Wedding dress after the wedding?
June 1, 2005 10:42 AM   Subscribe

What did you do with your wedding dress? It's been two years and mine is still hanging in my closet. I don't know what to do with it.

I find myself sorta attached to the damn thing but I hate the idea of preserving it in one of those wedding gown sarcophagi. It's a simple (for a wedding gown, at least) dress and I suppose, should I ever be invited to a really fancy party that's not a wedding, I could wear it again. Thoughts?
posted by Sully6 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total)
Mine's also hanging in my closet and is pretty simple (plain white slip dress with rhinestone spaghetti straps, very minimal train).

I tell myself that I'll wear it maybe if I go on a cruise during the summer or as a halloween costume (zombie bride type thing). Someone also suggested that I have it dyed and I could wear it to a formal event.
posted by superkim at 10:47 AM on June 1, 2005

Hee, I still have both of mine...the one from my doomed teenage love and the one from the marriage that "stuck". ;)

The first one is a probably 150 years old, watered silk, hand tatted lace, hand sewn seed pearls, a stunning 19th century wedding dress. (And I look at it and wonder how I ever got tiny enough to be stuffed into it...I swear the thing is like a size 4...and I have a set of natural 48DD that have been with me since puberty. )

The second dress was referred to by anyone that had any part in transporting it for more than 2 or 3 feet as "The Beast". I dunno what I was thinking. I'm so not one of the cupcake girly-girl bride people...and yet, there it was, a dress big enough to have a small village camp under the belle of the skirt. Big, giant, heavy, OMFG what were you thinking - dress. (I just love it, it's the most girly thing I've ever owned. It's like playing Princess dress up. I's weird.)

Both of them, taking up vast amounts of closet space...and the first wedding was 20 years I've carted it around trying to figure out what to do for a long time.

I finally made a decision not too long ago. I'm donating the dress to the DAR. The original owner, my great grandmother was a very active DAR member, as was my grandmother. The DAR has a dress exhibit either at the main DC location or as part of the Smithsonian, and they've said they'll display it and and a small reproduction of a painting of my greatgran. It'll be considered a loan, in case my son marries a tiny woman who wants to wear it, or perhaps he has a tiny daughter...still, it'll be out of my closet and I won't have to think about it any more. :)

The Beast...I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it. Part of me (the rational, trying to recover closet space side) says to take it to a resale place, or ebay it or something. Good god, nobody needs that much dress in their closet. But the sentimental side of me wants to encapsulate it and save it forever. So, I'm torn. But the idea of tagging it "future costume potential" has a lot of merit. One, it's a really good idea and two, it allows me to keep the dress for another few years guilt free because, after all, it does have a purpose, albeit unrealized.
posted by dejah420 at 11:17 AM on June 1, 2005

er, that 48 should be a 38...just for the record...I'm not a fullback. ;)
posted by dejah420 at 11:20 AM on June 1, 2005

I saw an episode of Changing Rooms on BBC America (the original version of Trading Spaces, where they had the wedding dress pressed and put in a large frame which was hung on the wall of a bedroom. It was actually lovely!

No matter what you do with it, you have beautiful pictures of you in it, so you have it forever.

I have a similar yet different problem. I am divorced, and I had the most gorgeous wedding dress. My relationship with my ex is very good, so I am still able to really value the pictures and the dress itself, but what to do with it! I can't display it now. And I hate to sell it. I wonder if it's bad luck to have it retooled if I ever get married again!
posted by abbyladybug at 11:23 AM on June 1, 2005

Mine is still in my closet 15 years post-divorce, and I'm not sentimental about it at all. It's a very simple silk thing (I was described as looking like "Zelda Fitzgerald without the insanity"), and it's been in the plastic bag all this time so god knows what kind of shape it's in. I've been meaning to take it to a consignment shop, if it's not damaged, but have just been too lazy. I'd have to drop 3 dress sizes to get into it again, so even if I wanted to, that's not really an option.
posted by matildaben at 11:34 AM on June 1, 2005

I still have my vintage dress from an earlier marriage, and when Halloween comes 'round, this is what I do with it (self link).

