Something Old, Something Borrowed

A New Life for Your Old Wedding Dress

by Sylvana Budesheim

With the popularity of shows like “Say Yes to the Dress,” it is clear that a major focal point of today’s wedding is the gown. Brides spend copious amounts of time, effort and money finding the ‘perfect’ gown,  appropriate for the time of day and year, the location, and the bride herself.

It is almost amusing to see how so much can go into an article of clothing which will only be used once.

Brides spend copious amounts of time, effort and money finding the ‘perfect’ gown.

The Problem of the Traditional Option

What to do with that ornate—and expensive—wedding gown once the ceremony and reception have passed? Dry cleaners suggest that brides have dresses cleaned and preserved, so the silk, organza, and tulle don’t yellow and any cake frosting or stray makeup is carefully removed.

There is also the chance that the properly preserved dress will make another appearance in due time, on a bride’s female relative in the next generation; a daughter, a niece, or perhaps a god-daughter.

Unfortunately, since there is no guarantee that size or style are hereditary, many a preserved wedding dress is left to languish in the box.

Unfortunately, since there is no guarantee that size or style are hereditary, many a preserved wedding dress is left to languish in the box.

Trashing — Or Looking to the Future?

Popular society has embraced the nihilistic trend of wedding gown trashing, with photographers documenting the gown’s burning or shredding.

Thankfully, there is a kinder option, especially for those brides who look forward to motherhood with joy and longing. Today, there are seamstresses who specialize in cutting wedding gowns into beautiful and ornate baptismal gowns, thereby extending the Sacraments of the Church into the next generation.

Popular society has embraced the nihilistic trend of wedding gown trashing, with photographers documenting the gown’s burning or shredding.

Other brides will carry a handkerchief as their “something old,” a reference to the old anonymous poem about what will bring good luck to a bride. The handkerchief is something of the bygone era for the most part, but some are especially made with a dual purpose. With a few stitches, the handkerchief becomes a bonnet for the new baby to wear with their baptismal gown.

Your wedding gown is more than a pretty dress. Understood properly, and in the right hands, it can become a window to the past, or a treasured gift for the future.

Photograph (1)Photograph (2)

This bride, confident that her daughters would be much too tall to have inherited her dress, made the decision to turn it into a baptismal gown.

A former teacher, Sylvana Budesheim uses her Education degrees to ensure her four children are always grammatically correct and help the occasional student file a better college application essay. Her blog can be found at www.incidentproneSAHM.wordpress.com.

 


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