Something Borrowed, Something Blue

by | Feb 4, 2020



According to tradition, a bride who borrows something from a woman who has been happily married will have heaps of luck in her own marriage.

The full Victorian rhyme goes something like this:  “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe”.

Superstition has it that these are the four good-luck charms (plus a sixpence to help along wealth) a bride should include somewhere in her wedding attire or have with her on her wedding day. (Note to self – this is where it all went pear-shaped – nobody told me about the sixpence in the shoe…)

Fast forward to 2020 and we are stilling hanging onto old traditions. You know, just to make sure. So what are the most popular borrowed and blue items as we go into this year, where – interestingly enough –  Classic Blue has been announced as the Pantone colour of the year.

4 things borrowed:

  • Bridal transport
  • Heirloom jewellery
  • Mysterious veils
  • Cake knives

Bridal transport

(Photo credit: Friedel van Tonder)

When we were younger, my dad was quick to point out that you never lend your wife or car to anyone. Ever. There is definitely some truth in this, but it is safe to say that your bridal transport may be the exception to this rule.

Luckily for wedding couples, bridal transport comes in all shapes and sizes, and it is possible to cover your something borrowed and something blue in one swoop if you plan well. Think side carts, sporty numbers or vintage collector items. If you have a friend or relative who owns any of these – call in a favour or two.

Handy tips: Remember our zero-tolerance alcohol law which has just kicked. It really is best to have a designated driver. Also, make sure to keep your driver’s license handy. In many cases, you won’t be driving further that the wedding venue gate, but let’s rather be safe than sorry!

Heirloom jewellery

So hands up – who knows who Iris Apfel is?  Iris Apfel is a fashion legend. If I think of an auntie who may have heirloom jewellery to lend me – her image comes up right away. At 98 years old, the self-described geriatric starlet is not only the chicest dresser but also full of life wisdom.

We are not all blessed with such extravagant grandmas as Iris Apfel or the Queen Mother who gladly lent her sparkling vintage diamond tiara to Kate Middleton.  But hey, it’s fine to settle for a broach, a set of earrings or just a totally sentimental piece of costume jewellery from someone you love.

One of my favourite vintage items is not, as you may think, an expensive item. Instead, it’s a tiny, fragile little ring with red stones which was handmade round about the 1940s. Go on, start asking around at the next family gathering… there may be some gems out there waiting to be discovered.

Mysterious veils


10/10 for borrowing a veil! Face it, this is not something you are likely to ever wear any time soon, but still such a lovely item to have at a wedding. It adds a sense of mystery and tradition.

Many tears have been dabbed away at the lifting of a veil when the groom has the first glimpse of his lovely bride. Veils are actually quite costly, so if you can borrow one, go ahead! And don’t forget – they create stunning photo opportunities if there is a bit of a breeze.  And really mad photo moments if you live Cape Town.

Slice me nice

Pat yourself on the back if your wedding day checklist includes a cake knife. Mine didn’t.  Bless the venue for being kind and preventing a disastrous turn of events. It really is quite a nice item to borrow. If you don’t have a personalised cake knife, have a look in your grandparent’s bottom drawer. Chances are really good that you will find one of those old-fashioned faux ivory cake knives just waiting to be revived.

Why not start your own tradition and engrave your wedding knife and cake lifter with your names and wedding date? This can then be your daughter’s “borrowed item” and passed on to generations to come. Pay a visit to your local flea market or thrift store – you are pretty much guaranteed to find beautiful vintage knives and cake lifts to personalise with engraving.


Coastal brides are so lucky – their “Something Blue” is right there. Look out and see the waves, smell the salty sea breeze. Under African skies and further away, something blue is always present in the expansive skies.  Blessings come in all kinds of disguises. And often in blue.

Let’s look at 4 fun ways to add something blue to your wedding.

  • Denim
  • Garters
  • Fragrances
  • Bowties


Denim delights

When Levi Strauss started manufacturing jeans for mining and factory use back in 1853, he had no idea it may one day land up in front of the altar. Not only as men’s attire but also as part of a wedding dress.

