Accessorizing Your Bridal Style

Something borrowed, something blue -- keep up with wedding traditions

By Andrea Campbell

Wedding shoes
Photo by John Partridge PhotographyBookmark and Share

If you stay true to custom, your wedding ensemble will contain "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." The old and new symbolize the passage of moving from the unmarried state to the new union. Borrowing symbolizes community participation in the wedding ceremony. Blue has been symbolic in Hebrew, Christian, and Roman weddings for centuries, representing purity, love and fidelity.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Find out if there are any family traditions or heirlooms that you can incorporate into your wedding.
  • Continuously brainstorm and update a list of "something" items that fulfill your old, new, borrowed, and blue requirements.

Step 1:

Think about "something old" that represents what you are saying goodbye to. Or pick an item that was passed down through the family. Suggestions can be as varied as your favorite old lipstick or your signature perfume, to wearing a silver locket that contains your grandmother's wedding picture. Consider an heirloom piece of family jewelry or vintage buttons sewn on your bridal dress. If your dress has a portrait collar or sweetheart neckline or if it's strapless, accessorize with a teardrop or a 16-inch princess-style necklace with a pendant. Make sure the chain is short enough so the pendant doesn't hide in the top of your dress.

Step 2:

Pick "something new" like a tiara (you don't get to wear one every day). If your budget is already stretched, designate your wedding gown, veil or lingerie as your "something new." If you would like this item to be more symbolic, choose the key to your new home together, or place your engagement photo into your own locket. Other ideas are new shoes or a classic pearl necklace.

Step 3:

Choose "something borrowed" from a friend or family member. If it fits your shape and style, your mother's wedding dress can make a lovely statement about tradition. Your borrowed item might be your grandmother's earrings, your sister's wedding veil, the family Bible, or your best friend's pearl choker.

Step 4:

Keep the "something blue" item reserved for an undergarment; a garter is the most popular choice. But you could also wear hair jewelry in the form of pins with blue crystal flowers, buy a bra with a little blue ribbon or choose pale blue aquamarine or sapphire drop earrings. Think about adding blue flowers to your bouquet such as hyacinth, hydrangea or delphinium.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Don't overload on jewelry. You'll want your wedding dress to be the featured piece of your look.
  • If you or your fiancee attended a college with blue as one of its school colors, search for school spirit wedding garters online. These are a fun and personal way to fulfill your "something blue."
  • Platinum or silver looks pleasing to the eye with white dresses, while ivory gowns can handle gold or rose-gold metals.
  • Consider wearing a bracelet with a sleeveless, short-sleeve or three-quarter sleeve gown, but make sure it doesn't catch on delicate lace. Don't wear a watch; it looks too much like a business accessory on your wedding day.
  • When you choose your jewelry, select a keepsake box for your wedding treasures to pass down to your own daughter or niece one day.

About the Author

Andrea Campbell is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has been writing professionally since 1991.

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