In my profession I have come across many boxed wedding dresses when purging and the same question is often asked from clients “what do I do with my wedding dress my children don’t want it.” I can totally relate to this question because as a woman who will be married 30 years in just a few days that has become my dilemma.
In 1981 Princess Diana married Prince Charles in one of the most elaborate weddings watched by millions on TV. Every girl thought it was the perfect fairy tale wedding and wanted to emulate it, including the famous dress! For the next few years every wedding you went to the bride wore what we called the Princess Di dress. When it came time for me to get married I also wanted that fairy tale wedding dress. The long train, sparkle and of course lots of lace. I know this sounds corny but it was the first dress I tried on and I knew it was THE dress. I tried on others but kept going back to that dress.
Now lets talk about those sleeves! Back in 1988 there were no cell phones, internet or social media so everything you saw was in magazines or on TV which leads me to the puffy sleeves. They were everywhere the bigger the better. You didn’t own something that didn’t have shoulder pads they even sold them separately so you can put them in your clothes!
As my 30th anniversary was approaching I decided to open the box mainly for nostalgia reasons. Was it really that dated? The answer to be honest is yes! The sleeves are still huge and its anything but simple. Then I started doing what most people do I talked about how we can rework the dress if my daughters choose to wear it. We can take the sleeves off remove the extremely large bow off the back and so on. I have a photo of my wedding day in the living room (see below) and many times I gave my daughters the speech on how we could redesign the dress and they both gave me a look like no were good, but thanks. I even tried to sell them on the veil but no takers. My feelings were not hurt because I realized my daughters will do what I did because times change, fashions change and your taste change.
If your ready to let go of your dress here are some suggestons that might make it easier for you.
Do your homework and find out what the dress is really worth. Is it vintage or just dated? Don’t overprice it if you really want to let it go. This site gives you many options if want to consign.
Make Something New Out of Something Old
As the saying goes something old something new and these ideas are perfect to use as something old. Make a sash for the dress the bride chooses, have a piece made to add around the bouquet, make a hankie to tuck in a garter or sew a piece of your dress into the underside of their dress. If you are interested in more ideas check out this link on Pinterest .
Take a Whimsical Photo
I have seen so many great photos of people in their old wedding gowns. Be creative and it will be a lasting keepsake.
Turn Your Memory Into an Heirloom
Fabric from your dress can make a Christening gown for your grandchildren and can be shared for generations.
I saved this for last because I can here the gasps as I’m writing this. Donating to someone less fortunate will not only make you feel good but it will help someone in need. This site has great information if donation is an option for you. Just think you will be bringing new life back to your old dress and making someone as happy on their day as you were on yours.
Would love to hear any ideas you have to share!