Something Blue Handkerchief

Bridal Handkerchief with Blue Ribbon
Bridal Handkerchief with Blue Ribbon

If you've found something old, something new, and something borrowed -- you can complete this wedding tradition with a something blue handkerchief to compliment your repertoire of bridal accessories.

The "Something Blue" Tradition

The old adage might be commonly known among brides, but what exactly does the something blue tradition mean?

Originating in Victorian times, this saying is meant to bring luck and happiness to the new couple. According to tradition, the bride will wear or carry each type of item on her wedding day. Each portion of the marriage poem has certain meanings:

Something Old

This portion of the poem is meant to represent the solid foundation of the grooms' family line that the bride enters into, and assures it will continue. Some folklore also claims the something old item represents that the couple's old friends will continue to be loyal. Still other versions attribute this to mean a bride will retain her love and loyalty for her own family after marriage.

Something New

This is to represent the good fortune, health, and happiness of the couple's marriage. It can also signify an enduring or eternal love and devotion in the new marital union.

Something Borrowed

Traditionally, the something borrowed portion of the poem was lent to the bride from a happily married woman to ensure or symbolize future happiness. It contemporary times it can also be a token from the bride's family, (and must be returned in order to receive good luck), or can simply represent respect and admiration of the person from whom the item is borrowed.

Something Blue

Like the other portions of the saying, the bride's something blue can have several meanings. In Israel, a bride traditionally wore a blue ribbon in her hair to indicate fidelity, and thus the something blue can symbolize a couple's faithfulness to one another. A token item of this color was also used in Roman times to represent bride's a purity and modesty. In the Christian religion, a blue item was associated with the virgin Mary.


In some versions, the saying includes a final verse, "and a sixpence for her shoe." This coin is said to bring prosperity, luck, and health to the marriage. Brides today can purchase keepsake sixpence coins, place pennies in their shoes, or wear a special shoe clip to honor this part of the tradition.

The Something Blue Handkerchief for Brides

A Sentiment from the Past

Since the saying originates from the Victorian era, many brides incorporate a bit of the past by making their something blue a handkerchief, which were commonly carried by women in the Victorian era. The advantage of this historical item is that it can be functional or as a keepsake item. A something blue bridal hanky can be used to gently dab perspiration off the face, gently erase smudged makeup, or wipe those inevitable tears that accompany the joy of the wedding day.

If your wedding something blue handkerchief is from your grandmother or other relative, it can also qualify as the something old. If purchased, it can be used as the something new wedding item.

Styles

A bride's blue handkerchief can be purchased at a variety of wedding shops, salons, or craft stores. Often these include a keepsake box and a copy of the poem. Styles vary, but are usually very pretty and feminine, including delicate touches like ribbon and lace edging. These can be easily tucked into a bridal purse, or if you are wearing it purely as a sentimental or luck token, it is thin enough to be worn under the dress - provided the lace or other detail isn't extensive and won't show through the fabric.Typically the handkerchief is white with a touch of blue in the embroidery, ribbon, lace, or other accent, although pale or even deep blue may be available as a specialty purchase.

Where to Buy Bridal Handkerchiefs

Purchase handkerchiefs as the bride's something blue from the following stores:

  • Bumblee Linens: A beautiful floral spray is embroidered on these handkerchiefs, with large light blue flowers adorning the edge.
  • Bridal People has several styles of handkerchiefs available for personalization of your names and wedding date in blue embroidery.
  • Oriental Trading Company offers a very inexpensive hanky with a blue lace edge and depiction of interlocking wedding rings in blue.

More Something Blue Keepsakes for the Bride

In addition to the classic something blue handkerchief, there are many other options the bride can choose for her something blue. Ideas include:


You may not believe in wedding superstitions, but following the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" bridal tradition a special way to prepare for your new life ahead.

Something Blue Handkerchief