Something Old, Something New…

….something borrowed, something blue.

Any bride worth her salt knows this mantra off by heart. As I romped my way towards my big day (and I don’t mean that in the naughty sense) this quatrain played on my mind endlessly.

What would my something blue be?

What should I borrow?

And from who?

Whilst I’m not superstitious, there’s something about getting married that compelled me to adhere to this age-old tradition. It wasn’t so much the ‘bad luck’ issue if I didn’t fulfil the stipulations of the rhyme but more a sense that I’d be missing out if I didn’t. And since I’m not intending to get married again I really wanted to make sure that I had all bases covered.

And so I did….

I’m not going to tell you lovely lot what each of these four tokens were as I want to save that for the great unveiling of the whole wedding later this year on these polka dotted pages. Instead I’ll be talking you through some other alternatives which will hopefully inspire you on your journey.

Something Old

Traditionally the preserve of Great Aunt Edna’s diamond broach or Granny’s emerald ring, modern day brides are taking a new direction when it comes to their ‘something old’.

Some are opting for classic scents whilst others are appropriating vintage lingerie. I particularly love the idea of wrapping the ends of your bouquet with an old handkerchief belonging to a favoured relative.That way you’ve also got something to mop up your tears too should you become a little emotional.

Something that’s becoming more popular is to use parents’ or even grandparents’ cake toppers on your modern day sweet treats. I love how kitsch they look as well as the fact they come laden with memories.

Lastly if you’re after something a little more discreet, why not take a small square of your mother’s wedding gown and have it sewn inside your own frock – it’s almost like wearing two frocks at the same time.

Well I did say almost

Something New

Frankly ladies this portion of the ditty relates to pretty much anything new that you purchase for your big day. For a start I’m guessing that the majority of you have bought a new dress, right?

Be it vintage or otherwise, it’s still ‘new’ to you and so that box is effectively ticked. So I have… ahem…taken the liberty therefore of putting together a wishlist of sorts for you gorgeous lot to enjoy.

The great thing is that every single one of these beauties is actually available to buy right now.
Yes you heard me…now girls form an orderly queue will you…

I’m currently having a bit of a rose gold/ copper moment.

Hell, when am I not?!

So I just couldn’t resist introducing an element of this hue into the board. The point being that there’s no reason why you lovelies can’t purchase that pair of earrings/ glistening bangle/ statement necklace that you’ve had your eye on for what seems like forever and introduce it into your bridal outfit.

At least you know that you’ll wear it after the day is over and it will bring back some amazing memories too.

Something Borrowed

Whilst traditionally the wedding rhyme relates solely to the bride’s outfit, I see no reason why in this day and age you can’t mix it up a little bit and apply this rationale to other parts of the wedding day.

Does a relative own an amazing vintage car that you’d love to drape tin cans from the back of and drive off in for your first journey as husband and wife? What about attaching a borrowed beautiful pocket watch to your bouquet to ensure that you arrive to the church on time?

Perhaps it’s a handed down antique veil that’s been in your family for years or a delicately embroidered garter; either way I love the memories that accompany such ‘borrowed’ items. There’s a sense of belonging to a wider collective, a story bigger than our own tale, a sense of family I suppose. And that’s what it’s all about.

Perhaps my favourite ‘borrowed’ item is an old pen to sign the register with. Imagine how many other marriage adventures have started with the same flick of the nib…

Something Blue

Those of you who read my bridesmaids inspiration post will already know that I love the colour blue. It’s immensely flattering and looks good year round regardless of the season and location.

I won’t bore you with historical references and the significance of the colour blue. Instead I’m providing a plethora of pretty to help you make up your mind about how to introduce it into your outfit without being overwhelmed by it.

Most of the brides I’ve known have either had a blue ribbon sewn inside their dress or a blue embroidered inscription stating something significant but your options are seemingly endless. Why not opt for blue shoes or a piece of jewellery with aquamarine stones? Perhaps you could kill two birds with one stone and provide your guests with favours in this hue…

There’s no reason why you can’t ask your maids to carry the blue mantel for you and literally wear the colour themselves. Personally if one of my girls asked me to wear this exquisite blue Elie Saab gown I would have NO objections.

If it all seems a bit much then asking your florist to introduce blooms with a slightly blue based tinge is a subtle way of injecting the colour into your day.

So how important is it to you to follow this ‘recipe’ for marriage success? Is it just superstitious nonsense or is it something that’s close to your heart?

