Folk speech
Riddle
Rituals, festivals, holidays

“Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue”

Original Script: “Alright, so this is a really common wedding riddle but it is the old, ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue’ Doing events, especially weddings, I hear this saying all the time. However, I have never seen a bride really go out of her way to put this together…or at least I have never been apart of putting this together for the bride. It usually consists of four items, and of course I have heard of people doing this but have never actually seen it done. However, one time, it was a lovely older couple getting married, and the bride combined all four elements into one! The necklace was old, I believe it was her grandmothers, but there was a new hook on it, so it was new and old. The necklace belonged to her mother, but she let the bride borrow it. AND, there was a blue gem in the middle of it! It was crazy! But really cute!

I don’t know if it really counts as the riddle suggests, but it was a cool mix of the four things! I actually don’t think a lot of couples have heard of the riddle, or at least don’t keep it in mind…I don’t think it is as important now as it was in the past, like, I don’t know if I will do that when I get married, I will focused more on how things will go, how the event will turn out, and of course, you can’t forget the dress!”

Background Information about the Piece by the informant: Tiffany is an event coordinator and has been for a couple of years. She has ample experience in the event planning business and usually knows how to get out of the most complicated situations. The events she plans are anywhere from corporate events, fundraisers, to weddings (destination or locale in California). Planning events, usually weddings, there are a lot of traditions that surround them (for example the bride’s father walking her down the aisle, holding a bouquet of flowers, throwing that bouquet into a crowd of woman and whoever catches it, is who is getting married next). While being apart of all of these traditions, according to Tiffany the riddle above is a rarity in weddings, or at least an event planner is not part of that particular tradition.

Context of the Performance: Wedding Day Prepping

Thoughts about the piece: From television shows to magazines such as the high-end wedding magazine by Grace Ormonde, this riddle shows up everywhere, and is never taken out of its traditional setting, which is a wedding on the wedding day. I found it interesting how Tiffany has never seen the actual process of getting each individual item from all the weddings she has conducted. The only case she had seen this riddle played out was through the clients of an older couple. This suggests, that the riddle might have been more prominent through the past generations, where it was more of a practiced tradition to get something that was old, something that was new, something that was borrowed, and something that was blue. However, this tradition has become seemingly not adherent to the newer couples that are getting married, since Tiffany had mentioned that she has not seen the tradition thoroughly done before (please note that she has coordinated over 20 weddings). Each item the riddle describes also has a specific significance: something new would be a representation of the future; something old would be a representation of the past (where that person comes from); something borrowed would be a representation of the connections that person has; and something blue would represent loyalty (as the color is associated with such). Thus, the motifs of these items correlate with motifs to the day of the wedding.

Furthermore, Tiffany had mentioned that, “at least she has never been a part of that,” which shows that there is a separation of groups, the occupational group being the coordinators and another group being the attendees at the wedding (there of course of three divisions in this group the bride’s family, the groom family, and the friends). A fascinating connection all these groups have is the wedding day, where all four of them come together, just like all four of the items in the riddle come together. Additionally, it is important to see the seperation of knowledge from the two different groups (i.e. the coordinators and the clients). For example, tiffany has heard of the proverb because of all the weddings she has coordinated, she had mentioned that, “I actually don’t think a lot of couples have heard of the riddle, or at least don’t keep it in mind it.” Which demonstrates that traditions are constantly changing overtime.

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