Dear Saveta – I am not sure if you will be able to answer my question but I am planning to marry in November of this year and I was curious about the wedding custom of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue for the bride to be. Could you shed some light on the roots of this tradition? I am curious about what if any significance it might hold. I am the kind of person that likes to do things with some meaning not just because I am expected to by circumstance.
Dear C.L. I love your question – It gave me a wonderful excuse to rummage through some old books I have on Omens and Superstitions. The following explanation was the most consistent and specific in most sources I checked so here goes…What you asked about actually is an ancient rhyme with roots in old Britain.
The something old part was by tradition to be an old garter or personal clothing item from a happily married woman. Hair combs. Slips etc. could be utilized but the garter was considered the most desirable. For a bride where no appropriately used garter was available, a new one with no energy attachments to it was acceptable. The notion of the garter coming from happily married woman was to allow the passing of good vibes to the new couple.
Something borrowed was to be “gold” or with gold in it. The gold was a direct link to the sun or symbol of life. A couple of books stipulated the “gold’ should be returned after the ceremony and if possible, come from a person/family who have been successful in raising children.
Something blue was incorporated as a symbolic representation of the couples (particularly the woman’s) link to the moon and the subsequent connection believed between fertility and the role of the mother as protector of the couple’s/family’s emotional wellbeing.
Finally, something new – the wedding gown. Ancient custom allowed for a used gown if the veil or headdress was new or contained new material and advisably the source of the used gown was like the garter (from a happily married woman). The “new gown” symbolizes the start of a new cycle in the women’s life. Thank you for a wonderful question.