Nationality: Italian and Irish
Residence: Los Altos Hills, California
Date of Performance/Collection: April 2, 2019
Primary Language: English
The following folklore is an old folk belief my informant followed during her wedding. My informant is a middle aged white woman who will be referred to as M;
M: Brides should have something old, something blue, something borrowed, and something new at their wedding day.
Context: M and her mother both followed this wedding tradition when they were married, and M told me this folk belief numerous times throughout my life, usually in the context of whenever someone is getting married M would say “I hope the bride has something old, something blue, something borrowed, and something new.” It’s important to M because she followed this belief, as well as her mother and grandmother. For M, she followed this folk belief because it was a family tradition as well as supposed to give her good luck. According to M, the something old is supposed to remind her of her past and family, and M’s something old was one of her mother’s pieces of jewelry. The something new is supposed to represent the brides future, and for M she bought a new pair of wedding shoes. The something borrowed is supposed to represent that she will always have reliable friends, and M’s something borrowed was a necklace from her friend. The something blue is supposed to represent the purity of the wife, and M wore a pair of blue underpants. All together, they are supposed to set the wife up for an excellent marriage and M fondly remembers her collection of objects and the meaning behind them.
Analysis: I enjoyed learning about this folk belief and tradition because I think it’s fun to have a family tradition in your family, and my mother also follows this tradition. I hope my sister will also follow this belief. I think M analyzed this perfectly, it’s a folk belief that is supposed to give good luck to those who follow it. This belief shows how many customs we retain from our parents, and how it is hard to break these customs without feeling guilty.
For a more detailed version of this folk belief, watch season 8, episode 23 of the CBS series How I Met Your Mother titled “Something Old”.