"Something Old" Wedding Ideas from Real Brides

allie and joe italy wedding shoes jewelry and bow tie
Katie Grant Photography

We all know the popular bridal rhyme: "Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue." Legend has it that if the bride wears items that represent those descriptions, her marriage will be blessed with good luck. Today, it's a time-honored tradition many brides follow for fun, but who doesn't want a little extra luck, too? Whether you're superstitious or not, you'll probably agree that the "something old" aspect is especially meaningful, as couples often look to their loved ones for hand-me-downs or family heirlooms that represent their pasts or heritage. So, turn to your moms, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and cousins for your something old—we'd bet they'll all be willing to contribute a memento from their own weddings to help make your big day extra special.

Unsure of how to wear something old throughout your wedding? Make a fashion statement with a vintage piece. Your grandmother's veil, for example, can enhance your ensemble's classic look. Or, add a pop of color to your hair with a stylish clip or pin your mom wore down the aisle on her day. This bride even took the diamonds from her grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother's engagement rings and made them into a bracelet, which she wore at her celebration.

If you can't find the perfect something old accessory to complement your wedding ensemble, look to other big-picture moments to display a sentimental keepsake. Try transforming your grandmother's favorite handkerchief by wrapping it around your bouquet or using fabric from your grandfather's lucky shirt to create a ring pillow. A recycled cake topper can even subtly nod to your family's rich history. To give you some inspiration for your something old, take a look at what real brides used to carry on this tradition.

01 of 19

Vintage Veil

floor length veil from grooms grandmother
We Are Bubblerock

Connect with your in-laws by incorporating an heirloom from your partner's side into your bridal look. We love how this bride finished off her big-day ensemble with her fiancés great-grandmother's veil.

02 of 19

Locket Portrait

wedding jewelry locket earrings
D'Arcy Benincosa

A locket is a stylish way to keep those who couldn't attend your wedding with you all day. This groom was gifted a photo of his late parents in an antique necklace, which he wore at the altar.

03 of 19

Love Story

hanging family photo bouquet charms
Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography

String old locket photos of your grandparents from your bouquet wrap as a way to celebrate their love story while kicking off yours.

04 of 19

Inherited Diamonds

jena donny wedding engagement ring
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Mix your something old with something new by adding the stones from an inherited piece of jewelry to an engagement ring setting you designed yourself. The diamonds on the side of this bride's bauble were taken from a tennis bracelet that her father once gifted her mother.

05 of 19

Antique Ring Box

Erin Kunkel

If an antique ring isn't your style, opt for a vintage box as your something old—like this golden bee-topped iteration this bride found at a flea market. Its one-of-a-kind look will add character to your ceremony.

06 of 19

Sewn Patch

Nancy Ray Photography

This bride's mother sewed a napkin that belonged to her late grandmother into her dress as a way of honoring her. We love how she made this something old even more personal by embroidering the couple's names and wedding date onto the patch.

07 of 19

Bridal Necklace

Nancy Ray Photography

Every bride in this woman's family has worn the same opal necklace down the aisle. If your relatives have a similar ritual, we suggest opting out of new jewelry and keeping the tradition alive.

08 of 19

Ring Decoration

cristina chris wedding ring charm on bouquet
Rebecca Yale Photography

If your grandmother's engagement ring doesn't fit your fingers, secure it to your bouquet wrap as a meaningful something old decoration. This bride did just that as a way of representing her loved one on the big day.

09 of 19

Presidential Cufflinks

celina rob wedding virginia cufflinks
Abby Jiu Photography

Allude to your hobbies and interests with a something old item that represents your passion. This groom wore a pair of Ronald Reagan's cufflinks from his prized presidential collection on his wedding day.

10 of 19

Two Accessories

unique silver hexagonal shape wedding ring
Jessica Rieke Photography

Don't just represent one side of the family with your something old. This engagement ring once belonged to the groom's mom; on the big day, the bride paired the piece with her family's heirloom wedding band to signal the blending of their two legacies.

11 of 19

Hand-Me-Down Jewels

antique wedding ring in velvet box
Erich McVey

Saying yes to an inherited engagement ring represents the tight bond you have with your new family. This bride's fiancé proposed with his grandmother's diamond with plans to shop for a new one after his future wife said yes. But, the two decided a new accessory would never be as special as the hand-me-down one.

12 of 19

Metal Boutonnière

britt courtney wedding vintage boutonniere
Teneil Kable

Get the groom in on the something old tradition by substituting a part of his ensemble with an antique iteration, like this newlywed did with this vintage metal boutonnière.

13 of 19

Non-Engagement Bauble

giordana and geoffrey jewelry
Corbin Gurkin

Take notes from this bride, who wore her grandmother's engagement ring as a symbolic accessory next to her own big-day sparkler. Wearing an inherited ring next to your own signifies the strong, long-lasting marriage you've always dreamed of.

14 of 19

Cake Topper

Wedding Cake with Berries, Grapes, Figs, and Pears
Teneil Kable

Add vintage flair to your big-day confection with the cake topper used at your grandparent's wedding, like this couple did with this 70-year-old piece.

15 of 19

Getaway Car

wedding car
Polly Alexandre Fine Photography

Make like this bride and exit your wedding in style in an old sports car. She decorated her dad's 1950s Jaguar—which she grew up riding in—with flowers by McQueens for a festive touch.

16 of 19

Bouquet Wrap

Liz Banfield

Instead of a modern bouquet wrap, style your arrangement with a fabric swatch that has sentimental value. A handkerchief, which was given to this bride by the groom's grandmother, tied her bouquet together.

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Ancestor Tribute

britt courtney wedding vintage flowers
Teneil Kable

If your something old is too fragile to be functional, display it on a reception table for guests to observe. The main focus of this bride's setup was a box of 19th-century waxed orange blossoms, which were used as a bridal accessory in 1897.

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Ring Pillow

Judy Pak Photography

Crafting your ring pillow out of your grandmother's handkerchief is a thoughtful something old idea that can be passed down to other family members.

19 of 19

Cameo Pin

Love, The Nelsons

If you want to wear your something old down the aisle, but don't want to sacrifice your dream dress and veil for someone else's, consider a smaller vintage accessory, instead—like a hand-me-down pin. This bride's cameo iteration has been in her family for over a century.

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