Probably not the best solution if you have a sentimental attachment to the dress.
posted by frykitty at 12:08 PM on June 1, 2005

I had mine preserved. I'm a munchkin, and so I kind of doubt any relatives would want it, but if they did ever, it will be in fabulous shape. And, it takes up less room this way. Maybe one day I will have it framed or something, but for now preservation was the best option for me. Mine, though, is not "other party" material, so you may just be well enough wearing it to another party. :)
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:26 PM on June 1, 2005

I went the 'wedding gown sarcophagi' route (great phrase!) when my ex-husband and I were still together. It can be done well, but I also had an attic, instead of a closet, to store it in. Nearly any dry-cleaners can help you out if you're interested.

To celebrate my divorce, I gave the beautifully preserved dress to my daughter for re-tooling as a costume. I can't wait to see what she does with it.

Hope you find your solution soon!
posted by Space Kitty at 12:29 PM on June 1, 2005

A lot of people have christianing gowns made from their wedding dresses, or at least from the trains.

My ex, the creep, kept my dress - but at least I don't have to figure out what to do with it.
posted by LadyBonita at 12:31 PM on June 1, 2005

I saw a website that will turn your dress into an "heirloom" quilt. I guess so you can sleep with your special daaaaaaayyyyyy for the rest of your life. I liked the idea, but not a fan of the finished product that I saw.

My mom took my dress and had it preserved while I was on my honeymoon. It's now in a big bulky box at their house. I don't know where to put it, so I'm going to see how long I can leave it where it is.

It's not the type of dress that I'd wear again. I loved it, but it is a wedding dress. Although, I do like to get drunk and wear my tiara and veil around the house on the weekends... ;)
posted by krisobi at 12:43 PM on June 1, 2005 [1 favorite]

Go bowling in it! Wear it to Burning Man. Go clubbing. Go grocery shopping. Skeet shooting. Square dancing. Hiking. Go to the library. Go to the movies. Seduce your Significant Other!
posted by loquacious at 12:44 PM on June 1, 2005

LadyB, that's what we did in my family. My mom and her two sisters all got married in the same gown, but none of the females of my generation had the tiny 1960's physique to wear it, so now all of our kids have gotten baptized in it.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:47 PM on June 1, 2005

DIY storage.

"that 48 should be a 38" Whew!
posted by mischief at 1:17 PM on June 1, 2005

Post divorce, I gave mine (gorgeous, seed pearls, lace, etc.) to a local theatre and they were happy to have it. I like the thought of it occasionally parading across the stage, preferably in some really strange experimental piece. Of course, I got it at a thrift shop to begin with for $15, so it might be cursed.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:20 PM on June 1, 2005

I read in The Age of Innocence that there was a tradition in olde New York of wearing your wedding dress again on the anniversary of your wedding.

I loved the idea, and since both of my dresses were very simple white summerdress-style, that's what I've ended up doing, every anniversary. I gave the first one to Goodwill after the divorce, and the second just hangs in the closet the rest of the year. Granted, it's a beautiful little spaghettistrap thing, so it takes very little room.

Find a way to use it! The baby christening idea is lovely.
posted by widdershins at 1:41 PM on June 1, 2005

Mine's in a muslin bag in the cedar closet at my mom's, right next to her dress (the family christening gown is in there, too). She wore a off-white silk suit in 1962, and mine is 1980's-style Victorian with pearls (no lace). Mine was custom made, so I don't just want to dump it. My daughter will not be able to wear either one -- she's a swimmer, and has wide shoulders. I will worry about what to do with them when the folks move out. I'll probably wind up with them in a cedar closet at my house, along with some of the other things in that closet....
posted by jlkr at 2:03 PM on June 1, 2005

I still have mine. The style remains fashionable, silk with swarovski crystals, if it wasn't for its size I would most probably sell it.
posted by Chimp at 3:41 PM on June 1, 2005

My boss' wife kept hers and they were glad to have it when they renewed their vows. It was however hideous. I didn't quite know what to say when he pulled it out of a bag, having brought it in for dry cleaning. Medieval style! Yikes! She must have looked like something from an LARPG on her wedding day...
posted by dmt at 3:50 PM on June 1, 2005

You can donate it in some places, to be sold again. There still is a place in Toronto, but I can't find the address right now (I was going to buy from them).
posted by jb at 12:18 AM on June 2, 2005

I'm not married, but my mom dyed hers blue, cut off the train, and let it out 3 inches (!) and gave it to me to wear for an outdoor ball when I was 21 - it rained, and the Indian silk ended up with 6 inches of mud on it...
posted by altolinguistic at 1:10 AM on June 2, 2005

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