Party Themes

Want To Put A Modern Twist On An Old Tradition? Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Long Wedding Dress and Veil
Image: Teacups and Glitter

It’s this time in our late twenties and early thirty lives where we seem to attend a wedding every month; all of our friends and cousins are getting married! Sometimes we’re even lucky enough to be part of the wedding. We carry out old customs and traditions without a thought – but we don’t even know why or what the meaning behind them are.

For instance the Bride standing on the left is a tradition – and not for anything romantic but for shocking reasons. Brides were regularly kidnapped or attacked for their money or valuables such as deeds to property… so the Groom needed his right hand free to draw his sword at a moments notice! So the Bride always stood to the left so the Groom could fight off the enemy.  

Another old tradition was the bouquet toss. The single lady who caught the flowers believed she would receive luck and be the next in line for marriage however the reason behind the throw is a bit different. The Bride was seen as blessed and guests believed it was extremely lucky to touch or grab something worn by her. This would obviously be distressing for the Bride, and meant that her dress and veil would be ripped and her flowers torn from her hands. When the Bride and Groom were due to leave – instead of being chased they would distract their guests; the Bride would throw her flowers and the Groom would throw (once in the safety of their carriage) the garter.

Another tradition we know today is for the Groom to have a Best Man stood by his side for moral support. We have come to know this person as the one who who ridicules the Groom during his speech and who reveals many tantalising secrets. However, much the same as the Bride would often get kidnapped; the Groom would also get attacked and so he would choose the best sword fighter he knew of to protect him on his wedding day.

Wedding Ceremony Set Up
Oxwich Bay Hotel, Gower, Swansea Image: Teacups and Glitter

These are only a few of many many traditions we uphold at weddings. Modern Brides still like to maintain old traditions but they want to put their own twist on them for a more personalised wedding that’s more aligned in today’s world.

Something Old

Something New

Something Borrowed

Something Blue

And A Silver Sixpense In Her Shoe

This is one of the most well known wedding traditions, and is actually a British custom dating back to the late 19th Century.  The Bride would include five items from this old English rhyme as part of her wedding outfit or she would carry with her on the day of her wedding as good luck charms.  Brides from all over the world have now adopted this tradition in the hopes of having good fortune and luck in their marriage. 

Bridal Party Dresses
Image: Teacups and Glitter

So what exactly does this custom involve, and how can you creatively incorporate each one into your wedding?

Something Old

‘Something old’ represents a link from the Bride’s past.  This is to do with the Bride remaining connected to her family, her past and her traditions even after marrying.  The Bride is leaving behind her past to start a new beginning, but she is not forgetting where she has come from.  

Some creative ideas for a modern twist:

  • Leave in a vintage getaway car
  • Recreate a photo shoot from your Parents wedding day photo album 
  • Bind your bouquet with your Father’s tie that he wore on his wedding day
  • If you are lucky enough to have your Grandmother in attendance why not give her the honour and embrace the trend of Grandma’s as flower girls
Pastel Coloured Vintage Car

Something New

‘Something new’ represents optimism for the future.  This relates to the Bride’s new life ahead of her and naturally reflects the Bride and Groom creating a marriage that will last a lifetime.   

Some creative ideas for a modern twist:

  • Design new matching tattoos
  • Make a new Instagram hashtag that your guests can use to tag your wedding photos
  • Wear a new perfume so that the scent will always remind you of happy memories of your day 
  • Create a new family tradition – write each other love letters on the morning of your wedding and seal them closed in a box with a bottle of wine, open the box on your first anniversary
Perspex 'Capture The Love' Sign #
Image: Signed by Wyatt

Something Borrowed

‘Something borrowed’ represents borrowed happiness.  Typically the Bride borrows something from a happily married friend or family member. 

Some creative ideas for a modern twist:

  • Borrow an idea from a loved one’s wedding; dance to your Parents first dance song or replicate your best friends wedding cake 
  • Celebrate your borrowed last name by stitching it inside your wedding dress
  • Serve a personalised cocktail at the reception called ‘something borrowed’
  • Borrow (or hire) that designer handbag you’ve always wanted
Something Borrowed Cocktail
Image: Bridesmagazine

Something Blue

Queen Victoria started the tradition of wearing a white wedding dress in 1840, but before this most Brides traditionally wore blue gowns because ‘something blue’ represents purity, love, and fidelity.

Some creative ideas for a modern twist:

  • Wear a pale blue nail polish on your ring finger
  • Incorporate a beautiful sapphire stone into your wedding jewellery
  • Ask your Bridesmaids to wear silk blue dressing gowns on the morning of your wedding 
  • Use a stunning blue wedding journal to plan the finer details
Blue Wedding Journal
Image: Weddbook

And A Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe

A ‘silver sixpence’ represents future success and wealth.  The Bride’s Father was traditionally responsible for placing the sixpence in the shoe.  The sixpence is a British coin that was in use from 1551 to 1967 so can be difficult to find. Many Bride’s substitute a shiny penny instead.

Some creative ideas for a modern twist:

  • Use a coin from the year you met 
  • Use a coin from the year you are getting married
  • Go on a date to the Royal Mint and strike your own coin (you can strike your own coin and take it away as a memento of your visit)

Whilst it’s not necessary to honour this tradition; modern Brides can have some real fun by creatively blending the past, present and future!

Gift Hamper Idea for the Bride

Bridal Party Sleepover
Image: Delyth Bello

As a Bridesmaid for my Best Friend; I along with her other Bridesmaids came up with a fun way to put a twist on this old custom.   

The night before the wedding we surprised the Bride with her very own Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue gift hamper to bring good fortune and luck to the marriage. 

Bride To Be with Gift Hamper from Bridesmaids
Image: Teacups and Glitter

For her ‘something old’ we decided to pay homage to her favourite childhood band; the Spice Girls. We wrapped up the Spice Girls greatest hits album and hoped it would remind her of happy memories spent with her sisters and cousins.

For her ‘something new’ we framed Say You Won’t Let Go lyrics by James Arthur. We hoped it would bring luck to her future by framing a sweet memento of the first dance.

Framed First Dance Lyrics
Image: Teacups and Glitter

For her ‘something borrowed’ each of the Bridesmaids lent a piece of useful advice.  These were typed up onto a scroll and fastened with ribbon.

Bride To Be with Gift Hamper From Bridesmaids
Image: Delyth Bello

For her ‘something blue’ we included celebratory bubbles dressed in a powder blue ribbon.

The gift hamper was then presented in a wooden crate filled with soft blue heart tissue paper.

Gift Hamper From Bridesmaids
Image: Delyth Bello

With just a little thought and imagination, you can incorporate this custom on your wedding day.  Remember – it doesn’t have to be part of the outfit – so get creative!

The modern Bride knows that the best weddings are full of personal touches and that’s all that really counts.

What does your something old, new, borrowed and blue list look like? Let me know in the comments below.

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Bridal Party Sleepover
Image: Teacups and Glitter

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