Nostalgic items make the day even more special.
Even if you aren’t getting hitched, you likely know the superstitious rhyme: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.”
It actually continues with “… and a sixpence in your shoe,” but that part isn’t as commonly repeated.
According to Reader’s Digest, the mantra started in the Victorian era in the English country of Lancashire as a way to protect the bride against evil curses. Thankfully, we’ve chilled out since then, and today, the tradition is more symbolic for brides. It’s also become a way to incorporate important family members, and their belongings, into the celebration.
Photographer RJ Goodwin, who shoots with Sam Stroud Photography, says while brides may not want to wear their mother or grandmother’s dress, they will try to utilize it in a smaller way to be a “something old.” “I’ve seen brides take a piece of a family member’s dress and make a handkerchief to keep with them on the day of, or sew a patch of it into their dress,” he explains.
He also says there’s often a piece of jewelry from a relative who has passed away that is sewn into the bouquet. For example, when Kathryn and Matt Wallman were married, they chose to place her grandfather’s watch and his grandfather’s watch on the stem of her bouquet.
A similar story for local bride Cara Ruth Pace Dunnavant, who had a backyard wedding during the pandemic in 2020. She wanted to make sure her grandfathers were remembered on her wedding day in a special way. After finding their signatures on birthday cards, she consulted with a friend who monograms.
“She scanned the cards in and got a piece of white satin and stitched their handwriting onto the statin then sewed that onto my dress. I had her stitch it in navy so that would be my ‘something blue’,” Cara explains.
Not only did it bring tears to her grandmothers’ eyes, Cara says, “it was almost like they were walking down the aisle with me.”
More inspiring examples:
Lana had her grandparents’ cake toppers in display as her “something old” with an explanation for her guests. Photo by Laurel Creatives.
Anna passed around their rings in one of her grandmother’s dishes that said “Good Luck.” They asked guests to pray over the rings during the ceremony.
Instead of wearing her grandmother’s pearls around her neck, she incorporated them into her veil, which was made by The Gilded Thimble.
Photos by Robert Matthews Photography.
Becky wore her mother’s wedding day hat when she and her new husband were introduced at the reception. Photo by Kathryn Ivy.
Caitlin had portraits taken on her wedding day in her mother’s veil. Her mother had passed away. Photo by Megan Vaughan.
Beth-Anne’s “something old” and “something new” was her mother’s wedding dress. She had it altered to fit with her personal style. Photo by Erin Kling Photography.
Faith Mari’s flower girls tossed little heart paper cut outs that were from notes the groom had written to her through the years. The paper was mixed with flower petals from flowers he gave her during the relationship.
Photo by The Mullins Photo Co.