What to do with my ten year old wedding dress? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 12-09-2011, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My wedding was ten years ago. My dress was not a common style and not designer but I LOVED it and really felt it was meant for me. That also meant it wasn't worth anything to sell it.

It is a cream color and ridiculously poofy underneath even though the dress is quilted with no lace or silk or sequins or anything. I had it cleaned and preserved in one of those special acid free critter resistant boxes and it has been in that ever since. That also means it takes up a lot of storage space.

I have downsized and decluttered many times since then but I've always held onto it for sentimental reasons. Now I think it might be time to get rid of it.

I checked into donating it but most charities won't accept a gown as old as mine. I guess I could just give it away on Craigslist or something but that makes me kind of sad to be honest. 

I love the idea of upcycling it but can't think of what to turn it in to. I don't want it to be just another thing for me to store in a different way. My dd was already baptized so we don't need a christening gown which seems to be the big choice. Also I would have to find a seamstress to do it. I have less than zero sewing skills. 

So what do you all recommend? Any ideas? What did you do with yours?


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#2 of 29 Old 12-09-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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Mine is in my basement's cedar closet just hanging away (we have the storage space so it's not an issue).  I got married in 9/2004 and haven't even had it cleaned yet.  It was a very basic style that I told myself would be awesome cut to party length and then dyed, but life got in the way.

 

To be perfectly honest, I plan on keeping it until my daughter(s) decides if she wants to use it.  My mother had a 1970s psychedelic print and I totally cherished cutting part of hers out and pinning it to the inside of mine.  So I'm holding on to mine to see if mine can be of use to my girl.  Having that moment with my mother was worth holding on to a dress for 25+ years, IMO.


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#3 of 29 Old 12-09-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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I also still have my wedding dress (from 11 years ago). I designed it and had it custom made and of course loved it. But now it's just hanging in a closet - never even been cleaned or preserved! I have no sisters and three sons, so there's no one to even give it to!

 

I was all set to put it on Freecycle, but then DH jokingly said that some guy would probably take it and use it as a Halloween costume. Now THAT is depressing!

 

I would love to donate it to someone who would use it in a good way, but I have not found that yet. 

 

Maybe somebody will have some good ideas!

 

 

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#4 of 29 Old 12-10-2011, 06:21 AM
 
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#5 of 29 Old 12-10-2011, 06:41 AM
 
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Vow renewal? orngbiggrin.gif I am not getting rid of mine! I love it way too much and I hope someday DD might like it (even though she is really tall and I'm way short) heck maybe she could just use the top or something.


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#6 of 29 Old 12-10-2011, 06:55 AM
 
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I am in a similar boat - married 13 years (well, as of Monday joy.gif) and although I loved my gown, it is NOTHING like the dresses worn today - much less skin is shown with mine!  I had it preserved but hate the space it takes.  Since we move so often, my folks have graciously been storing it, though I need to get it and alleviate them!  DH wants DD to wear it one day.  I do not have any problem with her wearing it, tearing it apart to make a new one, or not using it at all.  Problem is, it was a $550 dress - nothing high-high quality...and maybe it will not be able to make much, who knows!

 

I have my veil, which I may have made into a Communion veil for DD next year, but other than that I have no idea what to do with the dress.  I do love the idea of pinning a piece of it inside DD's dress as she gets married!  I also agree that unlike a random book or other memento, there is no replacing such a special thing as a wedding dress.

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#7 of 29 Old 12-10-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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I wore my mother's wedding dress when I got married.  My mother is normally not one to hang on to keepsakes for sentimental reasons, but I'm glad she made an exception for her dress, and that she had it cleaned and preserved right away, because it was in beautiful shape for my wedding.  I paid $75  to have it cleaned, pressed and altered slightly to accommodate my pregnant belly. orngbiggrin.gif  I could have shopped for years and never found something so beautiful, elegant, simple, appropriate, tasteful and special for my own wedding.  My mom had it cleaned and put back into a (new) dress-storage box, and she says she'll keep it for when my daughter gets married -- "just in case she wants to wear 'our' wedding dress."  IMO, it's worth the storage space.  


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#8 of 29 Old 12-10-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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I've got mine from our wedding six years ago. I've always thought to save it for a daughter, but so far I've got a son. :-) Other ideas I've had are to refashion the fabric into a table runner or a Christmas tree skirt. But I'm still waiting a few years to see if we have a girl. It's an off the rack dress, which I loved, but probably not something the mythical girl child would choose for herself. But maybe she'd take it apart and sew some of the fabric into the lining, or use some of the satin ribbon on her own dress or accessories in some way. If not, I really like the table runner option - it would be perfect for special dinner celebrations at home, and could be passed down to my son for his table someday. Actually, now that I'm thinking of it - I could make a table runner from my dress and my husband's red tie that he wore at our wedding, so it reflects both of us... 


