Many wedding traditions exist. Yet, the idea of the bride having something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue remains popular.
But what should those items be?
Your “new” item might be your wedding gown. Your “old” item may be a piece of jewelry or a family heirloom. Your “blue” item might be the flowers in your bouquet or even your bridesmaid dresses.
And your “borrowed” item?
Well, that can be any number of things!
From physical items like a veil or shoes to intangible things like your first dance song, here are 15 “something borrowed” ideas for your big day!
Where Did the “Something Borrowed” Tradition Start?
The “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” rhyme dates back to 19th-century England. Traditionally, all of the “somethings” are symbols of good luck.
Back in the day, each item was given to the bride before walking down the aisle. Today, it’s more common for the bride to collect these items for herself before the big day.
Here’s what each something represents:
Your old, new, or blue items can come from any family member, loved one, or close friend. However, it’s long been tradition that the “something borrowed” comes from someone in a happy marriage.
The idea is that if you borrow something from someone already happily married, that happiness will transfer onto you. (It’s sort of like an old-fashioned take on sending positive vibes!)
So what exactly should your borrowed item be?
Here are some fun borrowed ideas!
One of the easiest and most traditional borrowed items is a piece of jewelry. We’re talking about a brooch or a locket from your grandmother, a pair of diamond earrings from your mom, or a hair accessory from a sister. It could even be a pair of cufflinks from your dad.
A special piece of jewelry is a great way to pay homage to a relative, past or present, and it’s a unique way to add some personal style to your wedding day look.
You don’t even have to wear the jewelry as intended. For example, you can pin a brooch or cufflinks onto your bridal bouquet or turn a pair of vintage clip earrings into a fun hair accessory.
Many brides borrow their mother’s or grandmother’s veils for their special day. Wear it as is or, if they don’t mind you altering it, modernize it by having it cut and tailored to suit your personal style.
While it’s traditional to borrow items from women in your life, consider borrowing one of your dad’s ties to wrap around your bridal bouquet. Your groom can also get in on the “something borrowed” tradition, and wearing one of his own dad’s ties is a great way to do so.
4. Wedding Décor
We love the idea of decorating with family heirlooms and cherished trinkets. You could borrow a birdcage to collect gift envelopes or use heirloom candle holders or vases to decorate your bar or reception tables.
Thinking about breaking tradition entirely? Read Planning a Non-Traditional Wedding (Your Step-by-Step Guide!)!
5. Wedding Venue
Planning to say “I do” in your parent’s backyard or on your best friend’s farm? Yes, you can borrow a wedding venue!
Did your mother save her wedding gown, hoping that you’d wear it one day?
For the modern bride that doesn’t want to wear mom’s outdated wedding dress, borrow a piece of fabric from it instead! It’s super easy to turn a piece of lace into a garter or a sash belt. You could also wrap it around the stem of your bouquet.
7. Family Recipe
If you want your borrowed item to be one that every wedding guest can enjoy, consider borrowing a beloved family recipe for cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres, beverages, or your wedding cake.
8. Cake Knife
A cake knife is the type of wedding item that many couples preserve and never use again. Borrow the one your parents or in-laws used on their own wedding day. You can even pass the tradition on to your children when they marry!
9. Cake Topper
Like a cake knife, most couples save their wedding cake topper; the only realistic chance of using it again is to let another couple borrow it.
10. Cloth Napkins
Vintage cloth napkins, embroidered handkerchiefs, and table linens borrowed from your family are a great way to add a special touch to your wedding party reception table. If you don’t have a large enough set, add them to your sweetheart table for you and your new spouse to enjoy.
11. Wedding Shoes
There’s something meaningful and rather special about walking in another woman’s shoes.
You could borrow your grandma’s wedding shoes from the 1950s, which could be super vintage and cool! Or, you could borrow a more modern pair from your mom, bestie, or mother-in-law-to-be. (That’s especially true if she has high-end designer footwear in her closet!)
12. First Dance Song
Surprise your parents or grandparents by borrowing their first dance song. It’s the perfect way to honor their love story, and their love and success in marriage just might transfer onto you!
If you’d rather pick your own first dance song that fits you & your partner, check out our list of the 13 best first dance wedding songs.
13. Sixpence Coin
Though many people don’t know it, the “something old, something blue” rhyme ends with the line “a sixpence in her shoe.” A sixpence coin is just slightly bigger than a dime and symbolizes wealth and good fortune. If you know someone with one, borrow it and slip it into one of your shoes!
14. A Getaway Car
Ask a loved one with a vehicle you adore if you can borrow it for your after-wedding getaway! It could be a vintage pickup truck, a powerful muscle car, a horse and wagon, or a motorcycle — any form of transportation that suits your style will do!
15. Wedding Vows
Planning to write your own vows for your wedding ceremony?
Consider lifting a line or two from your parents, grandparents, or in-laws' vows. In this case, it’s not plagiarism — this type of imitation really is the ultimate form of flattery!
The “something borrowed” tradition is an old one, but it lives on to this day. Technically, you can borrow anything, so have fun choosing something truly special to you — the options are endless!