Brides have been directed to find "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue," for a staggering 117 years! The phrase comes from an English rhyme written in 1898, and ever since, women have proudly incorporated these four elements into their wedding-day ensembles. Perhaps most meaningful is the "something old" (and "borrowed" – these two can be interchangeable), which is usually an item passed down through generations of the bride and groom's families. Consider a treasured piece of jewelry, an item of clothing that can be worn or incorporated into the bride's gown or bouquet, or a religious item like a Bible or prayer shawl.
Brides always report feeling a deep connection to their family history thanks to these priceless artifacts. We discovered what seven real brides used as their "something old" and were touched by their sweet selections. Read on to get inspiration for your own "old" or "borrowed" item!
Marcella walked down the aisle wearing a crystal necklace that belonged to her grandmother, as well as her paternal grandmother’s engagement ring and mother’s wedding-day handkerchief. “With all those heirlooms from very happy marriages, I walked down the aisle not only with the heritage of my family, but with their blessings and hopes for my future with Nick,” she says. Photo by Jared Platt Photography
The ultimate “something old” and “borrowed:” the wedding dress! Laura’s bridal gown was worn by her grandmother in 1950 and her mother in 1980. “The dress was preserved in a box after my parent’s wedding and kept in our house. I was always aware of that dress growing up, and kind of always hoped I would get to wear it, too,” Laura says. “It fit perfectly. On my wedding day it was an incredibly special moment as my mom helped me get into this dress that the two women I admire and love so much also wore on their wedding days.” Photo by Asya Photography
Shannon carried a piece of her husband's history with her down the aisle: “Lace from a Christening blanket my husband was Christened in as a baby was given to me by his mother, and wrapped around my bouquet,” she explains. Photo by KingenSmith
Alison actually carried her grandmother’s Bible, adorned with cascading roses and ivy, as her bouquet. The flowers rested on top of the Bible and were wrapped in satin ribbons. Photo by Lawrence Crandall Photography
This gorgeous ring made of pearls and diamonds was worn by the bride’s grandmother; plus, she discovered another nod to the past. “Later, we found out that my bridal bouquet was the exact combination of flowers that my grandmother had selected when she married in 1946: roses, orchids, and lilies of the valley,” reveals Sarah. Photo by Nancy Cohn Photography
The tallit used to make Illana and David’s chuppah belonged to Illana’s grandfather. “He was a Holocaust survivor and holds a very special place” in her heart, the couple shares. Photo by Paul Barnett Photographer
The stems of Hayden's bouquet were wrapped in her grandmother's beautiful lace handkerchief. Photo by Christian Oth Studio