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#9 of 29 Old 12-10-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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I got mine in one of those antique clothing boutiques in Carmel California.  It was awesome!  I don't know if my girls will ever want to wear it but my sister wore my moms and had it altered to remove the big puffy sleeves.  LOVED IT!  I think my aunt altered it or maybe one of the guys that works for her company.  I don't remember I only remember how beautiful she made it look.  I think I would keep the dress.  Even if doesn't seem to be something others might want you never know.  To be honest the original dress before alterations was FUGLY!  

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#10 of 29 Old 12-10-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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Whether you keep it intact or not is a very personal decision. Good luck deciding.

 

Here are some ideas of things you could possibly make from the fabric:

Placemats

Napkins

Throw pillows

Sachets

Small quilt

Pillowcase

Table runner

 

One of the pros for refashioning the dress - you can look at the dress everyday. I also envision making an applique of a bride in your style dress out of the dress material and sewing it on to a pillow or quilt. 

 

The nice thing about your dilemma is that there are no time constraints, so search yourself to find what you feel is the best thing for you

 

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#11 of 29 Old 12-10-2011, 06:34 PM
 
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I want to make mine into a patchwork quilt, using the wedding dress, parts of DD's baby and little girl dresses, DH's shirts, etc. I really want to do this. I just have to find a quilter I trust.

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#12 of 29 Old 12-10-2011, 06:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post

I want to make mine into a patchwork quilt, using the wedding dress, parts of DD's baby and little girl dresses, DH's shirts, etc. I really want to do this. I just have to find a quilter I trust.


Ooh - this is such a great idea!  I have been saving "quiltable" clothes from my children for years to make quilts out of them, but I never considered adding things from DH and me - and that would be such a neat way to repurpose the quilt (and quite symbolic, which I love)!  Thanks for sharing!

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#13 of 29 Old 12-10-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by justmeandmybrood View Post



Ooh - this is such a great idea!  I have been saving "quiltable" clothes from my children for years to make quilts out of them, but I never considered adding things from DH and me - and that would be such a neat way to repurpose the quilt (and quite symbolic, which I love)!  Thanks for sharing!


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#14 of 29 Old 05-03-2012, 10:36 AM
 
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I've always thought a wedding dress would make great fabric for a traditional baby basinet.  The skirt could feature the beadwork and train.  Maybe some of the fancy bodice would go over the hood...  It'd look awesome.

 

Also, What about making a christening dress?  If you have a girl, you could use the fabric for her holy communion.  Or, you could dye & re-use the fabric for fashioning a PROM dress....

 

Mine's still in a box.  I've been divorced for years, but I loved that dress, and haven't done anything with it - yet.

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#15 of 29 Old 05-07-2012, 08:59 PM
 
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I guess I am odd. About 2 years ago I put mine up on freecycle. We had been married 11 years at that point and I was tired of it taking up closet space. The lady who came to get it for her daughter was VERY grateful even though it was nothing fancy. They could not afford a dress and now her daughter was going to be able to be married in a "wedding" dress. I don't regret it at all and do not miss it. 

 

Lisa

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#16 of 29 Old 05-08-2012, 05:49 PM
 
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Mine went to Goodwill.  I was married 8 years ago, and after about 3 or 4, I told my mom that I didn't feel the need to hang onto it.  She stored it at her house for several more years, because *she* couldn't bear to part with it!  LOL  She eventually decided that it would really be okay if we didn't keep it, so she donated it.  Ironically, hers is still hanging in the basement...

 

I did keep my jewelry, headpiece, and veil.  My First Communion veil was made from my mom's wedding veil (with a headpiece made by my grandma), and that was very special for me.  That veil was used again to make a veil for the rag doll my grandma made for me.  When I got married, the doll got a wedding dress and veil as a gift from Grandma, which I thought was very nice.  The doll is a meaningful memento of many different phases of my life, and her wardrobe and accessories are mostly made from bits and pieces of clothing or fabric from clothes my mom or I wore during those various phases.  I have a boy, and a girl on the way, and I plan to make a doll for each of them and provide similar accessories.


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#17 of 29 Old 02-10-2013, 06:48 PM
 
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I gave mine away on freecycle. My mom paid $175 top have it boxed and cleaned. I think I kept it about seven years before I wanted that closet space back. I was not attached to it at all and was glad to make someone happy.
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#18 of 29 Old 02-27-2013, 10:10 AM
 
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Such a hard decision.

