Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
Some brides get tripped up on “something blue” when they try to honor that well-known tradition on their wedding day.
Missouri bride Alison Ferrell had no trouble at all.
When she married Matthew Ferrell at Old St. Vincent’s Church in Cape Girardeau on May 13, her 92-year-old uncle was her “something blue.”
The World War II and Korean War veteran wore Marine dress blues down the aisle. Sitting in a wheelchair as he was escorted in, he held a sign in his lap that read, “I’m her something blue.”
“Just to (be) putting on that uniform again brought back a lot of great old memories,” Bill Lee Eblen told ABC News. “It got me choked up.”
Ferrell told ABC that from the moment she got engaged she knew she wanted to include her Uncle Bill, who is married to the oldest of her mom’s 13 siblings.
“I come from a family where we were taught to have the utmost respect and admiration for the armed services, and honoring him as the ‘something blue’ just seemed like the natural choice,” she said.
Ferrell, who is a speech pathologist, met her attorney husband at Southeast Missouri State University.
“We both come from families that have a lot of active service members, and his grandfather fought in the war, so it was important to us to include Uncle Bill,” she told People magazine.
Their wedding story has been shared nearly 50,000 times on the inspirational stories Facebook page Love What Matters.
Eblen, who lives in a veterans home in Anna, Ill., had been in and out of the hospital with pneumonia. During one of those hospital stays Ferrell asked him to be in her wedding. It turned out to be just the motivation he needed.
“I immediately started doing more calisthenics, walking more instead of riding my little three-wheel bike,” Eblen told ABC.
Said Ferrell: “He’s a tough, mean, Marine machine. I never doubted he would be there.”
Because Eblen doesn’t have his own uniform anymore, the family borrowed a uniform and other pieces to re-create his Marine dress uniform. Though it didn’t have the appropriate chevrons – he was a sergeant in the Marines during World War II and a sergeant in the Air Force during the Korean War – Eblen was happy to be back in uniform, if only for a day.
“It brought me a tremendous amount of pride to see him sitting there in his blues,” Ferrell told People. “He touched so many people with his role in the wedding. It made me happy to see him happy.”