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Something new, indeed: Modern takes on a time-honoured tradition

Emily Simpson

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. 

Even if you consider it obsolete, there are fun and modern ways of incorporating this old tradition into your wedding day.

Whilst historically associated with good luck, prosperity and fertility, the tradition can be included in your wedding without the weight of its attached significance. Instead, following the old adage can spark fun and creativity amongst you and your groom, bridesmaids and family. Here are a few takes from real weddings which we love!

Something old

There are a range of items that can be included in your wedding day which honour this tradition in a unique way. There might be an old dress in the family which could be brought back to life with a bit of tailoring, either for yourself or for decoration – as was the case in Jose and Marc’s wedding.

The couple’s ceremony was made all the more charming by Jose’s mother’s wedding gown taking centre stage… on the altar behind the bride and groom.

“My oldest family friend turned my mum’s fabulously 80’s wedding dress into gorgeous pew ties and an altar cloth, which added an incredibly personal element to the ceremony.”

J&M 18-2

Image by Kelly Tunney Photography

Something new

Instead of following the legacy set for you, create your own by, well, creating your very own items! Current wedding trends mirror the demand for bespoke items amongst brides, with many opting to honour their own style rather than time-worn traditions in their wedding.

Brides may choose new accessories designed specifically for them, rather than wearing family heirlooms, or they may alter their dress to suit their own style.

For her wedding, Shannon embellished her own bridal gown and jacket and her bangles were made by her groom, Ben.

Shannon & Ben web-res-10-2

Image by Snowflake Creations

Shannon & Ben web-res-100-2

Image by Snowflake Creations

Shannon & Ben web-res-102-2

Image by Snowflake Creations

Something borrowed

Borrowing something from family or friends can add that sentimental touch perfect for completing the wedding. For her wedding, Samm was gifted with a stunning veil by her groom’s parents.

“My veil was a Spanish Mantilla that was found in a small Spanish town by Ryan’s mother while his parents were walking the Camino de Santiago. It was chosen to honour Ryan’s Spanish heritage.”

Image by Anthea and Lyndon Photography

Image by Anthea and Lyndon Photography



Image by Anthea and Lyndon Photography

Something blue

Ah, this is where you can get really creative. Whilst some brides might opt for a subtle addition to their wedding, like a blue garter, others make a bold block colour the centrepiece of their outfit. Here are a few brides who have stepped away from the traditional white, beige and silver in their dress and accessories, toward bold colours.

The gorgeous Anna donned a blue dress for her wedding, making everyone swoon!

Anna&Tom pre 4

Image by Lauren Campbell Photography

The stunning Jose incorporated bright red into her outfit at any given opportunity, and wow did it pay off! While it’s not blue, you get the idea…

J&M feature

Image by Kelly Tunney Photography


Emily Simpson

Emily is a fourth year Arts/Laws student at the Australian National University. When she’s not studying, which is most of the time, she’s hanging out with friends, drinking coffee, frequenting bakeries in the search for finger buns and vegemite scrolls, or playing sports. Gradually getting closer to the end of her five-year degree, Emily is still trying to figure out exactly what she wants to do ‘when she grows up’, with potential career paths in either law or something related to writing. For now, though, she’s enjoying soaking up the Canberra lifestyle! Emily also writes at www.food-fitness-fashion.com. More about the Author