and for most brides, is worn for the first time the day she walks down the aisle.

Something Borrowed

It is not unusual for a bride, at the last minute, to “borrow” a token from a bridesmaid or loved one right before walking down the aisle. If you’re the type who likes to plan things a bit better than that, perhaps you can ask your married best friend to borrow the veil she wore in her wedding. Jewelry is always an easy go to for this “something” as well, but again no one ever said that your “something” has to be an actual physical item.  If you loved the song your cousin danced to for her first dance, ask if she would mind if you “borrowed it” by walking down the aisle to it.  Perhaps you attended a friend’s ceremony where someone read a beautiful poem, ask to “borrow” the poem for your own ceremony. 

Something Blue

A lot of brides choose to go with a traditional blue garter. If garters aren’t your thing, use this “something” to add a pop of color into your wardrobe with blue shoes, blue jewelry, or even a blue wrap. You can certainly add blue into your manicure or pedicure as well. Blue hydrangeas, blue hyacinths, and dark purple lilacs can all add a splash of blue to your bouquet as well.  If you prefer to remain blue-less, you can dress your bridesmaids in blue, or have your dad wear a blue suit or your mom a blue dress.  

Remember, there are no rules. Don’t let the “somethings” stress you out, and whatever you do, don’t forget the sixpence in your shoe.