Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: My mom recently informed me that her sister plans to present me with a “something borrowed” to wear on my wedding day. I’m familiar with the object and it’s a beautiful vintage pin that my grandmother, mom and her sisters and my sister have each worn on their wedding day. This tradition is so important to the women in my family and my aunt, who is the current owner of the pin, gets so much joy from lending it to her nieces when they get married. Unfortunately, it isn’t my style and would clash terribly with the very modern style of my gown and accessories. As much as I too would like to take part in and carry on the tradition, I just can’t make it work aesthetically and am at a loss for what to do. How do I turn down a wedding day heirloom?

Answer: You are correct about this being such a sweet tradition. It certainly would be bittersweet to have to forgo participating in it. But, I also understand your desire to be true to your own style. I believe there is a solution however that will make everyone happy — which is so often not the case! Many women pin items that either don’t go with their gown — or are simply private — to the inside of their gown. Inform your mom that this is your intention and let her know the reason. If she feels comfortable, ask her to prime the pump a little bit and tell your aunt that you’ve already chosen a modern ensemble, complete with all of the accessories, but that you also are excitedly anticipating that the pin will be offered to you as your “something borrowed.” She can mention to your aunt at that time that because of your modern attire, you’ll be wearing it pinned inside your gown (with other keepsakes, if that’s the case). It would be a good idea for your mother to ask your aunt if that’s OK, so she can discern whether or not it’s a problem and the two of you can go from there with it. If your aunt agrees, when she presents it to you, express how meaningful it is to you to participate in this tradition and to hold this special momento close to you on your Big Day.



Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.



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