Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue Ideas for Your Wedding

blue patch in gown

PHOTO BY JUSTIN LEE

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."

Something Old Ideas

Vintage Getaway Car

Forget "out with the old." Make your exit in style with a vintage getaway car! Riding off into the sunset as newlyweds has never looked cooler (and makes for a perfect photo-op).

Family Heirloom

Accessorize your wedding day ensemble with a sentimental family heirloom, like a string of pearls or diamond earrings, that's been passed down for generations. This bride wore her late grandmother's pearl bracelet and antique drop pearl earrings, while her partner donned accessories to honor both of 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 (because actual film cameras are a little too old for weddings these days).

Antique Lockets With Family Photos

Keep deceased relatives close to 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.

Ceremonial Readings

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 Love Sonnet 17 by Pablo Neruda, a reading from Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman and John 15:9-12. After their first kiss, the newlyweds recessed down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun,” by The Beatles.

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.

Something New Ideas

Last Name Ring

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 last name), how about simply "Mrs" 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 this black leather moto jacket featuring "Just Married" embroidered on the back in a contrasting color.

Unique Cufflinks

Grooms 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.

Matching Tattoos

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.

Cozy Cover-Up

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 of the happy memories from your wedding day.

Embroidered Pillow

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, to keep in line with the tradition—and also ensure that the rings stay safe and sound.

Glam Tiara

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.

Something Borrowed Ideas

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.

Wedding Venue

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.

Your Father's Tie

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.

Something Blue Ideas

Sentimental Handkerchief

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.

Monogram Embroidery

To commemorate your wedding day, stitch your new initials into the lining of your gown in blue. Other monogram ideas include the date of your wedding or you and your partner's first initials, joined by an ampersand.

Related Stories