Something Old, Something New

The bride shall wear:

“Something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue,
and a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

– English folklore

These five items (in America, it’s usually the first four only) are meant to bring good luck to a bride on her wedding day in terms of a good marriage and fertility.

Most sources say wearing “something old” represents linking with your family and your past, and bringing the past into the present and future. Brides sometimes wear family gowns or jewelry, use items like ring pillows or cake toppers (or even cars) their parents or grandparents used on their wedding days, or carry items like photos and handkerchiefs to represent ancestors during the wedding ceremony.

Something new” represents good luck, success, and hopes for a new union that will last forever. It seems like most brides wear a new gown that fits their style.

Brides wear “something borrowed” as a symbol that their friends and family will be there to support them on their wedding day and beyond. The borrowed item is supposed to come from a happily married woman so that the item will transfer some of that bride’s happiness into the new marriage.

According to Wikipedia, “The ‘something blue’ takes. . . usually the form of a garter, an article of dress which plays an important part in some wedding rites, as, for instance, in the old custom of plucking off the garter of the bride. ‘The something old’ and ‘something blue’ are devices to baffle the Evil Eye. The usual effect on the bride of the Evil Eye is to render her barren, and this is obviated by wearing ‘something borrowed,’ which should properly be the undergarment of some woman who has been blessed with children: the clothes communicate fertility to the bride.”

Let’s be clear: Kelly doesn’t believe in superstitions, or luck.

Let’s be crystal clear: Kelly will not be wearing someone’s else underwear at the wedding. She has plenty of her own.

Even though she doesn’t believe in superstition, she’ll still don all five somethings during the wedding:

  • Her something old will be jewelry from the women in her family. Kelly has tulip earrings accented by tiny diamonds that her parents gave her the day she found out she earned her IB diploma. She wears them every day in her second set of earlobe piercings. Kelly’s mom is lending her diamond earrings for the first set of holes (also something borrowed). Kelly’s paternal grandmother Betty gave her a diamond rose necklace that Betty used to wear daily before she passed away in 2009. Kelly never met her maternal grandmother Nancy, but will wear one of Nancy’s diamond bracelets. Kelly will also wear a silver bangle she acquired from her maternal great-grandmother Dorothy, who passed away when Kelly was 14.
  • Sixpence in my shoe

    Stefani is lending Kelly a “sixpence,” aka a Cinderella pressed penny, for wealth. Photo courtesy Erica J Photography.

    Her something borrowed is her sister-in-law Tracy’s veil. Tracy and David married five years ago in Gainesville, and Kelly is elated that Tracy’s veil and blessings from their marriage will be covering her as she walks down the aisle. Stefani, MOH, has also promised to lend Kelly her sixpence, which is actually a Cinderella pressed penny Kelly bought at Disney World for Stefani’s wedding.

Tracy's veil

Tracy is lending Kelly her veil for the wedding.

  • The something blue will be a garter made from Grandma Donovan’s wedding gown, embellished with blue lace. Starting with Betsy in November 2010, the Donovan granddaughters have taken fabric, lace and buttons from their grandmother’s gown to make garters, handkerchiefs, and other frills to represent Betty and keep her close on their wedding days. (Betty, you were right: the dominoes have fallen quickly this year.)

While we don’t know of any traditional rhymes about the groom’s attire, Jason will be following tradition as well by wearing his blue class “A” Army dress uniform:

Jason in Army dress blues

Jason will wear his Army dress blues for our wedding.

“The dress blue ASU for males includes the blue coat and trousers and a long-sleeved white shirt with black tie. The dress blue ASU for females includes the blue coat, skirt, and a long-sleeved white shirt with black neck tab. Currently, females in army bands, honor guards, and female chaplains are authorized to wear army blue slacks in the performance of their duties. The black beret and service cap are authorized for wear with this uniform. Combat boots and organizational items, such as brassards, military police accessories and distinctive unit insignia are not worn. All other accessories and insignia authorized for wear with the class “A” service uniform are authorized for wear on the dress blue ASU.” [Wikipedia]

Because we are having a daytime wedding, Jason will wear a cap, which is “something new” for him. He’ll have his Sapper insignia and other awards pinned to his jacket, and he will be in dress shoes, which he shines with Windex.

Fun fact: Army pants are a lighter shade of blue than Army jackets because back in the day, when soldiers rode horses to get around, they would store their jackets in their saddlebags but keep their pants on. (Obviously.) The sun would bleach their pants to a lighter shade of blue, but their jackets, hidden away in the saddlebags, retained their dark color.

 

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