A Comprehensive Guide of Ideas for Your “Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue”

Wondering how to incorporate this Old English tradition into your wedding? We've got you covered.
by Sophie Ross

The Old English rhyme that ends with “a sixpence in your shoe” is all about good luck charms on your wedding day. In case you need a refresher, “something old” symbolizes continuity; “something new” offers optimism for the future; “something borrowed” represents borrowed happiness; and “something blue” stands for purity, love and fidelity. If you’re wondering how to incorporate each of these into your wedding look, we’ve got you covered, below. (Except for the sixpence in your shoe—we’re leaving that one up to you.)

“Something Old”

A Family Heirloom

A family heirloom is typically the most popular way to incorporate the “something old” tradition. You can either sport a gorgeous pair of your mother’s earrings you’ve always fawned over, or, say, sew on some of the pearls from your grandmother’s collection onto the sleeve of your gown.

A Locket on Your Bouquet

A sweet way to stick with tradition and honor some of your family members that aren’t able to attend? Take a vintage locket and put a picture of a deceased loved one in it. You can use it as an accessory on your bouquet.

A Poem

Writing your own vows? Pencil in a line from an old, romantic poem to read to your partner during the ceremony. There are plenty to choose from.

An Old Swatch of Fabric

Maybe one of your family members has a gorgeous garment that’s no longer in the best condition. You can take a swatch of fabric from it and either wrap it around your bouquet or sew it onto your dress lining as a sweet homage.

“Something New”

Your Wedding Dress

Many people will argue your “something new” can easily count as the wedding outfit you’ve already picked out, including your gown.

A New Piece of Jewelry

Splurge on yourself ahead of your wedding by purchasing a piece of jewelry that can both serve as your “something new” and a stunning accent to your look.

A Fresh Lipstick or Perfume

Beauty-loving brides, feel free to swipe on a fresh shade of lipstick or a spritz of perfume you’ve never used before. Bonus points: Since smells conjure vivid memories, your new scent can serve as a reminder of your wedding day to wear on anniversaries and special occasions.

Embroidery of Your New Name

Your name will be new, technically, so embroider it on the inside of your dress (by the back zipper, or somewhere otherwise unseen) as a sweet, sentimental nod to the tradition and your spouse.

Lingerie

Or, you can save your “something new” for your partner’s eyes only. You’ll probably need a new outfit for your wedding night anyway, so find some sexy lingerie you know they’ll love.

“Something Borrowed”

Your Handbag or Clutch

If you’ve had your eye on a designer clutch for months, why not rent it? Lots of online stores (think: Rent the Runway or Bag Borrow or Steal) will allow you to borrow a bag or other accessories for a small cost. You can simply send it back after your wedding day.

Your Veil

A veil is the perfect thing to borrow for your wedding ceremony. Maybe you already have your dress picked out, so ask a friend or relative if they wouldn’t mind lending you the final touch.

A Cocktail Recipe

Not sure what to serve your guests at your reception? Make your signature cocktail a recipe borrowed from a friend or relative (or just anyone who’s nailed down a mean strawberry-whiskey concoction you love).

Your Vows

If you’re having writer’s block but feel it’s important to pen your own vows, think back to a time you’ve been particularly moved by someone else’s vows that you heard. You don’t have to use a passage verbatim, but allow it to serve as inspiration.

“Something Blue”

Your Garter

Of course, a popular choice for “something blue” is a pale blue garter worn under your dress—two traditions for the price of one.

Your Shoes

Regardless of dress length, you can opt for a chic pair of cobalt or cerulean heels (or flats) that’ll perfectly complement your gown.

A Sapphire Piece of Jewelry

As if you needed any more reasons to drip in jewels on your wedding day, sport a sapphire necklace, ring or bracelet to incorporate “something blue” into your look.

Your Bouquet

Opt for a bundle of hydrangeas or other beautiful blue blooms for your bouquet.

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