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25 Inspired Something Old, Something New Ideas to Include at Your Wedding

Thinking of including the 'something old, something new' tradition in your wedding? We've got the best ideas for following this good luck tradition

Bride and groom in a pink classic car

When you’re planning a wedding, you’ll likely come across plenty of traditions that you’re excited to include in your big day, but have no idea where they’ve come from, including the famous something old, something new.

Luckily, Hitched is on hand for every step of your wedding planning journey - including deciphering the real meaning behind wedding traditions, starting with having something old and something new in your wedding. Let's break down what it means, and look at some unique ideas for your something old and something new at your wedding. 

What Does 'Something Old, Something New' Mean?

One of the most popular wedding traditions is for ‘something old and something new,’ which is believed to come from a 19th-century English rhyme: 'Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in her shoe.'

The idea is that, to bring good luck for the future, a nearlywed includes something that references each item in their wedding-day outfit. Combined, the components of the rhyme are said to deflect evil spirits.

If you ask us, traditions are there to make your own, and you're not going to have any evil spirits hanging around your wedding, so who says the old and new items have to be something you wear? To give you more scope for your old and new, they could be décor elements, songs or essential items such as the knife you cut your cake with… the possibilities are endless!

  • Something new is thought to represent hope and optimism for your future as newlyweds.
  • Something old is believed to be in the rhyme for continuity - you carry something from your old life into your new one. 
  • Something borrowed was typically borrowed from a happily married couple, and allows you to borrow some of their luck - their good fortune should rub off on you!
  • Something blue represents purity and fidelity, and would help to ward off any evil that might be lurking.
  • A sixpence in her shoe refers to the old tradition of the father of the bride giving his daughter a sixpence to place in her shoe (comfy...), which was supposed to bring prosperity for her future.

Who Provides Something Old and Something New?

Traditionally, the old and new objects are gathered together and given to the nearlyweds by female relatives and friends, however there are no hard and fast rules. We love the idea of your 'something new' being a gift for your soon-to-be spouse or as a treat from yourself.

Of course, as with all wedding traditions, 'something old, something new' isn't compulsory. However, if you do want to give a nod to this particular tradition, we've found some no-stress 'something old, something new' ideas to help you, from subtle bridal accessories and outfit tweaks to cool décor details.

Something Old Ideas

'Something old' tends to have a special meaning - perhaps an heirloom from a family member - but don't discount vintage finds, too. Here are our favourite ways to incorporate your 'something old' into your big day.

1. Vintage Crockery

A wedding table set with mismatched vintage glass goblets, tumblers and pretty vintage style floral arrangements

For a cute, mismatched vibe, trawl your local charity shops for vintage tea cups or hire them, like this beautiful tableware from Luxury Hire & Styling Co. Not only will they look cute and quirky, your something old box is ticked.

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2. Family Wedding Outfits

You could wear your parent or grandparent’s wedding outfit if they still have them. However, if you'd rather choose your own, it's worth asking whether they'd mind you repurposing a piece of their material to be made into something else, such as a ring pillow.

Another popular idea is having a little part of their wedding dress, suit of handkerchief, sewn inside your outfit.

3. Retro Jewellery or Heirlooms

A bride and groom pressing their foreheads together tenderly, allowing you to see the bride's vintage pearl earrings and bracelets up close

Vintage jewellery is a lovely way to include your 'something old'. “A piece of jewellery which is a family heirloom is a wonderful touch,” says wedding planner Nick Harris of Just About Weddings.

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4. Vintage Fabric

Feeling crafty? So long as you're not wedded to the idea that your 'something old' has to be wearable, buy rolls of vintage fabric and use them throughout your wedding décor - think napkins, 'happy tears' hankies at the ceremony, bunting and table runners.

5. A Classic Car

A cream coloured old fashioned wedding car

Vintage isn't just for wedding fashion and décor. Choose a classic car as your wedding transport, for a 'something old' with real style. It can also be your something borrowed, if you’re renting or borrowing from a family member. We love this sleek wedding car by VOWS - Vehicles of Wedding Style.

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6. A Vintage Veil

Why not see if an older member of your or your partner's family will let you use their wedding veil - you'll save money on your fashion budget and cover your 'something old' and 'something' borrowed all in one!

7. A Photo Charm

Close up of a couple's hands holding a bouquet with a tag style charm attached to the bouquet

Add photo charms to your wedding bouquet. These can contain a favourite family shot, your parents' wedding pictures, you and your partner as children, or people who couldn’t make it on the day. You could even use military tags or the tag of a beloved pet, like this couple did in the photo above.

8. Sentimental Photos

Along the same lines, framed photos of loved ones who are no longer with us, maybe on their own wedding day, make for a lovely sentimental addition to the day.

