Your Vintage Wedding: 17 Unique “Something Old” Ideas

by Bonnie in , , , Comment — Updated March 14, 2020

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You’ve heard the Old English wedding rhyme that goes like this: “Something olde, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a six pence on your shoe”, right? Maybe there’s a reason that this rhyme has been passed down from generation to generation! It encourages couples to include something old within their wedding day, as a symbol of the past that they are drawing on as they build their future. Are you thinking about your “something old” item? Here are seventeen ideas… browse through and get inspired! 

1. Perfume

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Does your mom, grandmother, or favorite great aunt have a signature scent? In the past, it was common for women to wear one, and only one, scent every day. These days it’s less common, but you might have a memory of the way your favorite female relative always smelled. Perfume can be a powerful way to evoke memories of the past. Spritz on a touch of grandma’s rose-scented perfume on your wedding day to bring a touch of the past to your senses on your big day. 

2. Veil

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A veil is an important part of traditional wedding attire. It is one of the accessories that is often dropped in modern weddings, which makes it the perfect “something old” to incorporate. Just by having a veil you are already drawing on a classical wedding tradition that has been around for generations. Give your veil even more meaning by purchasing one that’s made with antique lace, from an era you admire, or even wearing a veil that a family member wore in the past. You can also style veil with some unique accessories like jewelry – so find some ideas and browse these jewelry pieces.

3. Shoes

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The sky is the limit when it comes to your wedding day shoes! Express your style with your footwear; we’ve seen everything from retro running shoes to rain boots, so don’t be afraid to get a little wild. Match your shoes to your wedding theme. You might even opt to have two pair — elegant pumps to walk down the aisle in, and funky flats for your dance party. It’s up to you. 

4. Hair Piece

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How are you going to wear your hair on your wedding day? If your style would work well with a hairpiece, consider going with a vintage comb, barrette, tiara, flower or fascinator. An accessory worn tucked into your locks can add a beautiful touch to your overall look — and it’s the perfect way to add a bit of vintage flare to your outfit. 

5. Locket Love Story

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Is there a couple in your family (past or present) that you admire? Carry their love story with you on your wedding day by wearing a locket. Insert photographs of the couple you admire as a way of reminding yourself what you and your partner aspire to. What do you want your relationship to be like? Who models that for you? Your wedding day is where it all begins, which is why this little reminder can have a big impact on your life.

6. Heirloom Jewelry

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If you come from a family that passes down jewelry from one generation to the next, you’re in luck! This heirloom jewelry is already imbued with your family lineage. Wear a piece with meaning, as a way of weaving that meaning into your special day. An example might be to wear the same string of vintage pearls that your grandmother wore when she walked down the aisle. 

7. Bouquet Wrap

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You might have a piece of fabric that you would like to include as your “something old”, but you don’t know how. For example, maybe your grandmother’s veil was not preserved well, so it’s a bit yellowed and tattered. You can’t wear the veil itself, but you could transform it into a bouquet wrap. Simply cut a swatch of the fabric (choosing the most whole, intact section of course!) and fold or sew it into a rectangle. Wrap it around your bouquet, and secure with pins, a brooch, or ribbon. 

8. Antique Gloves

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White or ivory gloves can make for a glamorous addition to your bridal attire. Short, long, lacy, or made from satin, gloves will immediately take your look to the next level. You might also consider wearing detachable lace sleeves, or gorgeous fingerless gloves.

9. Belt

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If your gown comes with a belt or fabric wrap around the waist, you can always add a touch of vintage love to that area. You might not wear a brooch up in the chest area of your dress, because it would detract from the neckline or your necklace. But could you fasten an antique pin or brooch to the waist of your dress? Yes! Consider adding this touch to the front, side, or even back of your dress.

10. Capelet or Wrap

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 A capelet or wrap gives you another option for your something old. Depending on the temperature’s you’re going to be working with, you might consider going with a vintage fur wrap, or a lightweight, lacey capelet like the one in the photo above. 

11. Dishware

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How about setting the tables at your reception with antique china? If you’re having a large reception, and you don’t have enough vintage dishware to go around, consider using special plates and other dishes for select people, such as your wedding party. 

12. Chairs

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Your “something old” doesn’t have to be worn on your body. It can also just be a part of your day in general. Vintage furniture is a great example. From curling, swirling lines to rustic wood textures, these pieces can bring a nice vintage atmosphere to your venue. Could chairs from another era work at your venue? 

13. Cake Topper

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Isn’t the cake topper in the picture above cute? These little figurines make us think of times gone by. If you’re in love with an era from the past, check online stores to see if you can find a cake topper from that era. You might be surprised by what you can find!

14. Cake Server

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The cake server you choose to use is going to be on display throughout the reception, right up until the moment you cut the cake. Then, it will be front and center! So why not go with a server that’s meaningful in some way. If you buy an antique silver server, you might have to polish it up before hand to make sure it’s ready to be on display. 

15. Ring Box or Pillow

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Another clever way to weave vintage fabric (like from a family member’s veil or dress, for example) into your day is by sewing it into a ring pillow. If you’re not feeling crafty, you could also bring it to a seamstress, and ask him or her to do the job for you. 

16. Vows (Verse and Poetry)

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Maybe your “something old” isn’t physical at all. Maybe it’s a verse that Shakespeare wrote, or one of your favorite lines from a classical poem. If you’re writing your own vows, tuck in a few of these classic lines, and you can check the “something old” box without ever hitting the antique stores!

17. Getaway Car

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If you’re a true vintage lover, you might want to make a big statement with your “something old” item. Instead of just a little swatch of fabric or antique pin, you could go all out and have a classic getaway car. 

What do you think? Did you find a new and unique way to bring something old into your wedding day? Leave a comment below, and share!


1 thought on “Your Vintage Wedding: 17 Unique “Something Old” Ideas”

  1. I love your idea to use a veil because that will immediately bring classical themes into your wedding ceremony. My sister is going to get married in a few months and she wants to finalize a lot of plans in the next few weeks. I think it’s a great idea to add unique ideas to her plans so that it’s a day to remember.


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