Modern Ways To Bring Something Borrowed To Your Wedding Day Style

You've probably heard the famous rhyme, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue," as it speaks to the small steps brides typically follow for a long-lasting wedded bliss. Now a soon-to-be bride yourself, these words might be of more importance. But, what does this all mean for your big day?

The saying dates back to Victorian England, representing brides' desires for good luck on their wedding day and thereafter. "[It] refers to the things a bride is supposed to wear ... in hopes of having a successful marriage," Jeannette Tavares, wedding planner and president of Evoke Design & Creative, told Brides. "This dates back to Lancashire, England, in the late 1800s. The oldest written reference is in an 1871 issue of St. James Magazine."

Additionally, Reader's Digest noted that the presence of all four customs is worn to avoid the evil eye, a curse that was said to render a bride infertile.

If you think the old-fashioned rhyme only applies to bridal attire, you might be surprised to learn that the tradition has broadened to include more aspects of the wedding affair. Whether you're customary or modern, superstitious or not, you can incorporate this tradition in a variety of ways. But for now, we'll focus exclusively on "something borrowed." So, if you're having trouble coming up with ideas, read this guide to learn how you can honor the tradition as a bride today.

Go traditional or modern with borrowed jewelry

Probably the easiest way to incorporate "something borrowed" on your wedding today is through jewelry. You can add a sentimental touch by wearing jewelry previously used by your mother or grandmother, for example. Perhaps the piece was even worn on their wedding day or given to them as a gift (per Brides). Barbara Bush, the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush, wore a bracelet that her grandfather had given to her late grandmother for their 70th wedding anniversary, she told People in 2018.

If you don't have access to a sentimental item, don't worry. Why not do as Spice Girl Gerri Halliwell did for her 2015 wedding (per Glamour) and borrow a bracelet from a friend? Through this unique gesture, you may be creating a significant moment worth remembering for days to come.

Otherwise, you might be interested in the Something Borrowed program from jewelry company Argo & Lehne, as featured in Columbus Weddings. Without the need to purchase later, brides and grooms can get the ultimate wedding experience after renting pieces from their collection for their big day. If you've ever wanted to feel like a movie star, this is your chance.

Keep your something borrowed close, like a hair accessory

With all the options for bridal hair accessories that exist, it's likely that your "something borrowed" will be in the form of a hair accessory, such as a veil, hairpiece, or tiara. Using one from either a family member or friend is an easy way to incorporate this tradition. Most importantly, it'll save you extra cash because we all know how pricey anything wedding-related can be!

In a 2018 article from Elite Daily, then-newlyweds shared their choices for the tradition. One newlywed, named Jackie, said she had borrowed her friend's veil for her wedding. "It was gorgeous and I didn't want to have to buy one."

Stephanie Aspinwall, a wedding and event planner in Washington, D.C., shared a story with Brides about how a group of friends incorporated the custom. "The first bride purchased a tiara for her wedding, then each of the other friends borrowed it for their weddings," she said.

And, in 2018 Meghan Markle famously wore Queen Elizabeth II's tiara — originally made for Queen Mary in 1932 — for her wedding to Prince Harry. In this case, the choice was certainly sentimental (per Harper's Bazaar).

Include something borrowed in your wedding day attire

When it comes to your wedding gown, there are some creative ways to incorporate "something borrowed." Of course, the traditional route is to wear the same gown your mother or grandmother wore on her wedding day — if it's still in good condition.

However, you can also integrate their dress in a completely different way by changing the look, or (with their approval) by taking a small part of the gown and sewing it into yours. Wedded Wonderland suggests cutting a small piece of fabric from the pre-worn gown of a special woman in your life and using it for the lining of your dress. 

If you don't have a generational or sentimental wedding dress to use, borrowing someone else's gown is equally recommended. Today describes the practice as "wedding poaching," in which full bridal gowns are either borrowed by friends or rented online. After all, it's a garment you're (probably) only going to wear once. The New York Post even told the story of a bride who lent her wedding dress to several friends, in typical "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" fashion — or, in this case, Sisterhood of the Traveling Wedding Gown. According to the outlet, the poaching trend is on the rise to both save money and bring friends closer together.

Look to the past for your first-dance song

As a modern bride, you can certainly get seriously creative with your "something borrowed." But, if you're having a hard time coming up with your first-dance anthem, why not add a sentimental element to your wedding reception by borrowing your song idea? As The Washington Post suggests, your first-dance song inspiration might even come from a favorite celebrity or admirable politician.

Additionally, if you had always liked the song your parents danced to at their wedding, consider using the same one for yours. In fact, surprising them with the nostalgic tunes on the big day could be a special moment for you and your family to enjoy, according to Brides. "It will surely bring a tear to their eyes as they recall the wonderful feelings they had when they united as husband and wife," said Aviva Samuels, a wedding planner in Florida.

You can incorporate a favorite recipe in various ways

Whether you consider yourself a cook or simply dream up desired meals in your mind, looking to your favorite recipes is another "something borrowed" option for your big day. Brides suggests using the recipe of your favorite cocktail or appetizer for your cocktail hour. Additionally, if you love a recipe of your mom's because it reminds you of your childhood, why not incorporate it into your cake or another wedding day dessert?

Another option is to borrow a recipe from a couple's cookbook, as there are many to choose from (per The Knot). You can even request a recipe book as a bridal shower gift, for example, by asking your guests to send one of their own favorite recipes along with the RSVP card. If someone close to you is crafty, they can gather all the recipes together in one custom-made book just for you.

Add a special something to your wedding day decor

When it comes to infusing "something borrowed," your wedding day decor should not be ignored. Anything you can reuse from a friend or family member not only adds a sentimental touch but is one less thing you have to worry about, saving you both time and money.

