Themes & Colours 19th June 2024

A New Take on Something Old, Something New

When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840, she carried a sprig of myrtle in her bouquet — a simple gesture that would bloom into one of the most enduring wedding traditions. Over the decades, this custom evolved into the well-known rhyme: "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." More than just a superstitious charm for good luck, this tradition has become a symbolic way for couples to connect their present joy with their past and future.

It's a tradition that many brides try to follow but here's the exciting part — while the essence of this tradition remains timeless, its expression is ripe for reinvention. Today's couples are finding imaginative ways to infuse it with their unique personalities and modern sensibilities for the potential to spark new trends for the future.

Incorporating Your Venue into the Mix

When it comes to reimagining this tradition, your wedding venue offers the perfect canvas. Historic locations, in particular, are treasure troves for the "something old” portion of the tradition. Consider the timeworn beauty of a 19th-century church, its stained-glass windows filtering sunlight into a kaleidoscope of colours, or a restored barn with weathered wooden beams that have witnessed generations over the years.

If your tastes lean more contemporary, a modern art gallery or a chic rooftop garden overlooking the city skyline might be your perfect venue and can serve as a blend of old and new. And, naturally, you’re observing the ‘borrowed’ element by hiring out your venue for your special day.


[Image source:  Patxi Olaeta on Unsplash]

Blending Eras in Your Attire

When it comes to wedding fashion, the "Something old, something new" tradition offers a playground for creativity. It's an invitation to be a time-travelling fashionista, blending eras to create a look that's uniquely yours. Imagine stepping down the aisle in your grandmother's 1950s dress, updated with today's statement shoes in a deep blue hue.

Or if you don’t want to wear a full retro dress that might not be to your style, why not add in a more subtle nod to the past by borrowing your grandma’s or mum’s wedding veil. Want something more modern? If your best friend has already exchanged her vows, why not ask to borrow her dress or veil instead.

Subtle touches are a great way to honour a tradition without it being a statement. For example, fabric linings in deep blue or turquoise give a flash of colour without your groom needing to go all out. Similarly, the bride can wear a blue hair accessory or an indigo underskirt to her dress to add visual interest and bring luck to the day.

Creating New Memories

You don’t need to only celebrate the past in order to feel like you’re honouring the ‘something old, something new’ adage. Creating new memories that start on your wedding day and become a sentimental moment to reminisce on in the future can be a wonderful way to add ‘something new’ to your day.

For example, scent is closely linked to memory so why not choose a new wedding fragrance specifically for your wedding day that will instantly transport you to that special day every time you smell it. Candles are another option, dotted around your venue to evoke a particular scent that evokes cherished memories that you can then enjoy in your home as a married couple.

Another sense to make the most of is sound — maybe your parents or grandparents had a special song that they always used to play that you can ‘borrow’ and honour at your wedding for your first dance. Alternatively, create a unique playlist of special songs from your time so far as a couple that will bring you right back to those memories on the day and beyond.

From Horse-Drawn to Horsepower Transportation

Today's couples are revving up this custom with a perfect blend of retro charm and modern flair, turning their grand entrance and exit into a stunning visual metaphor for their union. Classic cars have become the stars of this vehicular time warp, whether it’s a gleaming 1965 Ford Mustang convertible or a 1930s Rolls-Royce Phantom.

[Image source:  Dennis Eusebio on Unsplash]

These aren't just modes of transport; they're rolling works of art that carry the aura of bygone eras, and they can work wonderfully as an addition to a specific wedding theme too. For something new, contrast a vintage ride with sleek, cutting-edge vehicles to transport your wedding party. Picture your bridesmaids arriving in a fleet of Tesla Model 3s, or have your groomsmen pull up in the latest BMW hybrids.

In our eco-conscious age, many couples are pedalling a delightful twist on wedding day transport, with vintage-style bicycles. Envision the bride and groom making a charming entrance on a restored 1950s tandem bike, for a whimsical and old-time take on the classic wedding fleet.

A Culinary Time Machine

We often forget that our wedding day menu is the perfect opportunity to give a nod to the past and honour our family history in the process. Why not put a modern spin on an old family favourite, sharing generational favourites with your guests that have a twist to bring them back up to date.

This nostalgic touch can extend throughout the meal. Each bite becomes a form of time travel, connecting guests to the tastes that have punctuated the couple's family histories — tastes that, until now, might have been enjoyed only at holiday tables or in cherished home town eateries. In the spirit of something new, maybe you transform an old classic into a vegan version to modernise it for today’s guest list, or have a new take on the wedding cake and turn it into a charming cupcake or doughnut creation.

Hopefully, as you look back on your wedding, you'll see it was a day of pretty contrasts — sepia photos against LED screens, heirloom lace beside titanium wedding bands, and old culinary favourites mixed with modern twists. Your wedding should be a deeply intentional statement about who you are as a couple, and putting your own spin on old traditions is a wonderful way to celebrate what’s come before, without losing your personality in the process.