One of the most wonderful things you can do post-wedding is protect or pass on precious items to the bride and groom. Many of us don’t get to re-live the magic of generations before us with heirloom gowns, suits, tiaras, rings and garters and instead have to make do with all those pretty memories captured in old photographs.
When I was due to be married, I had hoped to include something special from my own family – a bauble, an accessory, a trinket. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be…so I started my own collection.
After I wed my beloved husband, I made sure I put aside my wedding dress, wedding veil and bridal jewellery for my daughters to wear on their own special day. So often we forget to save meaningful things to pass on to our next of kin, which I think is a great shame.
Below you’ll find some brilliant ideas to kick-start the heirloom process yourself. Like the saying goes: “Something borrowed, something new” – a winning wedding day combination!
1. Bridal Veil
Bridal veils are timeless and have barely changed throughout the eras. A good example is the retro birdcage veil which is still popular today. Cathedral and mantilla veils are classic accessories that can be passed down through the generations. Just remember to wrap up all that delicate tulle and store away carefully!
Shop our French Chantilly Lace veil here – Photo by Jon Cu
2. Bridal headpieces
Stash that bridal headpiece away for your daughters, cousins or nieces. Better still, match a La Belle hair accessory like the Mae Chignon Hair Wrap or the Chloe Golden Bridal Comb with your grandmother’ precious antique brooch or earrings.
Shop our Chloe Gold bridal comb here– Photo by Jon Cu
From gifting engagement rings to bequeathing wedding bands, passing down jewellery is an emotional moment for all involved. Brides and grooms love to cherish special rings from passed-over loved ones, so make sure you keep yours clean and polished.
Image via The Mrs Box
If you aren’t lucky enough to own a ring from a long gone grandmother or grandfather, a vintage piece of gorgeous jewellery will always suffice! Think pearl necklaces, elegant chains, tie pins, and slender bracelets.
5. Silk Handkerchief
A delightful keepsake for your son, cousin or nephew, a silk handkerchief doubles as a pocketsquare and can easily be slipped into a suit jacket. Alternatively, gift to a favourite bridesmaid to slip into a handbag.
6. Wedding Ribbon
Easy to store before passing down to younger generations, a wedding ribbon can be utilised in a number of ways including securing in the hair or tying around a wedding bouquet.
Hand dyed silk ribbon by Froufrou chic
Photography by: Jose Villa | Floral design: Kelly Kaufman | Wedding gown: Inbal Dror
7. Wedding Gown
Don’t underestimate the power of a vintage wedding dress! Not only will you save your daughter, cousin or niece a ton of hard earned dollars, they may absolutely love its cut, fit and colour! A retro dress allows a bride to carry on family tradition. What’s more, plenty of older gowns boast a beautiful bohemian vibe and incredible fabrics from yesteryear.
Inca Gown by Grace loves lace– Photography by Majesta Patterson
8. Ring Bearer Cushion
A lovely little hand-me-down for a child ring bearer at the altar. Wrap in plastic and store away for your next family wedding. Alternatively, a cherished family Bible also makes an ideal presentation platform. Leather-bound or gold-leaf trimmed – the older the book, the better!
9. Champagne Flutes
Rarely going out of style, the classic champagne flute is an heirloom for everybody. Bestowed to both men and women, it’s the unisex gift that keeps on giving!
Intimate, sentimental and ever so pretty, the traditional bridal garter is a perfect present for a special woman in the family. If your dress is not required, this timeless accessory surely will be. Brides simply love slipping on this good luck charm, which will then be tossed to the unwed male guests!
11. Wedding Favour
Passing on a secret recipe for delicate little wedding favours is a must for any bride and groom. Maybe you’re hiding a secret love heart cookie formula or better still – chocolate mousse! I bet your grandmother holds a treasure chest of tried and tested recipes. There may even be one for a wedding cake amongst the mix – ring her and ask her!
12. Wedding Vow
Book Carry on a time-old tradition by gifting romantic inscriptions in a wedding vow book. Generations can pen vows and musings on the pages as a continual living document!
Vow books by Seniman Calligraphy
Any other wedding heirlooms you think we’ve missed from the list? Be sure to jot down some more ideas for our readers in the comments box below.