What will you be borrowing for your big day? And I want to hear all about your something blue…

Also did you know that there’s actually a last line to this bridal ditty – ‘and a silver sixpence in her shoe’? My mum actually bought me one complete with Queen Viccy on it.

Now aren’t I a lucky girl…

All my love Lolly xxx

Author: Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.

21 thoughts on “Something Old, Something New…

  1. Such beautiful images, as always Lolly!!

    I haven’t really given this much thought yet although I will be keeping to the tradition I’m sure. My bridesmaids will be in blue so thanks for the suggestion, my best girls can be my something blue 🙂

    I really wanted to have something that my Mum or Grandma’s had for their wedding days but apparently it’s all gone…what a sentimental lot they are! So I’m going to keep something special from my day in case I’m lucky enough to have someone to pass it on to one day!


  2. ‘Something blue’ – quite tricky when you’re marrying a Liverpool supporter! I originally fancied blue for the bridesmaids but received a look of unmitigated horror off the lorry driver!

    I think my something old will be my bouquet – one of my BMs and I have been collecting vintage brooches since the start of the year and she’s wiring them all together into a bouquet for me, which I’m v excited about! I haven’t sorted something borrowed yet either – my mum offered me her veil and cake topper but (and this sounds dreadful) she got divorced so it just feels a bit like tempting fate to have anything from that wedding at mine. Luckily she understands!

    Loving that sequinned gown, and also the punched leather gloves. Do you think a February wedding means gloves are a necessity? Specially those ones?x

  3. Loved this post, especially the jewellery! I love wedding traditions and make sure to give all of our Parallel Venues couples an original silver sixpence from the Royal Mint. L x

  4. Lovely images as always 🙂

    For our big day I had the following:
    Old – A necklace I have made from my great-grandmother’s pearls worn as a bracelet
    New – My Union Flag Irregular Choice shoes, and my perfume which was a new scent for the day (and worn many times since)
    Borrowed – I borrowed a ring from my boss’ wife. I heard you were supposed to borrow something from a happily married lady and they are the happiest couple I know, they’ve been married years and years and you can still tell how much they love each other. The ring she leant me was actually given to her grandma by her grandad so even more history of loving couples behind it 🙂 I pinned the ring inside my dress.
    Blue – I had my nails painted electric blue (with a lot of raised eyebrows from family and friends who though tI should have had a french manicure – but they agreed it looked good on the day!). My sister made me a garter from antique blue lace too which was a surprise on the day so I had a little extra blue 🙂

    And of course the sixpence in my shoe. I was given one accidently in my change years ago instead of a 5p and had kept it for my wedding 🙂

    I wouldn’t say I was superstitious but I do like traditions.


  5. Ahhh, my something old is my Nonna’s faceted gold studs, I always remember her wearing them.
    It’s nice to see some gold on here, I’ve been searching for a bracelet to compliment the earings and bridal jewellery tends to be pearly/diamond/white gold. Can we buck the trend in the next 6 months please? Maybe then I can find something slightly more affordable than the tiffany bracelet that makes a perfect combo with my gold earings!
    New = dress
    Borrowed = working on that one…. Anyone with a Tiffany bracelet?! Anyone…?! ;o)

  6. Awww I love this tradition and I shall be following it to the letter come July. So…

    Something Old: My Great Grandmother’s Black Onyx and Pewter ring, which I coveted for many years, and as is tradition in my family became mine on my 21st Birthday.

    Something New: My dress, although also that could be undies, perfume, earrings etc

    Something Borrowed: My Mother’s veil, which was also my Great Grandmother’s and my Grandmothers. Not a divorce in sight so I’m hoping its lucky!

    Something Blue: My shoes and my girls

    Oh and by the way: CONGRATULATIONS LOLLY!!!!


  7. My ‘something borrowed’ will be my chief bridesmaid’s wedding veil. Sadly it’s unlikely she’ll be at our wedding as she’s due to give birth on the same day – this is one of her (many) ways of being a part of it!

    (@LadyFuschia, I like what you said about borrowing something from a happily married couple!)

    My ‘something old and something blue’ will be my much-missed nana’s sapphire and diamond eternity ring.

    My ‘something new’ will be everything else I’m wearing on the day!


  8. Lovely ideas Lolly and hope you had an amazing day!

    I already have a couple of my things sorted…my Something Old is an antique cameo brooch I’m going to pin on my bouquet, my Something New is my dress, don’t yet have a clue for my Something Borrowed and my Something Blue is awesome but I’m keeping schtum on that!