9. Get Creative with Your Look

A bride reclining in a chair with her hair styled in a retro inspired beehive, as she holds a glass of champagne

For a looser interpretation of 'something old', consider a vintage-inspired hairstyle for a glamorous wedding look. Do some research into the era you want to emulate - 1940s Victory Rolls, for example, or a chic '60s beehive - we love this look from Minxies.

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10. Your Wedding Reading

If you and your partner are literary buffs, opt for a wedding reading from classic literature for your something old.

11.  Your Wedding Music

Old songs are a unique ‘something old’ idea - how old you go is up to you. A song from the year you and your partner met is a fun throwback, or a song from your childhood would be sweet too.

12. Groom’s Accessories

“Shoes, socks, watches and even underwear are things I’ve seen grooms choose as their something old,” says Nick. And that way, at least they know their wedding footwear will be comfortable!

13. Your Bouquet

Three dried flower buttonholes displayed on a table

Opt for a dried flower bouquet or buttonholes for your something old. Not only will it look unique, it will last for years to come and there’s no worry about it wilting on the day. We love these dried flower buttonholes from Seed & Stem

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14. Your Wedding Fragrance

If you’ve been wearing the same scent your whole life, why not wear it on your big day too, as your something old?

15. An Old Friend

If someone in your wedding party has been a friend since childhood, they can act as your something old - just make sure they’re not offended to be referred to that way!

Something New Ideas

Your something new is an easy box to tick, as many couples invest in many shiny new things for their big day, from wedding rings to outfits. For more something new wedding inspiration, read on…

16. Jewellery

This is the classic 'something new': a freshly purchased pair of earrings, necklace or bracelet - whatever suits your style. Your wedding rings can also be your something new, if you don’t want to buy another piece of jewellery.

17. Your Wedding Fragrance

A new wedding perfume can be the perfect something new for your big day, choosing one you’ve never worn before is a fun something new - and an excuse to browse the local beauty halls! You'll also be taken back to your wedding day every time you smell it. 

18. Have a Hair Refresh

A smiling bride having her hair styled in a wedding ponytail

You could include the something new tradition by changing up your hair. We're not talking about a drastic cut or colour change - you'll want to feel like you on the big day - we mean a wedding hairstyle you haven't worn before. Normally wear your hair down? Ask your hairstylist to give you a cool wedding hair updo, like this one by Catherine Taylor Bridal Hair & Makeup Team. And vice versa!

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19. Wedding Lingerie

Treat yourself to some special wedding underwear. When you buy your dress, that should give you an idea of the style you're looking for (if in doubt, ask the shop for advice); make sure you wear it to a fitting to check it does go with your chosen outfit.

20. Wedding Makeup

A bride with a braided wedding up do looking down to allow you to better see the plaits in her wedding hairstyle

Talk to your wedding makeup artist about trying out a lip colour you don't normally wear - think plum instead of red; a nude instead of coral. Is this pushing the 'something new' boundaries somewhat? Possibly - but it's an easy win, and traditions can be what you make them. We love this makeup look from Anna Cordelia. You can browse our favourite wedding lipsticks here.

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21. A Tattoo

“The most unique - and very permanent - something new that I’ve seen a couple do was a half a blue heart tattoo on each of their wrists with their wedding date underneath,” says Nick Harris of Just About Weddings.

“They went out the week before the wedding and had them done. It was both their first tattoos, and they told me that they finally felt like their hearts were made whole when they met each other, and the two half hearts represented how they felt before they were together, and as they stand and declare their vows, holding each other’s hand, the two half hearts would finally be whole. I thought that was absolutely beautiful.”

22. A Customised Wedding Jacket

A bride in a wedding dress smiling as she walks down the stairs wearing a denim jacket with her wedding dress

Wedding jackets are seriously cool and they'll keep you warm if you are looking for a cover-up. Personalise the back with your wedding date, surname, or a fun phrase like 'Crazy in Love' or 'Until Death Do We Party'.

23. Bespoke Cufflinks

A close up image of a groom showing off his cycling themed wedding cufflinks

If you are wearing a suit on the big day, personalised cufflinks are a lovely 'something new' idea. Choose something special to be your something new for your wedding, but you can then wear them time and time again!

24. Add a Belt

A belt is a great wedding accessory - an essential for most wedding suits, but also a great way to add a little something extra to a wedding dress. Talk to your bridal shop about your options when it comes to customising your wedding dress with a new belt. 

25. Your Little Ones

If you have a young child or baby, they could be your something new! We bet they'll love being part of the big day traditions.

For even more inspiration, take a look at our 'something blue' ideas.