Design and style tips offer a creative spin on an old wedding tradition

weddingwomanSomething old, something new;
Something borrowed, something blue;
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

An enduring Victorian tradition steeped in superstitious symbolism, the verse containing a series of old, new, borrowed and blue good luck tokens for the bride dates back centuries in England.

John C. Franke, style expert and faculty member at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, offers a creative spin on the age-old tradition for the bride-to-be in 2010.

Something old: Continuity with the bride's family and the past According to Franke, trends suggest a rising popularity in vintage gowns. "A 1960s-era gown will not only allow a bride to check something "old" off her list, but may also offer affordability and superior workmanship," says Franke who recommends vintage shops as well as eBay to begin the search. "To make her purchase even more meaningful, a bride might consider purchasing a dress from one of many organizations who recycle wedding gowns for charitable fundraising."
For another possibility to represent something "old," Franke suggests implementing a table of wedding photographs collected from family and friends attending the reception. The photos will honor the marriages of couples close to the bride and groom as well as provide a wonderful center for conversation.
Something new: Optimism and hope for the bride's life ahead "Renewable is the new 'new,'" says Franke. For a fresh approach to something new, Franke suggests environmentally responsible decisions such as selecting potted perennials for centerpieces. "Potted wildflowers will create a vibrant setting for the reception and can later be planted in the garden at the newlywed's home."
Franke also suggests seed satchels as favors to serve as a long-living connection to the wedding.
Even guests can get into the game. "If you're invited to a wedding this year, consider presenting the couple with a gift that offers a new spin on traditional gift options." Franke suggests antiques carefully selected for the couple or aluminum serving pieces.
Something borrowed: A reminder that the bride can still depend on friends and family
Traditionally, a bride can borrow anything from her best friend's punch bowl to her grandmother's pearls, but Franke suggests fulfilling the adage by creating a buzz. "Why not borrow an antique car and create a dramatic exit from your wedding?" Franke asks.
Another emerging trend is the borrowing of the cake knife from one bride to another within a family. Starting a tradition now of passing along your cake knife or other wedding essentials is not only cost-saving, but also creates a legacy that future generations will treasure.
Something blue: A color suggesting purity and fidelity as evidenced in the 19th century phrase "Marry in blue, lover be true."
Building blues into the wedding color scheme is an option for completing your old, new, borrowed and blue checklist, and at the same time, developing a color scheme for your reception.
"Think like a graphic designer," says Franke. "Consider your wedding colors as a controlled palette." Franke encourages the bride to visit a paint store or check a Pantone system and define a series of colors, never more than three.
Once selected, the bride can keep the color chips with her throughout the planning period so that the exact colors are always available when decisions are made about bridesmaids' gowns, table linens, floral arrangements and other decorative elements.
According to Franke, blues are an elegant choice for any season. He suggests pairing royal blues with yellow for a classic summer wedding; blue and pink for spring; and icy blues with whites or silver for a winter wedding.
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Courtesy of ARAcontent