It's possible when you married that you heard people say you need, "something old, something new, something, borrowed and something blue." Even individuals who may not follow many wedding traditions, often try to be sure to follow the advice of this saying. This familiar rhyme originated in Lancashire, England in the Victorian era. At the beginning of each exhibit section, we will explain the meanings of a particular directive from the rhyme.
Something old was thought of as a way for the bride to ward off the evil eye. The evil eye was thought to cause infertility in the bride, so something old was worn to protect any future children. A more cheerful interpretation of this saying is the idea that something old represents continuity. Most couples use this as an opportunity to wear something sentimental such as a family heirloom.
In this exhibit, something old refers to dresses of a certain age. The gowns included in this section are some of the oldest in the collection. The oldest gown featured, a wedding dress from 1836, was not included in the original exhibition due to its delicate condition. However, it is able to be added to our digital exhibition. Please enjoy these "old" gowns and the stories of the brides who wore them.