No wedding would be complete without the traditional exchange of vows. Another important century-old tradition is that every bride is expected to find "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue".
The something old represents continuity and a link to the bride's family; hence it's usually a heirloom given by the bride's mother or grandma. The something new symbolises her hopes and optimism for the future, and is represented by a new dress, jewellery or even flowers.
The something borrowed is often an item loaned by a happily married woman in the hope that her marital bliss will extend to the new bride too. The something blue dates to Roman times when the colour blue signified fidelity, and is usually represented by a blue garter. Wearing these items on the wedding day, is supposed to bring good luck and a long-lasting marriage.
While modern brides still follow tradition, many would also love the wedding to represent their personality. And no, I don't mean a full-on Shrek themed wedding; a subtle hint will do. More and more brides are ditching the blue garter and choosing to incorporate some of their favourite things into their big day. We've found brides using everything from blue ribbons to wrap their bouquets to carrying a bouquet of blue flowers.
If you're still stumped about how to blend your style with tradition, here are ten contemporary ideas to choose from:
1. Blue Suede Shoes
Wearing a pair of blue heels as you strut down the aisle is a sure way to stand out on your wedding day. Go as bold as you dare in navy Louboutins or understated in robin egg blue flats - blue shoes look simply amazing in photos!
2. In Your Face
Using navy blue eye shadow or mascara can really make your eyes pop against your subtle make-up. But if you'd rather show your colours elsewhere, let your fingers (and toes) do the talking with blue nail polish.
3. Blue Sparkles
Planning an autumn wedding? Why not use a sapphire - the birthstone of September - in your wedding jewellery? The rich dark blue hue of a sapphire goes especially well with fall wedding colours. You can also use blue earrings or bracelets to jazz up your all-white ensemble.
4. Flowers in Her Hair
Ditch the traditional veil and channel your inner bohemian with a handmade floral crown. Weave in forget-me-nots, dark blue hydrangea, blue thistle or dandelions into a crown that is as unique as you are.
5. An Essential Clutch
A small clutch can come in handy for holding your make-up and phone, so choose one in a shade of blue that will pop quite nicely against your white dress.
6. Be Bold in a Blue Wedding Dress
According to old English folklore, a blue wedding dress means 'Your love is true'. Whether you believe that or not, picking a blue gown over traditional white is one way to stand out.
7. Something Blue
For a less visual 'something blue', spritz on Oscar de la Renta's "Something Blue" Perfume. Described as classy, fresh and light, this fragrance is aimed at women who appreciate the beautiful wedding dresses designed by Oscar de la Renta, The summer fragrance smells like a bouquet of real flowers, and is perfect for wearing during the day and or at night.
8. Blue Bridal Lingerie
Wanna save your something blue for your new husband? Then get sexy lingerie in pale blue or with blue accents, like a bow for him to pull *wink*. Get his heart racing with a pair monogrammed with 'The Mrs' or Mrs 'Your new last name'.
9. Your Bridesmaids
Pay homage to your 'leading ladies' as you dress them up in different shades of blue. Cue the fabulous photos with them flanking your white dress.
10. Blue Totes to Go
Show your thoughtful side by handing out gift bags stuffed with necessities like mints, sweets or bottles of water. Of course, make sure the bags are in your favourite shade of blue.
It's YOUR wedding, and you have the right to interpret traditions as you see fit. Whether you flash your blues in an ombré nail rainbow or with your wedding date stitched into your dress, the most important thing is that it reflects your essence.
For more tips on planning the perfect wedding day, browse through our extensive range of wedding decorations, or call us on 01282 850032 to enquire about something specific - we're always happy to help inspire you!