This tradition dates from the Victorian era (late 19th century), has survived down the centuries and still contributes today to young couples' happiness.
On the day of their wedding, the bride follows this tradition according to which she must, for a happy marriage, wear four selected items, which can be items of clothing or fabrics, but which have these precise characteristics:
- One of the items must be old
- Another must be new
- Another must be borrowed
- Another must be blue.
Something "old" symbolised the link between the bride and her family, her parents, and her childhood spent with them. This does not necessarily mean something that is old-fashioned or that has deteriorated. It can be a piece of jewellery that has been in the family for years.
Something "new" is intended to represent happiness and success for the bride as she starts her new life. She often chooses her wedding dress for this.
Something "borrowed" is meant to bring good luck and happiness to the bride in her married life. The item is borrowed from a female friend or family member said to have made a very happy marriage. It is often an accessory already worn to an earlier wedding, such as a pair of gloves or a veil.
Then, something "blue", a custom that dates from the old beliefs of Roman civilisation, according to which the colour blue was the pagan symbol of love, modesty and fidelity. This custom is fulfilled by a hidden accessory such as a handkerchief or the garter chosen by the bride.
All these items are given by wellwishers from among those close to the bride, such as her mother, an aunt, a sister or a friend. Each makes her own contribution to the wedding and in this way shares in the couple's happiness. If these little items are given by older members of the family, the gift is all the more precious, as it is a reminder of previous generations.