We’re all familiar with the rhyme:
And sixpence in her shoe.
Well, we all know the first four lines at least…
But what do they mean? Why are they relevant to our weddings? And what are some blue things that you might incorporate into your big day?
What does this wedding poem mean?
The poem dates back to Victorian England, and was first seen in the pages of the St. James Magazine in 1871 in a short story entitled “Marriage Superstitions, and the Miseries of a Bride Elect”. It is not clear where the author of the short story got the idea; however, we believe the poem probably goes back much later, with its roots in folk songs passed down from generation to generation.
Either way, the poem has become part of the modern day wedding tradition throughout the Western World, and – because brides have more than enough to think about already – we thought it might be helpful to share a couple of ideas for how the poem can be incorporated into your big day.
Something Old because…
Something Old has a few possible meanings:
- It is supposed to reflect the best of pre-marital life; aspects of which you want to bring into the marriage, or
- It is an homage to your ancestors, without whom you would not be here, or
- It provides protection for the baby to come (should that be on the agenda).
Quick ideas for Something Old at your wedding:
- A family heirloom, e.g. your grandma’s earrings.
- Arriving and / or being driven away in a vintage car.
Wearing some up-cycled jewelry that you found at a vintage shop.
Something New because…
Something New is for the beautiful new life the bride and groom are going to be embarking on. It is meant to represent the optimism of starting this new chapter together.
Quick ideas for Something New at your wedding:
- Your wedding band!
- Brand new shoes to be worn at the wedding.
- New perfume or lingerie.
Something Borrowed because…
The idea here is to borrow something from a happily married wife, who will then transfer some of that good luck onto your marriage. It used to be that brides were expected to borrow the worn undergarments from someone who’d had lots of children, to encourage fertility with the newly-weds; but this tradition seems to be fading away, you’ll be relieved to learn!
Quick ideas for Something Borrowed at your wedding:
- A wedding veil from an older sister or cousin.
- A hairpin or piece of jewelry from an aunt or grandmother.
- A cake topper or knife that your parents used at their own wedding to cut their matrimonial cake.
Something Blue because…
Like the gorgeous white (or ivory!) of the wedding dress, the color blue symbolizes purity and fidelity. However, figuring out where and how you can bring blue into your wedding can be tricky…
8 quick ideas for Something Blue at your wedding:
- A blue garter. This has become increasingly popular with brides who love the subtlety and intimacy of the idea.
- Blue ribbons could be tied around your bouquet of flowers, speaking of which…
- Blue flowers can also be incorporated into your whole day: from centerpieces to bouquets to the petals the flower girls throw!
- Sapphires. If the budget allows, this can be a spectacular way to introduce the colour blue into your wedding. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to double down on the poem by BORROWING some sapphire earrings from a friend or your soon-to-be mother-in-law!!
- A handkerchief. Wipe away your tears (or those of your future spouse) with a handkerchief custom embroidered with your NEW initials in blue stitching. Again, two birds, same stone.
- Shoes are another popular route for the blushing bride. And if you’re not interested in buying a pair of blue shoes you’ll only wear once, we have seen blue being represented by handwritten notes from friends and family scribbled in blue pen on the soles of the bride’s shoes.
- Blue manicure. Painting your nails light blue could be a subtle, yet gorgeous, way to bring some blue into your wedding.
- A blue robe. In the lead-up to the big event, many brides like to spend a little time being pampered (often accompanied by sisters, mothers, grandmas and bridesmaids). And there is perhaps no better outfit for being pampered in than a delightful NEW blue robe!
Sixpence in your Shoe because…
Sixpence was a silver coin used in Britain from the 1550s, right the way until 1980. For our blushing bride, the coin is supposed to be placed in the left shoe by her father, and then worn at the wedding. It is meant to a) ensure prosperity throughout the marriage, and b) to ward off any bad thoughts from frustrated suitors!
Quick ideas for incorporating a Sixpence:
As suggested above, many couples only get to the “something blue” of the poem, and don’t bother with the sixpence. However, if you want to stay true to the original poem, then you might consider slipping a dime or quarter under the ring bearer’s cushion. Or else the groom could carry a coin in his pocket.
At the end of the day, the poem is a rather charming nod to the past. Including the elements in your wedding day should be a fun challenge, and not something that causes too much hand wringing or too many headaches! The whole purpose is to bring as much luck as possible to your new marriage. While we at The Crystal Plaza don’t believe in leaving things to chance, we are always happy to wish the happy couple lots of luck at the outset of their new adventure together!