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One of the many popular wedding traditions celebrated around the world in different ways is the concept of having (or wearing) something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue on your wedding day as a sign of good luck.
"Something old" symbolizes your lives prior to when they became intertwined and offers a chance to honor your family heritage, too while "something new" reflects your future shared life together. Meanwhile, "something borrowed" typically means incorporating an item belonging to a family member or dear friend for good luck, and "something blue" symbolizes fidelity and purity.
Members of your family (or your partner) might lend or gift you with any of these lucky tokens prior to the wedding, but there's no rule saying you can't also round up a few pieces of your own.
While it's not mandatory to honor all four of these traditions in your nuptials, it's a fun way to creatively blend the past, present, and future. Keep in mind that you're not limited to only small, wearable pieces! As a starting point, we've rounded up ideas to inspire your "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue."
This is your chance to give a nod to the past. The item can be a family heirloom or just something used, vintage, or antique that you love.
Antique Getaway Car
Make your exit in style with a vintage getaway car. Riding off into the sunset as newlyweds has never looked cooler. Plus, it makes for the perfect photo op!
Accessorize your wedding-day ensemble with a sentimental family heirloom, like a string of pearls or diamond earrings. This bride wore her late grandmother's pearl bracelet and antique drop pearl earrings while her partner donned accessories to honor both their grandfathers.
Vintage Photo Booth
Put a unique spin on the photo booth trend with an old-timey inspired camera that still produces digital prints. Or, go full vintage with an actual film camera. Just keep in mind these photos will take longer to develop.
Antique Lockets With Family Photos
Keep deceased relatives close to the heart on the big day by including their photos in antique lockets. You can wear them on your person or attach them to your bouquet like this bride did with photos of her late father. She also wore his Purple Heart in the lining of her dress.
Your something old can also be metaphorical, of course, symbolized by the readings the two of you choose to include in your ceremony. At their wedding in the Basque Country of Spain, Chris and Zachary opted for the love sonnet "XVII" by Pablo Neruda, a reading from "Song of the Open Road" by Walt Whitman, and John 15:9-12.
Vintage Dog Collar
If your pooch is lucky enough to earn ring-bearer status, celebrate your something old with a one-of-a-kind dog collar. For their Colorado elopement, country musician Shelly Fairchild and her partner, Deborah, took fabric and buttons from one of their late grandmother's collections to customize their border terrier's ring-bearing neckwear. Your pup will never be more proud.
Look to the future and your new life with your partner for something new.
Add to your wedding-day bling with a modern, multi-finger ring featuring your new last name. Or, if that's too long (or you're not planning on changing your name), how about simply "Mrs." or "Mr." (or whichever titles apply) or a meaningful four-letter word, such as "love"? It'll garner just as much attention as your gorgeous engagement sparkler.
Custom Moto Jacket
Stay cool (in both senses of the word) with a custom wedding jacket, such as a black leather moto. Personalize the back with embroidered words like "Just Married" or both of your initials. We also love the idea of adding in your wedding date either to the back or in small print on the cuff of a sleeve.
Anyone wearing a suit can share the love by wearing a set of cufflinks representative of their style—which, while something new on the wedding day, is also something they'll be able to wear for many years to come. Who knows? Maybe they will become a future something borrowed or even, way in the future, something old.
While going in for matching wedding tattoos before your actual wedding day is somewhat unconventional, if the two of you go this route, you can definitely count these as your something new on the big day. Just be sure to get them done with ample healing time prior. A red, flakey, or swollen tattoo is probably not the look you're going for on your wedding day.
Tying the knot during chilly temps? Layer up with a cool white jacket or a chic cape to keep the look bridal and stay warm in style. As a bonus, every time you pull your warm and cozy cover-up out of the closet, you'll be reminded of all the happy memories from your wedding day.
One option for any bride who doesn't want to necessarily wear her something new is to have the ring bearer carry a custom embroidered ring pillow. A dual-duty item, this will keep in line with the tradition and also ensure the rings stay safe and sound. You can also combine multiple traditions here by incorporating borrowed lace from a relative's wedding gown.
Accessories designer Arden Wohl wore a jade and rose quartz headband-cum-tiara as her something new, which was a gift from her wedding planner's mother, jewelry designer Karen Erickson. But don't think your something-new jewels are limited to headwear. Whether your bling is by way of tiara or bracelet, jewelry is a classic way to incorporate the tradition.
If happiness multiplies when shared, something borrowed is a great way to start your marriage.
Fabric From a Relative's Gown
If borrowing an entire wedding gown from your mother or grandmother isn't feasible (maybe it's too delicate for alterations), don't fret. You can still take pieces of fabric from a sentimental family wedding dress and easily incorporate them into your look, perhaps as a lace belt or chic choker. Just be sure you check with your family before cutting up any prized heirlooms.
There's no grander way to honor the something-borrowed tradition than in the wedding venue itself. One couple tied the knot in Oregon at the bride's family farm, where her parents also wed. The property has been in the family for generations, deeming it certified "borrowed" status by wedding tradition standards.
A Relative's Tie
Wearing your father or grandfather's tie is certainly one way to bring it into the wedding. However, if you're not planning to actually wear a tie to your nuptials, there are other options to incorporate the sentiment. One bride's father passed away after she graduated college, so she honored his memory by tying one of his ties around the stems of her wedding bouquet.
A Wedding Veil
Wearing a whole gown from the '80s may not be what you had in mind. Instead, try borrowing just the veil from a relative to bestow their marital luck onto your own. Alternatively, you can totally borrow your bestie's to honor your friendship while scoring a style that may be more current (though we do love a good vintage accessory).
Your Mother's Jewelry
With so many bridal jewelry pieces to choose from, you can easily double one of your nuptial accessories as your something borrowed. Wear earrings, a necklace, or a bracelet that belongs to someone close to you. If there's ever a good reason to raid your mother's jewelry cabinet, this is it.
Blue symbolizes fidelity, but it's also a very pretty way to add color to your wedding whites.
Have a little fun with the something-blue tradition and remind yourselves not to shed any (wink, wink) ugly tears on the big day with a blue handkerchief. These can also serve as a super-sweet embroidered letter or wedding-day note. And hey, if it's anything especially heart-felt, you've already got the means to wipe away your happy tears!
To commemorate your wedding day, stitch your initials (your new ones if you're changing your name) into the lining of your gown or jacket sleeve in blue. Other monogram ideas include the date of your wedding or you and your partner's first initials, joined by an ampersand.
You don't have to have a sapphire engagement ring to dawn the gem on your wedding day. Bring in your something blue with this dazzling ocean-hued stone as a set of earrings, hairpiece, necklace, or bracelet. Sapphire not your thing? Other blue jewelry ideas include aquamarine, blue opal, blue topaz, and turquoise.
Make like Carrie Bradshaw and uphold the tradition by rocking a pair of blue wedding shoes down the aisle. If you're wanting to err on the more traditional side, save the blue footwear for your reception. Switching shoes after the ceremony also means you have the option to change into something more comfortable and dance-friendly.
No one ever said your something blue has to be visible, right? Well up until the garter toss, at least. Add blue lace details or rock a full-on cobalt garter underneath your wedding attire.