Even if the expression supposedly comes from an old English rhyme—”Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue”—incorporating a borrowed or blue accessory into the big day is something lots of brides still do. For some, it might be about tradition: Including a meaningful family heirloom in one of the most important days of your life makes sense. For others, it’s just plain fun—not to mention a great excuse to rock a pair of bright blue heels.
We talked to pro wedding planners to get their take on some of the coolest, most modern ways they’ve seen brides do the whole “borrowed or blue” thing. Feel free to steal their smart ideas.
Add something borrowed or blue to your big-day look.
Customizing your veil is a lovely way to work in something borrowed, says Bronson van Wyck, founder of the New York–based event production firm Van Wyck and Van Wyck. He’s had brides use the lace from their mother’s or grandmother’s dress to create their own new, beautiful veils. “We once had a bride who ‘borrowed’ the lace that the Empress Josephine had used for her wedding to Napoleon and used it in her own modern veil.”
Jewelry is another straightforward, but super-glamorous, option. “We once made a very beautiful, very thin blue ring just for a client’s wedding day,” says Molly Guy, creative director and cofounder of New York bridal boutique Stone Fox Bride. “For something borrowed at my wedding, I took a piece of my grandmother’s dress and sewed it into my own, and also wore a close friend’s oval ring.”
Play with the menu.
There are fun ways to incorporate the borrowed or blue theme into the food that’s served at your reception. “I’ve had a client work with their caterers to include family recipes into dinner or dessert,” says Bethany Pickard, owner of Modern Kicks, a Brooklyn-based boutique wedding and event planning company. “You could also have your baker dye the cutting tier of your cake blue so that when you cut into it, there’s a surprise pop of color. Or you can use blueberries in your specialty cocktail and name it ‘Something Blue.'”
Find a unique way to work in family.
If you’re not up for wearing a piece of someone’s antique dress, there are other ways to include important family members in your day—especially ones who can’t be there. Michael Cerbelli, CEO and president of New York–based event firm Cerbelli Creative, who worked on Billy Joel and Sir Paul McCartney’s weddings, had a client whose mother died a few years before she got married.
“In her bouquet, she included a gorgeous picture of her mother, which faced her during her vows and then sat at the head of the table all night,” he says. “The bride also had the seamstress sew her mother’s pearls into her dress, which wrapped around her chest. It was so meaningful and personal.”
Even music is fair game.
Pickard worked with a pair of clients who found a way to use something blue in a song. “They had their first dance to ‘When the Stars Go Blue’ by Ryan Adams, which was a subtle and creative way to incorporate something blue.” A great option for people who are less interested in wearing or eating something blue—or for big Ryan Adams fans.
Don’t overlook your shoes.
It may be one of the more common ways to wear blue, but your shoes are an easy, stylish way to make a statement. “We saw a country wedding where the bride wore blue suede heels and then changed into blue boots,” says Cerbelli. And for a subtler option, van Wyck says, “swap the sole of your white wedding shoe for a new sole in a bright electric blue.” So fun.
Don’t forget the groom—or wedding party.
“I love a flash of vivid cornflower blue socks under a dark suit or tuxedo,” says van Wyck. And while he admits that it’s not the newest idea, “I think a special note, date, or monogram stitched in blue inside the groom’s jacket—or bride’s dress—is subtle yet classic.” You can also incorporate someone nontraditional into the actual ceremony. “I’ve had brides who have ‘borrowed’ their uncle or brother or another relative to join her in escorting down the aisle.”
Get creative with the décor and venue.
Pickard suggests borrowing meaningful decorative objects or tableware. “Borrow toasting glasses from your parents, or their vintage cake topper,” she says. Van Wyck adds that blue looks great on tables. “It’s a beautiful color to incorporate into your tabletop arrangements and fabrics,” he says. “I love using blue and white chinoiserie vases or linens with a blue stripe, or big bunches of hydrangeas with blue petals.”
Jewish brides can find a fun way to work something borrowed (and bluish) into their chuppah, says van Wyck. “To bring a bit of the bride’s home to her ceremony, we built we built their chuppah out of wisteria found on the family’s property.”
Bouquets aren’t just for throwing.
Flowers are an easy and gorgeous way to work in something borrowed, says Van Wyck. “We have had a bride borrow the lace from her mother or grandmother’s dress and wrap it around the bouquet,” he says. “You can also incorporate a handkerchief into the ribbon tied around the stems.” If you’d rather go the blue route, add a single stem of a flower with blue blooms to the bouquet, he suggests.
Add some drama to your transportation.
Last but not least, your getaway car can also be blue, or (potentially easier to pull off) borrowed. “A charming antique car or funky vintage wheels are fun to borrow for a memorable arrival or getaway mobile,” says Van Wyck. That’s certainly a bold and stylish way to make an entrance—or exit.