Wedding 101: Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

I know you’ve heard the saying. In fact, it’s probably been drilled into your head since you were a little girl. “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.” A simple, time honored tradition, that brings a little bit of luck to the superstitious bride on her big day.

Since the 1800s, brides have been choosing little treasures that are meaningful to them. Their “Something Old” representing a continuity in the brides family, and linking her to her past. “Something New” symbolizing hope for a bright and happy future. “Something Borrowed” is a token lent from someone that is happily married, hoping the happiness will rub off. And finally “Something Blue” which stands for love. (Snapple fact! Apparently since Roman times blue has been a symbol of love. Who knew? I’ve always thought it was red…)

While their methods for showcasing their items may change, the tradition stays the same. So how do you choose what to carry with you on your big day? And where the heck do you put it?

No worries. I’ve got you. But, before we get started, I want to mention… DON’T WAIT TO DO THIS UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. While it might seem like a quick and easy tradition that you can put together in no time, I’m warning you now, it may not be as simple as you think. It can take some time to track down your items, especially if you’re using a family heirloom. Give your loved ones some time to find the things you need and get them to you, so you don’t have to stress about it days before your wedding!

Something New is arguably the easiest choice you’ll have to make. I can think of two things you’ll be getting specifically for your wedding day that will be brand spanking new when you put them on. Your dress, and your wedding band! (That is for those brides who are buying them new!) And don’t worry, it’s totally not cheating to count either of these as your something new… I checked!


Something Borrowed is usually a piece of jewelry. I also think it will be the most sentimental of your items. When you borrow something from someone you love, it makes you feel closer to them. (Kind of like how you probably always used to steal your boyfriends sweatshirts and sleep in them when they weren’t there. That wasn’t just me… Right?) My something borrowed was the easiest choice for me. My great grandma passed away just a few months before my wedding. She was diagnosed with lung cancer, and we knew she didn’t have much time left with us. We talked about my wedding day a lot in those last few months, and she promised me so many times that she would be there, even if it wasn’t in person. She left her wedding ring for me to wear the day of my wedding. She was happily married to my great grandpa until the day he died, and even after he was gone, her face would light up when she talked about him. For me, wearing her ring was a no brainer for my something borrowed. After my wedding, I returned it to my grandma for safe keeping, so that when it’s my cousins turns to get married, they will be able to have a piece of our great grandma there too. Your something borrowed can be quite literally anything, from jewelry to clutches to veils. It really doesn’t matter what the item is, as long as it means something special to you! Something Borrowed Ideas: Jewelry from a loved one, a veil, a loved ones wedding dress, or a vintage designer clutch. (If you’re lucky enough to have a grandma that collects vintage Chanel!) 


Something Old can be tricky, especially if you don’t come from a family that holds on to heirlooms. Just remember, it doesn’t have to be THAT old. Do you have an older sister that got married two years ago and you freakin’ loved her earrings? Chances are, she kept them, and would be happy to let you wear them too.  I actually had two something olds for my wedding day! The first, a pearl from the pearl necklace that my mom wore on her wedding day. (Always start by checking with your moms! They probably have something from their wedding day that you can use as something old!) The second was a handkerchief that belonged to my great, great, great, great grandma. Yeah you read that right, FOUR greats. It was left to me by my Great Great Granny (whom I had the pleasure of knowing, and have many memories of). This is honestly the most BEAUTIFUL hankie in the world, and I was so nervous I was going to ruin it! Something Old Ideas: Jewelry (of course), something your mom wore on her wedding day, or a locket with old photos. 


Something Blue is where you can have a little bit of fun. Traditionally, you incorporate your something blue in a piece of jewelry or on your garter. However, I have seen SO many great ways to use blue lately. I really freaking love it when brides rock blue heels on their wedding day. (I just love the pop of color it gives!) I was also at a wedding where my friend used one of her dad’s old blue dress shirts, cut out a heart, and had it sewed onto her dress. It was so sweet. You can, of course, easily find jewelry with a blue stone (like a sapphire) and there are SO many garter options out there, you honestly might have a harder time finding one without blue on it. My something blue was a blue agate from my great grandma’s favorite necklace.

While many brides choose to incorporate their old, new, borrowed and blue items into their wedding attire, you can also add them into your decor. I used my other great grandma’s cake knife that she used at her wedding as something old. (My mom had it engraved with their names and wedding date on it, and mine and Trev’s names and wedding date too, so someday, our children can use it as well!) My BEAUTIFUL wooden table numbers were my something new. A large “K” that belonged to Trev’s mom was something borrowed. And, our card box (you can see it here) was my something blue. Having it on me and at my reception? That’t totally double the luck… right?

Once you’ve chosen all your items, it’s time to figure out just how to incorporate them into your wedding day. Some things, like a cake knife, are easy to figure out. But others, like my hankie, might be a little bit trickier. I decided that I wanted to keep everything on me, but I didn’t really want it to be seen, (except for my Great Grandma Jean’s ring). I went to Michael’s and bought the BIGGEST safety pin I could find. Then I put my hankie, my pearl and my agate on it. I really wanted to make sure they were all secure on the pin, so they didn’t fall off. My mom and I did a super fantastic job of this, and ended up using green flower wire (you know the stuff that you use when you’re putting fake flower bouquets together?) to hold them all into place. It didn’t look very pretty, but they weren’t going to freaking move. Which was more important to me than looking pretty. (I was SO worried I was going to lose something! Good news… they stayed in place so well, that we had to use pilers to get the wire off so we could get them all off the safety pin!) On the day of my wedding, we pinned in in the layers of my skirt. No one saw it, but I knew it was there. And I could feel the presence of all my loved ones who helped me find/ give me all of my little treasures.


If you’ve chosen some more “out of the box” type items as your old, new, borrowed and blue, be sure to check out Pinterest! There is a growing number of brides looking to use things that aren’t just jewelry items on their big day. I love looking to see what other people are doing. Sometimes, they are SO creative!

The best part about this tradition, is that there really isn’t any “rules” for it. It really is up to each bride. No matter what you do, as long as you choose things that have a meaning to you, everything will turn out perfectly in the end!

Sorry this post is so late tonight! You would not believe the day I’ve been having. It started with a paper jam in the copier at work (that took me almost an HOUR to unjam, and resulted in me having a black ink stain across my forehead for 90% of my day) and got progressively worse to wear my car died, during a downpour, all while the “feels like” temperature outside was pushing 101. Thank goodness for my very own knight in shining armor for coming and saving me, helping me get a new battery and installing it for me! I don’t think I’ve EVER been so happy to see my bed in my entire life. I hope your Wednesdays were MUCH less eventful than mine!


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