In last week's blog post, I looked into the origin of the wedding rhyme "Something old, something new; Something borrowed, something blue". I learned it came from Victorian era England, and was based on several superstitions that were supposed to bring a bride good luck.
Today, I want to look a little closer at the first phrase, "Something old...". In the tradition, a bride would carry, or wear, a keepsake to help the bride keep a part of her family's past with her into her new life. I wanted to understand why this tradition was so important, so I researched what was going on in the world during the Victorian era.
At this point in history, the British Empire was at the height of it's power; the United States was turning 100 years old. Populations were growing, and spreading out into remote areas. Postal service was just moving from stagecoach to train travel, but was still slow. So if a woman was marrying a man working for the East India Company, or an officer in Her Majesty's army, or a man looking to find a homestead in the Dakota Territory, having something to remind you of your family would be very important. It would have to be something small, since every space in a couple's luggage had to be used for practical items. It would also need to have a high sentimental value to justify taking it on the journey.
Brides today don't need to have an item to remind them of family. We have pictures, and telephones, and the Internet to instantly be in contact with our families, don't we? Something old doesn't have the same importance anymore. I've heard brides say "Oh well, my underwear is old, that will have to do." Kind of defeats the purpose of the tradition, right?
Here are my top three favorite ways to incorporate 'Something old' into your wedding attire.
1) Jewelry - this is probably the easiest way to include something old. Wearing a piece of jewelry, whether it's earrings, a necklace, a brooch, that has been handed down in your family. Even if it's only come down from one or two generations, it will still have a story attached.
This is what I used for my something old when I married for the second time. My mother had a cute little brooch that I absolutely loved when I was a kid. It was in the shape of a heart, with an arrow through it, and on the arrow were three small stones. The brooch was given to my mother for her sixteenth birthday, and I asked if I could use it for my wedding and then pass it on to my daughter when she got married (she was seven at the time). Mom said I could use the brooch, so I pinned it into my wedding bouquet. When my daughter got married in 2013, I made her garter and sewed the brooch into the garter.
2) Wedding dress - let's be honest, most of us aren't going to wear our mother's, or grandmother's, wedding dress. That doesn't mean you can't incorporate her dress into your attire for your day. You can always use some of the material from her dress into yours, but let's look into a couple more creative ideas. Use a piece of the lace from her dress to wrap around your bouquet; make your garters out of material from her dress; or my favorite, incorporate lace from her dress into your wedding hairstyle!
3) Photos - carry a photo locket with you. This can be a fun DIY project for you and your bridesmaids, too. Find your favorite old photos - your parents' wedding, your & your groom's baby pictures, or photos of you & your bridesmaids - and spend an evening making your photo charms. Once you have your charms made, you can add them to your bouquet or use them in your wedding jewelry. Another way to incorporate an old photo, would be to print/copy it out and make a paper flower of the photo to add to your bouquet.
What ideas do you have to incorporate something old into your wedding attire? Please comment your ideas below!
I am a wife, mother, and grandmother that loves to be creative. It doesn't matter if it's crafts, floral arrangements, writing, knitting, crocheting, sewing, playing the piano, or coloring.