Mine is 3 years old.  Glad it's still around as I brought it along to a boudior shoot and got some pics of it them.  Might do vow renewals when I ever get a wedding band and when we get my hubs a new ring as he lost his.


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#19 of 29 Old 02-27-2013, 12:40 PM
 
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Love the ideas here! Coming up on our 10 year anniversary & I still have mine hanging in my closet, uncleaned. Maybe for our anniversary, I'll get it cleaned!!

 

I bought the material for my own dress (a lovely silk) & had it made by a costume designer -- the whole thing cost me maybe $250 -- I am super attached to it. It is simple but has some personal touches.

 

My mother did not wear my grandmother's dress & when I was little, she cut it down so I could play dress-up with it. It is a cherished childhood memory. Even at the time I thought it was a big deal that she cut it down for me. My grandparents just celebrated their 60th anniversary & my grandmother used the crown/cloth tiara as a bouquet holder. So touching.

 

So even though I only have a boy, I will hang onto it as long as I have the space... Maybe I'll have a grandaughter who will want it one day, even if only for playing dress-up.


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#20 of 29 Old 03-03-2013, 03:13 PM
 
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Fun thread!

 

Married for 20 years, I've still got mine, just hanging in the closet.  Amazingly it still fits -except it's rather too tight around the middle and it's rather too loose across the breasts. eyesroll.gif

 

I love the table runner idea. 

 

I like the idea that dd could have it sewn into the lining of her dress. 

 

I'm glad I've kept it.  I put a lot of thought into it, and my mom made it for me.  I never managed to learn how to sew, she was a talented seamstress, so I've got a lot of mom/daughter emotions wrapped up into it.  Where's the teary-eyed, smiling emoticon?


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#21 of 29 Old 03-04-2013, 01:34 AM
 
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I'm keeping my wedding dress(well, as long as we stay married that is...).. it's just one of those things that is so special and priceless to me, that I can't bear to sell or donate it. 

If you've held on to it for 10 years and always had hesitations, I'd say that's a sign to hold on to it :) ONE thing that's life changing, sentimental, and beautiful can stay in the home, even if it'll never be used again ;)


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#22 of 29 Old 03-04-2013, 07:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goobergrl6 View Post

I guess I am odd. About 2 years ago I put mine up on freecycle. We had been married 11 years at that point and I was tired of it taking up closet space. The lady who came to get it for her daughter was VERY grateful even though it was nothing fancy. They could not afford a dress and now her daughter was going to be able to be married in a "wedding" dress. I don't regret it at all and do not miss it. 

 

Lisa

 

Timely appearance of this thread because I am struggling with the wedding dress issue too.  I wish I could come across someone like mentioned above that wanted a dress.  However, I don't think my DH would let it go.  He is far more of a hoarder than I am.  I never got it cleaned so it just hangs in the closet, not taking up much room.


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#23 of 29 Old 04-04-2013, 02:07 PM
 
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Mine is very simple but I paid a boatload more than I should have to have a seamstress make it. Lots of hand beading. Been married 5 years and hopefully one of my two daughters will want it someday- it's simple enough that it shouldn't ever look really outdated (I don't think-ha!) but my SIL had hers made into a christening gown and its darling!
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#24 of 29 Old 04-04-2013, 07:44 PM
 
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My dress was altered from my mother's dress.  It is super simple with a detachable train, so it could be worn again if I ever had some formal or dressy event to go to (not likely).  It was so wonderful to have my mom's dress and I will certainly save it for my daughters.  Of course, since my marriage has ended I don't know if they will want to use it.  But, they can decide what they want to do with it.  It doesn't take up much space at all, though.  If it were a big dress I might have other thoughts.  

 

Now my big question... that I was actually about to post here when I saw this thread.... is what to do with my GRANDMOTHER's wedding dress????

 

She was married around 1930.  It is a beautiful all silk dress, hand sewn, with an amazing long lace veil.  I even have her silk stockings and handkerchief.   The thing is that it is practically falling apart it is so fragile.  I can't even touch the veil without it coming apart.  It was in her attic for decades, then my parents had it and didn't know what to do with it.  So I took it.  It can't be worn again.  I don't know that we can even make it into something new since the silk is so fragile.  But I simply can't throw it out.  

 

I had the thought today that I should at least take it out and take a lot of photos of it so I can at least preserve the memory.  When I was younger we found my great grandmother's wedding dress in an old trunk.  I used to dress up in it, but we never took photos.  I don't know where it is now, I suppose the relative who moved into that house probably tossed it out since it was falling apart.  I'm so sad that we didn't at least take pictures so we could remember what it looked like.  It was so beautiful.

 

So, I'm wondering what you would do with your grandmother's dress if you had it?  

