So you’re getting married and there’s so much to organize that you feel like your head might explode. One way to quickly tick a point off your to-do list is to wear your mother’s wedding dress. This way you’ll save yourself multiple wedding dress shopping trips and fittings, plus the possible heartache of not being able to find the perfect dress of your dreams. Sure, your mom’s dress might not be what you envisaged yourself getting married in, but don’t turn your nose up just yet. Wearing a wedding dress from another decade might surprise you.
As I prepare for my own wedding, I’m realizing that there are many benefits to wearing your mother’s bridal gown. Besides the practicality, you’ll also be able to show your mom how much she means to you, avoid unnecessary shopping trips (especially rad if you hate shopping), and you could end up saving yourself a ridiculous amount of money. Chances are you’re only going to wear it one time anyway, so what’s the point of blowing your budget on a single dress? IMO, there are more important things to spend your hard-earned dollars on, like a chocolate fountain filled with all the snacks. So if you want to get thrifty or nostalgic, here’s how to make your mom’s wedding dress your own.
1. Change The Color
Changing up the color of your mom’s old dress could really bring it into the 21st century. Depending on the material of the gown, you could dye it at home using a home dye kit, or you could entrust it to a local dressmaker or designer. You can pick your favorite color, or plan your entire color scheme around your wedding dress hue. You could even be your own “something blue.” Well, if it was good enough for Blair Waldorf, it’s good enough for me.
2. Banish The Frou-Frou
During college, I attended an incredible vintage fair in London where I snagged the most beautifully horrific vintage wedding dress for very little money. My friend, who was studying fashion design at the time, took one look at it and snipped it to smithereens. I was left with the most gorgeous, avant-garde gown I’d ever had the pleasure of owning.
If your mom’s dress has outdated shoulder pads or a skirt that looks like a meringue, don’t worry. Just enlist a crafty friend or a seamstress to dig beneath the frills. They may find buried treasure underneath.
3. Change The Neckline
Don’t fret if your mom’s dress has an outdated neckline; this is something that can be changed. Take a look at all of the styles of necklines you can choose from and then pick the one you love. There are some styles that will be easier to achieve than others, such as changing a jewel neckline into an asymmetric or one-shouldered style. If a friend or family member is super at sewing, show them the dress and see what they suggest.
4. Embellish It
A bridal gown can be totally transformed with the addition of embellishments, and there are so many types to choose from. Different types of embellishments could include the addition of: Beads, sequins, pearls, feathers, crystals, applique, and more. This is a great option for brides who want to really put their own stamp on their mom’s old dress, especially if the original one is plain or simple in style.
5. Add A Petticoat
Adding a petticoat to a wedding dress is an inexpensive way to make your mom’s wedding dress unique to you, while adding an immediate pop of color. You could even get your bridesmaids to wear color coordinating or contrasting petticoats to match. This is a great fix for tea length or 1950s dresses and it’ll be add a fantastic flourish to a vintage-themed wedding.
If you don’t want to change the dress itself, you can easily transform the entire look by adding bridal accessories. There are tons to choose from and the only limit is your imagination. Bridal accessories include, but are by no means limited to: Jewelry, veils, belts, shawls, capes, boleros, gloves, shoes, handbags, parasols, tiaras, and hair accessories. You’ll be spoiled for choice.
7. Completely Alter It
It might be a good idea to ask your mom if you can seriously alter her old wedding dress before you take the plunge. You could use her dress as a jumping off point and then completely re-design it. Go shorter, go longer, add accents, strip away parts you dislike, or use the material to make something completely new. The choice is yours, and if you’ve got the green flag from mom, you can turn her old dress into the one of your dreams.
So if you want to save time, money, and stress while adding a nostalgic twist to your wedding, consider wearing your mom’s old bridal gown. It’s a win, win wedding situation if I ever heard of one.