It’s a beautiful tradition that has gone on for a very long time: Brides carrying something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue on their wedding day. That’s a lot of “somethings” to consider and plan for! And for all the “somethings,” it’s great if the bride can actually wear the item.
That said, many times these items are surprises, so there are two things to be careful of: 1) The bride should actually like it, and 2) The bride can’t already be set on wearing something else or receive a new item in the place of the “something” item.
For example, says Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design, “If she already has her earrings selected, it wouldn’t be fair to present her with different ones on the wedding day as her ‘something’ whatever. If you can discuss these items in advance, I highly recommend it.”
Rather than wearing the items in an obvious way, these wedding ideas will give the bride some inspiration as she comes up with her “somethings.”
A favorite “something old” takes the form of a wedding dress — multiple wedding dresses, to be exact.
“Do you have access to your mom and/or soon to be MIL’s wedding dresses? Perhaps you have the dress of your grandmother or favorite aunt. These family treasures are a sentimental and sweet way to add conversation and tradition to your bridal shower,” suggests Kimberly Allen, Chief Experience Officer and Co-founder of Something Fabulous.
Chances are your wedding dress will be “something new.” But, says Allen, “Borrow the dresses of these ladies that you love and incorporate them into your bridal shower decor. You will honor these special loved ones and provide the genesis of a new family tradition when your dress joins the display of the next generation.”
2. Classic photos
Your “something old” element is easy to come by, especially if you’re looking to memorialize loved ones that have passed away.
“We recommend reaching out to family members or friends for photos to display during the ceremony and reception. Better yet, these photos of late loved ones can act as your ‘something borrowed’ as well, and you’ll be able to incorporate these sentimental memories into your wedding decor,” says Keith Phillips of Classic Photographers.
“’Something old’ is great when it’s a sentimental piece of jewelry from mom or grandmom to the bride that she can then keep,” says Rothweiler. The same idea works for ‘something borrowed,’ but that piece obviously is given back. “’Something’ new can really be as simple as a new piece of jewelry or even the gown!”
According to Heather Jones of Wente Vineyards, choosing wine as your “something old” is the way to go: “One of the most sentimental ‘something old’ items we love for couples is a bottle of wine aged from the year of a memorable date, whether it’s your anniversary, a pet or child’s birthday year, or another significant time for you and your partner.”
And sharing this bottle with your spouse on your wedding day is a special way to celebrate. Says Jones, “Visiting a vineyard (before or after your big day) that offers wine-blending classes also allows you to create your ‘something new’ in the form of a bottle of wine that marks your wedding anniversary, perfect for you to open on your 5th or even 10th year as a married couple.”
A useful idea for your “something new” is a monogrammed handkerchief for those teary wedding-day moments. And having a small keepsake like a handkerchief is great to hold onto for years to come as a reminder of your wedding day.
“This item can double as your ‘something blue’ if trimmed with blue lace, and you’ll be thankful to have something handy for your romantic first look, or even to have tucked away in your bouquet during your ceremony and vow exchange,” suggests Kylie Carlson of International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning.
6. A secret in the bouquet
“Perhaps our favorite idea is to use your bridal bouquet as a place to honor someone important in your life that is no longer with you. We had a bride’s father’s wedding ring incorporated into her bouquet as a way to honor him and feature the ring for ‘something old,’” Leah Weinberg of Color Pop Events says.
“Shoes are our favorite way to take care of ‘something new’ and ‘something blue.’ An indulgent pair of blue suede heels for your black tie affair or turquoise bedecked sandals for your beach wedding,” suggests Weinberg.
“Something blue” is the fun one, according to Rothweiler. “My favorite ‘something blue’ that one of my brides did was a piece of her late father’s blue shirt sewn into the shape of a heart on the inside of her wedding gown,” she says.
9. Vintage dishes
We all have memories of spending holidays and special occasions at our grandparents, or maybe eating dessert off their beautiful vintage china. Incorporate this china into your wedding, perhaps using it as decor on your dessert table.
“Something borrowed” doesn’t have to be a tangible object. For example, you may borrow the song your parents used as their first wedding song, and use it as yours!
Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.