What happens when you brief your designer that you would love to have denim in your wedding dress? Friedel van Tonder did just that.  The end result and one jean later? Simply spectacular:

(Photo credit: Friedel van Tonder)

Adding a touch of denim to your wedding takes the formalities down a notch. It says I am current, relaxed and fun. Ring bearers look super cute in little denim dungarees and bridesmaids will appreciate the modern cover-up in colder winter months.

Gorgeous Garters

Nothing adds more giggles to wedding festivities than finding and eventually throwing the garter, which is often the Something Blue”. Let me count the Instagram moments of a groom seeking the elusive garter under a ballroom-style wedding dress. 31 100 Instagram posts to be exact for #weddinggarter.  A man can really get lost.

Blue for the boys

Fabulous fragrances

This one is for the boys. Fragrance houses lean strongly towards blue packaging for male fragrances. One only has to look at Bleu de Chanel, Narciso Rodrigues Bleu Noir, and David Beckham’s Classic Blue.

Jean-Paul Guerlain is quoted saying “Perfume is the most intense form of memory.” Let your man have his bit of Something Blue as he prepares for the wedding. Decant a little aftershave in a smaller container to be applied throughout the evening to keep your groom smelling delectable the whole evening. You are creating memories, after all.

Bro ties anyone?

“My Bro Tie” from the small town of Porterville in Cape Town is on a mission to reintroduce men of all ages to the art of wearing the bow tie.  And it makes the ideal “Something Blue” to add to your wedding. The bro ties are made from vintage fabrics, by founder and owner Thys’ mother and her friends. The cloth is often found at local flea markets.

What we really love about their bow ties is that they also make bro ties out of customer-submitted items. So if your beau has a favourite tie or any favourite fabric they could make a fabulous and meaningful bow tie from this. The best news for the Durbanites is that they run an online shop and ship locally and internationally.

Blue suede shoes


While blue lingerie under a white wedding dress makes no sense and is immediately struck from the list of possible blue wedding items, blue shoes can rock your world.

From formal to frivolous there are so many options to choose from. We pause a bit at the Vellies fashion craze – even Ashton Kutcher has been spotted wearing locally made Vellies! Not only are they a proudly SA product, but they are also super comfy and unisex!

Freestyle a.k.a. Cape Vellie Company (pronounced Fellie) was founded in 1985 by award-winning actress Ethwyn Grant on Greenmarket Square, Cape Town and they have a beautiful selection to choose from.

Classic Blue décor

So you fashionistas are keen to bring the Pantone colour of the year – Classic Blue – into your wedding theme? Table décor is one option, a blue wedding dress will certainly be a showstopper, but creating a Classic Blue photo booth or Pop up lounge complete with blue drinks is just so much more fun, right?

The  Livspace Editorial Team created the perfect vision board for a stylish blue-inspired photo booth – and their description of our favourite colour cannot be outdone:

“The Classic Blue, ladies and gentlemen, is surprisingly down-to-earth yet, lavish and rich, depending on how you treat it. It’s comforting, it’s relatable and I’ll tell you why. It’s in your favourite pair of denim and the must-have indigo kurtas from Fab India. From gorgeous blue pottery to a bowl of ripe berries, from the still waters to the sky before dawn breaks – it’s everywhere.”

May your Something Blue at your 2020 wedding include a sensual blue velvet sofa to capture photo memories to last a lifetime, and a vintage silver tray with a Blueberry cocktail.

The simple pleasures in life, courtesy of Pantone Classic Blue 19 – 4052.




She knows her Merlot from her Mojito, her hotel from her motel. From craft food to caviar, her innate curiosity about life and wanderlust provide inspiration for her blogs, articles and press releases about the travel, wedding and Spa industry. Over twenty years in the hotel marketing & PR arena with impressive hotel groups, from Dubai to Durbanville, has evolved into the pure enjoyment of freelance projects under the banner of About Branding.


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