For example, bride Julia Van Ness shared with Insider how she helped her sister-in-law for her wedding by letting her use some of her decor that was sitting around collecting dust. "She was able to use my card holder, signage, and paper gift bags for the hotel guests," Van Ness said, adding that she also gave away 12 Mason jars for another friend to use. "Borrowing gives you the opportunity to save a couple bucks and have the item you got from a friend or family member become a special touch for your wedding."

Brides noted that going all out with your reception table settings is also trendy. If your mom has fine china that's only used for special occasions, your wedding day should count. Pretty cloth napkins or other trinkets can add some personality and a unique touch. So, check with close friends and family members — maybe they have the perfect item to make your tablescapes over-the-top.

Or, make your first toast as a married couple using champagne flutes that belong to your parents, Hitched noted. Just be careful to return them in one piece!

Draw inspiration from your favorite celebrity, movie, or TV show

Keep in mind that your "something borrowed" doesn't have to be tangible — it can be as simple as inspiration. So, why not look to your favorite celebs, movies, or TV shows for ideas? More published a list of celeb-inspired hairdos — everything from Sarah Jessica Parker's knotted updo, to TV personality and fashion designer Lauren Conrad's loose, casual style perfect for a beach wedding.

Even pop star Ariana Grande sought some inspiration from Hollywood — or, in this case, old Hollywood — for her 2021 wedding to Dalton Gomez, Vogue reported. At the Met Gala a few years back, Grande and Vera Wang supposedly agreed that the famed fashion designer would create the singer's future wedding look. The custom-designed gown — a silk, column-style dress with a sculpted neckline and open back — was inspired by the look that Audrey Hepburn wore as Jo Stockton in the 1957 film "Funny Face."

Incorporate something meaningful into your wedding ceremony

The ceremony is probably the most important part of any wedding, yet, ironically, it sometimes is pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.

Mindy Weiss of Mindy Weiss Party Consultants shared with Brides how she advises her clients to focus more on the ceremony than they might have otherwise. "Couples focus much of their energy and time on the reception. But without the ceremony, there is no reception," she said. "I tell my clients to put more energy into the vows, the actual ceremony, and how to make it unique and memorable. This is what will set the mood for the whole experience of the day." This is a savvy tip, as with a bit of thought and creativity, your "something borrowed" can easily be incorporated during this moment. 

Another Brides article recommends other ways to personalize your wedding ceremony. For example, why not have your ring bearer carry the rings on a personalized pillow made from a late relative's clothing or in a special keepsake box you borrowed from your soon-to-be in-laws?

And don't forget your vows. If you're having trouble getting started, why not borrow from a source of inspiration (via The Knot)? Maybe borrow a line or an entire passage from someone else's vows you once heard, or just use it to inspire your own words. 

Add a sentimental touch to your bouquet

You may not have considered adding "something borrowed" into your bridal bouquet. Perhaps you'd like to honor a close friend or relative who had a favorite flower? A simple way you can do this is by blending the flower into your own floral arrangement, like Meghan Markle did in her wedding. According to Harper's Bazaar, the bouquet held by the Duchess of Sussex included forget-me-nots, known to be the favorite flower of her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana.

Another interesting idea is to add a charm to your bouquet. The addition could be a sentimental piece, like a locket with a loved one's photo, a charm with a meaningful date or inscription, or even a piece of fabric taken from the wedding gown that was worn by a special lady in your life. This you can use to wrap around your bouquet (per Brides).

Surprise your guests with your something borrowed or keep it hidden

The "something borrowed" item on your wedding day doesn't have to be bold — it can also be subtle, and even completely hidden from others. As long as you know it's there, that's all that matters. For example, if you opt out of the traditional garter toss, a garter could make a great item for you to borrow and keep concealed during the wedding (per Hitched). According to Harper's Bazaar, there was a rumor that, for Meghan Markle's 2018 wedding to Prince Harry, Markle had a piece of fabric belonging to the wedding gown worn by Princess Diana sewn into her dress.

Otherwise, a thoughtful surprise on your wedding day might fancy you. This idea is from Brides, which suggests asking a friend or family member to pick out your borrowed item and surprise you with it later. It'll be one less thing to worry over, while also serving as a meaningful element you can always remember.

Want another creative way to secretly integrate the custom into your wedding day? Try spraying yourself using a borrowed perfume (per Wedded Wonderland).

Borrow your bridal day makeup from a friend or relative

It can be easy to forget that your "something borrowed" doesn't need to be an expensive item. You can use something simple, like lipstick. Abby Larson, founder of wedding website Style Me Pretty, shared some of her favorite picks with InStyle. "The goal here is to be less serious and have fun," Larson said. 

According to PopSugar, nail polish is another item you might want to borrow, especially if you're short on time or doing your own manicure. Your wedding day just might be the only time to try your best friend's nail polish that you've been eyeing!

As the day goes on, you'll want to touch up your makeup (you may have shed a few tears). So, if you don't have a tiny compact mirror of your own on hand, you can purchase a vintage piece, or even borrow one from a bridesmaid. 

Drive off in style with a vintage getaway car

If you decide to end your special day with a big send-off, one custom you might want to include as your "something borrowed" is using a unique vehicle for you and your honey to drive off in. The Knot delved into the details of this wedding day tradition, explaining that you can choose to make your "getaway" either after the ceremony or the reception. 

If you don't want to use your own car or if your wedding is far away from home, consider renting a vintage convertible or a limo. Or, simply consider asking a friend or relative for permission to use their retro ride — it's easier and more affordable.

In addition, per The Knot, don't forget to decorate the car — even if with only a simple "Just Married" sign — and take photos. After all, this is a moment that's worth capturing.