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#25 of 29 Old 04-05-2013, 08:02 AM
 
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How about taking your favorite piece(s) and framing it with the stockings and part if the veil? If there's special beading it embroidery or whatever it'd be pretty to look at.
Take a full picture of it too too keep with it. Like a memory/shadow box frame?
I never thought of using my moms- hers was gorgeous but yellowed like crazy. greensad.gif
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#26 of 29 Old 04-05-2013, 08:34 AM
 
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Quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post

I want to make mine into a patchwork quilt, using the wedding dress, parts of DD's baby and little girl dresses, DH's shirts, etc. I really want to do this. I just have to find a quilter I trust.
 
Originally Posted by justmeandmybrood View Post



Ooh - this is such a great idea!  I have been saving "quiltable" clothes from my children for years to make quilts out of them, but I never considered adding things from DH and me - and that would be such a neat way to repurpose the quilt (and quite symbolic, which I love)!  Thanks for sharing!

 

 

Me too!  I have my 3 favorite maternity shirts, and a tub of my favorite baby/toddler clothes and I pick one shirt that is "them" each season now that they're older.....but adding a piece of my wedding dress is BRILLIANT!  I'm pretty sure my daughter wouldn't want to wear my dress as is if she gets married - nor could she, now that I think about it, as I'm 5 feet tall and she's taking after my husband's side and will likely be 5' 6"+.....so this is fantastic.  I bet you my son would even want a piece of it somehow if he gets married- he's a sentimental guy.  I can think of a few of DH's pieces I'll have to snag for this, as well - thanks so much again!!


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#27 of 29 Old 04-12-2013, 06:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asherie23 View Post

my SIL had hers made into a christening gown and its darling!

 

That's a really good idea - it can be passed through the family to those that have children. That's a great idea for families that participate in christenings. And for those that don't celebrate that tradition, I wonder if dresses could be refashioned into a coming-home-from-the-hospital outfit or a receiving blanket...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaRuga View Post

My dress was altered from my mother's dress.  It is super simple with a detachable train, so it could be worn again if I ever had some formal or dressy event to go to (not likely).  It was so wonderful to have my mom's dress and I will certainly save it for my daughters.  Of course, since my marriage has ended I don't know if they will want to use it.  But, they can decide what they want to do with it.  It doesn't take up much space at all, though.  If it were a big dress I might have other thoughts.  

 

Now my big question... that I was actually about to post here when I saw this thread.... is what to do with my GRANDMOTHER's wedding dress????

 

She was married around 1930.  It is a beautiful all silk dress, hand sewn, with an amazing long lace veil.  I even have her silk stockings and handkerchief.   The thing is that it is practically falling apart it is so fragile.  I can't even touch the veil without it coming apart.  It was in her attic for decades, then my parents had it and didn't know what to do with it.  So I took it.  It can't be worn again.  I don't know that we can even make it into something new since the silk is so fragile.  But I simply can't throw it out.  

 

I had the thought today that I should at least take it out and take a lot of photos of it so I can at least preserve the memory.  When I was younger we found my great grandmother's wedding dress in an old trunk.  I used to dress up in it, but we never took photos.  I don't know where it is now, I suppose the relative who moved into that house probably tossed it out since it was falling apart.  I'm so sad that we didn't at least take pictures so we could remember what it looked like.  It was so beautiful.

 

So, I'm wondering what you would do with your grandmother's dress if you had it?  

 

I saw an interesting idea on Pinterest awhile back - the framed wedding dress. It was hung in a lady's walk-in closet. Of course, this assumes that one would have quite a bit of wall space to hang such a thing - it's not like we live in the Victorian era with separate dressing rooms and such... but if you have the space, maybe this would be an option.

 

Or what about using bits of the fabric to make a smaller wall hanging or shadow box? You could do a shadow box with the fabric as the background, the lace or embellishments as the border, a photo of your grandparents on their wedding day and any other mementos that you have or could replicate (like silk versions of the flowers they had at their wedding), their invitation, etc. 


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#28 of 29 Old 06-03-2014, 12:03 PM
 
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Fairytale Brides Dress donation

We are Fairytale Brides located in Rockville, Maryland. We are a non profit bridal salon we offer designer gowns at largely discounted prices. We do this because of brides that decide to donate or consign there gowns to us. We would like to talk with you about either donating your beautiful gown or cosigning it to us. Please feel free to visit our website fairytalebrides.org for more information. Please feel free to reply for more information.


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#29 of 29 Old 06-03-2014, 07:20 PM
 
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Location: Upper Michigan
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A local group here is taking donations of wedding gowns, and making baby gowns out of them. The gowns are given to local hospitals for babies who are stillborn, and parents keep them as a momento.
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