  9. I love this tradition too. A friend offered me her pearl necklace that she wore for her wedding this year. That’s my borrowed. She is happily married so far and I think it’s a lovely offer!

    Something new – dress and we’re definitely going for new perfume for me and new aftershave for him. Scents always evoke memories for me so I want a wedding smell!

    Something old – possibly my grandmother’s watch ( which is gold @McDuff !)

    Something blue – flowers in my bouquet.

  10. My old will be a very old family necklace.
    New – dress, shoes etc
    Borrowed – earrings that my mum had made to match the necklace
    Blue – fiance! Well, his suit you understand …..
    But I love that idea of borrowing from the happiest couple you know.

  11. Excited to find out what you chose for your 4 somethings Lolly! Congratulations!
    We went for something old, something new, something borrowed and something new in our drinks menu for our welcome drinks. We were very lucky to have a flexible venue! x

  12. @ladyfuschia, I’m also borrowing from a happily married couple, I heard it’s meant to bring some of their luck and happiness into your marriage.
    Old- great grandmas engagement ring
    New – clearly the dress
    Borrowed – my grandmas’s earring. Her and my grandad have been married 67 years!
    Blue – will also be rocking the blue nail (although only toes as that has meaning to me), but then I’ve got ‘I do’ blue rhinestone stickers for the bottom of my shoes. And a blue cardi – so I’m well covered there!

  13. I felt really strongly about following this tradition, despite not being superstitious at all. It just sort of made sense to do it! My old, new, borrowed, blue were:
    Chandelier earrings from an antique shop (for the princely sum of £12!)
    Dress (shoes, hairpiece, etc!)
    A bracelet borrowed from a friend who got married a couple of years ago
    Pale blue knickers

    I really liked knowing I had got all the elements together!

  14. Awww Lolly! Hope you had an amazing day!
    I will definitely be have the 4 somethings included in my day – the something new is a little too easy but the rest we’ll just have to wait and see 😉


  15. I managed to cover my old, borrowed and blue in one item, I borrowed my Great Granny’s Sapphire Engagement ring from my mum to whom it now belongs. My Great Granny and Grandpa were happily married all of their lives and my parents have spent 26 happy years together so it was borrowed from a host of happy marriages..
    Everything else was new!!

  16. I love reading all of your posts Lolly! As well as showcasing scrumptious images, they make me just that little bit more excited about seeing your wedding grace these pages!
    I’m quite the traditionalist so there was no question of not fulfilling the ‘something’ rhyme.
    My something old and blue were the same item. My mom has an old charm bracelet, the really cool old school ones with chunky chains that were pre Pandora fad. She asked if I would like to use the Love Bench charm with blue heart design……errrr, would I?? Yes! I attached the charm to my bracelet.
    My something new was my dress.
    My something borrowed was one of my best friends beautiful cathedral length single tier veil, that she wore on her wedding day, that was featured on these very polka dot pages back in 2010 which was a Wang wedding no less. Our other friend borrowed the veil 2 months after my day, so it felt very special.
    I managed to keep my sixpence in my shoe all day and I had it placed underneath the ‘party feet’ in the front of my shoe. Great tip if you want to wear it all day and be cushiony comfy 🙂

  17. Aaah I missed this post. I’m sure you’re keeping up with all the comments from your ‘moon suite @Lolly!

    I love all the tradition I really do. It’s one of the things i’m most excited about, having my ONBB all sorted on the day. four super special little things that are precious to me.

    Saying that, a few of you lucky ladies have already seen my something old – that epic 70’s garter from Mother Willo. Cannot WAIT to strap that little gem on xxx

  18. My Grandfather meant the earth to me but passed away last year. I was heart broken that he wouldn’t see me on my wedding day. A few years before he died I had his finger print cast in silver for my Mother’s birthday. I will be borrowing that to wear. With it on a long chain it will be as close to my heart as it can be.

  19. No sixpence for me but I loved the idea of doing something old/new/borrowed/blue. I like traditions like this because while they’re not essential, they’re special things you wouldn’t do any other time so they contribute to the feeling of special weddingness.

    Something old: a string of pearls given to me by a very dear family friend when I was 12, which I had restrung into a double-strand bracelet.

    Something new: my dress, veil, headpiece and shoes.

    Something borrowed: a pendant my dad gave my mum when they were first married, which was attached to my bouquet.

    Something blue: one of my ‘maids sewed me a little blue rabbit because my husband was born in the Year of the Rabbit (our wedding band also have Rabbits in their name). I also had a blue ribbon in my garter and another inside my dress for bustling up my train (as I had a button and loop).

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