According to legend, the bride who follows the tradition by wearing ” something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” on her wedding day will have good luck in her marriage. Modern brides who carry on the tradition have expanded it to include anything the bride uses on her wedding day.
I officiated at a recent wedding where the bride arrived in an antique Bentley, part of her father’s vintage car collection. (You have never seen a prouder father as Jenny gracefully exited his restored car.)
Something old represents the bride’s past, which is why many brides choose to incorporate family heirlooms into their accessories.
Photos of Loved Ones – Something to Cherish for Years to Come
Add a photo locket to your bouquet or frame pictures of loved ones and place them in your bridal suite or at the entrance to your reception. Choose a special frame and you can display the photo in your home for years to come. What a wonderful way to honor those who are no longer physically with us but will always remain in our hearts.
Something Old Becomes Something New – Incorporating Your Mother/Grandmother’s Dress Into Your Wedding Day
Mothers and grandmothers are super sentimental when it comes to weddings. They are honored to have their dress included in your wedding day, but you often find it is just not your style. If they will permit you to cut the vintage dress, here are some ideas:
- Use parts of the trim from the original dress as an enhancement to your dress or your veil.
- If the original dress had buttons, consider having them placed down the back of your dress.
- A lace sleeve makes an elegant wrap for your bridal bouquet.
- The skirt can be made into a ring bearer’s pillow or to create a fabric basket for the flower girl
- Have a lace handkerchief made from the dress. Embroider the wedding date and names of the original bride and groom, and your names and dates.
While you are having one made for yourself, have handkerchiefs made for sisters and cousins at the same time. You’ll just have to fill in the new bride and groom names and date when the time arrives. One bride did this and later shared that her male cousins came and asked for their pocket handkerchief made from the same fabric to wear on their wedding day. Now that grandmother was truly loved!!
- Your something old can be re-purposed antique jewelry that you use as hair accessories or bouquet embellishments. Your hairdresser can easily add removable bobby pins to brooches or entwine necklaces through your wedding updo.
Childhood Memories- Something Old from Your Past
- Stitch fabric saved from childhood memories inside the wedding dress.
Other ideas my brides have shared over the years:
- Her Snoopy and Charlie Brown pillow case
- A snippet from favorite childhood ballet tutu or clothing.
- The number from her high school (or college) jersey
- Part of her “blankey” that she carried everywhere as a child.
A favorite tiny toy tucked into the bridal bouquet holds a special memory for me. I tucked a teddy bear in my bouquet that my husband gave me when we first dated. It’s 43 years later. I still have the bear and the husband, so there must be something to this tradition.
Memories of Dad
My brother Carl passed away before his daughters were married. To honor him on her wedding day, one daughter, Carly, had a heart made from the fabric of one of her dad’s favorite shirts sewn inside her wedding gown. Very few people knew it was there, but it as very special to her when her Mom Peggy walked Carly down the aisle. She said she felt like Carl was walking with her too.
When Shannon married, she used the same shirt and had ribbons from it tucked into her bouquet.
I had the honor of officiating at both of their ceremonies, and I can tell you there was not dry eye anywhere.
You could use these ideas for any clothing item from a loved one, even a vintage wedding veil. Be creative in how your can include your memories.
Keeping the Dress Alive- Something Old & Treasured
If your mom or grandmother cannot bear to have her dress cut up, but still asks you to include it as part of your wedding day, you can display it at the reception, with their wedding picture. Ask the groom’s mother if she would like to participate as well, then be sure to get lots of pictures of you everyone together, so you can later compare the generations. A new custom is born and everyone is happy.
Your something new should consist of items that reflect how you want to look and feel on your big day and as a new couple.
Your Wedding Dress
Many brides see their wedding dress as their “something new”. If you are budget conscious and purchase a sample or pre-owned wedding dress, it is new to you. (Or count it as something old, it really does not matter as long as your get the dress you love. )
Level up your dress without killing your budget. Win-Win.
BONUS: When you are ready to sell your dress, they will buy your wedding dress too!! Win-Win-Win.
Glassware- Becomes “Something old” for every anniversary.
Champagne flutes, with Mr. & Mrs. or with your initials on them add a special touch to your first drink as husband and wife. If you drink beer or other beverages, don’t limit yourself to champagne glasses.
You will create a lifetime memento of your wedding day. Marci and Jim have created an annual tradition of drinking from their toasting glasses on every anniversary. Marci tells me they make drinking her favorite ice tea special too.
Surprise your new husband with a new perfume on your wedding day. The sense of smell is one to the strongest links to memory we experience. Every time you use the new perfume it will remind you both of your wedding day. Be sure to wear it on special occasions, and of course wedding anniversaries.
If you already have a signature scent, it can be your something old. If it brings back memories of a special time you had together, you may want to hold onto those memories. For my son Will’s wedding, was married, I wore a scent I had worn when he was a child. I will never forget the tears in his eyes when we were dancing as he took a deep breath and said, “You smell like mom”. A lifetime memory was created for this mom whose baby boy was entering a new life stage.
Your New Last Name
If you are planning to take your future husband’s last name, you can have your new initials or entire name embroidered into your wedding dress. To make it super special, ask the seamstress to make the swatch for the embroidery large enough that it can be removed and turned into a pillow or picture for your new home. You will be able to enjoy seeing it every day.
I particularly like the idea of having your new name embroidered on the ring bearer’s pillow or monogrammed onto your veil. Anything with your new name will create a stunning image and a lifetime memory for you.
There is no requirement that your something new must been seen by everyone. How about purchasing new sexy bridal lingerie – something new just for him.
Be creative, sexy, or bridal. White or a hot new color. Let your imagination run wild. Think of a piece you would not usually buy and that your groom will love. The pictured set has a detachable skirt, so you get two looks in one. Whew!!
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