Whether you repurpose your grandmother's antique lace, find a gorgeous vintage veil, or invest in a necklace to someday pass down, choosing your 'something old' is such a special process. Here are our favorite picks of tiny details that stand the test of time.
Brooches: These charming old-fashioned accessories are no longer just for fastening fabric. Repurpose a family heirloom brooch by attaching it to your bouquet, wearing it as a hair piece, adding it to an embellished belt, or even using gems from it in your wedding band.
Veils: Infuse vintage charm into your wedding look with a loved one's veil. From blushers to chapel lengths, veils add drama, mystery, and beauty, and never go out of style. If you choose to preserve yours for a daughter or granddaughter, be sure to take it to a dry cleaner for appropriate packing materials like acid-free tissue paper and a sturdy container; this will help maintain the fabric's integrity and color.
Flowers: Pressed flowers are dainty, fragile tangible memories that can last for years if correctly preserved. You could include a loved one's pressed flowers somewhere in your day-of paper goods design, make a tiny sachet to keep your wedding day smelling lovely, or choose a bouquet with similar blooms to uphold a family tradition of certain flowers. To save your own flowers to pass down, press them between acid-free tissue paper in a heavy book, away from light, until dry.
Fabric: A correctly stored wedding dress can be worn or repurposed decades later. If you're the lucky recipient of a handed-down gown, consider having the dress altered or re-shaped to fit your modern aesthetic, or take pieces of the fabric or lace to sew onto (or into) your own gown for a sweet memento. You could even use the fabric to create a flower girl dress for a young niece or cousin, passing it through even more generations. Finally, antique fabric could become ribbon for bouquets or centerpieces, handkerchiefs for the bride, father of the bride, or the groom, or inspiration for stationery or design elements.
Ring box or pillow: A ring box or pillow will always be a useful and lovely addition to any bride's countertop or jewelry box. If you've received one, make sure to keep it clean and get the fabric restored or the metal repolished if needed, so that it stays pristine for those who may inherit it from you.
Jewelry: If you're lucky, you may have inherited your engagement ring, or a beautiful necklace, bracelet, or earrings that a loved one wore on her wedding day. Remember that the stones can always be re-set if you wish, but wearing the jewelry as-is can be a meaningful homage to family. If you don't have any family heirlooms and are looking to invest in a piece you can pass down yourself, consider diamonds, pearls, and no-frill shapes for a timeless gift that will be worn for generations. A delicate pendant, small diamond earrings, an intricate gold locket, or a thin and simple wedding band are all items that remain in style as the years go by.
China, cutlery, or glasses: Invest in two china plates, a cake knife, or champagne flutes for toasting so that generations in the future can use them at their reception. All are stunning additions to tablescapes and decor.
A family tree: It may seem simple, but just being able to trace your lineage and the men and women who came before you is so special. Creating a family tree to pass down is perhaps the most meaningful 'something old' of all.