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Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

What happened to the wedding dress?

Asked by Pied_Pfeffer (22567 points ) September 5th, 2012

Inspired by this question, it makes me wonder what happened to yours or your partner’s.

If you decided to keep it, why? If you opted to do something else with it, what was it?

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38 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

I thought it was silly to have a dress you only wore once in your life. Mine was a beige silk dress with a calf length full skirt. It had a scoop neck and no sleeves. There was a short lace jacket to go over the basic dress and small lace head band with a little veil. After the wedding, I put away the little jacket an veil and kept it as a keepsake for many years. On our honeymoon, I wore the dress with a bright red orange silk stole to the opera and for other formal type occasions until until after my kids were born and I never recovered my 22 inch waist. It was worth the trade off.

lookingglassx3's avatar

I’m not married, but when my mum and dad got married they had very, very little money, so my mum borrowed a friend’s wedding dress. A few years later, the friend whom she’d borrowed it off divorced her husband, and threw the wedding dress in a rubbish skip! My mum was hurt because it was her wedding dress, too. Quite a sad story really. That dress held significant memories for more than one person yet now it’s gone for good.

creative1's avatar

@lookingglassx3 At least she has the pictures and the momories of her wedding to fall back on.

gailcalled's avatar

I lent mine to someone, and over the mists of time, it vanished. Interesting that I paid so little attention. I do hope it had a long and happy life.

zenvelo's avatar

My ex took hers and had it professionally sealed in a box to give to our daughter. It’s in her garage somewhere. I have no idea if my daughter wants it.

JLeslie's avatar

Mine is hanging in a closet. I didn’t have it sealed air tight, it’s just hanging there like other dresses.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The dress my now ex-wife wore at our wedding was made by her maternal grandmother. My ex’s mother and her two aunts each wore it at their weddings.

The grandmother in question was suffering from Alzheimer’s when we got married, but she came to the ceremony. She brightened up tremendously at the sight of that dress. She was generally unresponsive to other stimuli in the day, but that sight moved her. It gives me chicken skin remembering it.

chyna's avatar

I gave mine to goodwill when I got divorced.

kitchi1's avatar

My moms is in a box. It will be handed down to me whenever I get married.

marinelife's avatar

I still have it. I don’t know why.

Bellatrix's avatar

My first wedding dress was left in the top of the wardrobe when I left the marital home for the last time. No idea what my ex did with it… probably best I don’t think about that.

My second wedding dress is in a box in my bedroom. I am never going to wear it again and I have no plans to do anything with it. I can’t see one of my daughters wanting to wear it.

Shippy's avatar

I hired my dress, even at 19 I had the sense to know it would cost too much, then rot in the wardrobe ever after. I don’t put too much value on material.

noraasnave's avatar

My first ex-wife’s wedding dress sold for $1 (US) on ebay. It was a complete accident, since it was first item I tried to sell ever. I ended up getting the shipping messed up…so that is was over $200 just for shipping within CONUS!! Well one person bid a dollar on it, then won, then asked me if the shipping cost was right. When fixed the shipping cost was $10.

After I got over the annoyance, it was strangely cathartic to box it up, mail it to someone else so cheaply. It was worth $100,000 when my first ex asked me what I did with it!!!!!!

Can you imagine telling an ex wife that you sold her wedding dress for $1??!!

Incidentally, I felt so good because she left me and our children and found a new family.

SuperMouse's avatar

I happily let the dress I was wearing the first time I got married in the rafters in my old house. Maybe 100 years from now someone will find it and decide it was worn by a woman who lived happily ever after. The dress I wore for my second wedding is hanging in my closet and I will probably wear it when I start student teaching in the spring. Every time I see it I smile and wearing it makes me happy.

tedibear's avatar

The wedding dress from my first marriage went to a thrift shop. It had been living in the attic and after we split, I just wanted it gone. The wedding dress from my marriage to the right person is hanging in my closet. It’s about three sizes too big, so I hope I can’t ever wear it again!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

My mom kept my dress from my 1st wedding. My sister said she’d want to be married in it but it’s too tiny now so we just keep it as a memento of the fantastic seamstress work my ex mother-in-law did. If someone wanted that dress, I think I’d be fine to give it up.

The dress from my recent marriage? I’m keeping that to be buried in, veil and all ;p

geeky_mama's avatar

My grandma saved her (early 1940s) wedding dress and I wore it in a church “fashion show” when I was about 17. It fit me perfectly and made my gram so happy to see me in it.. As lovely as Gram’s dress was…it was a bit yellowed and it was long-sleeved, so when I married I bought a strapless gown off the rack (Jessica McClintock) that didn’t look so bridal..
Because it doesn’t look totally like a wedding dress..I saved it a dress bag in our house tucked away…and if I ever get that skinny again and have an event I could wear a fancy gown to…well, I might just wear it again.
Otherwise, like my prom dresses (yes, I still have those, too) it’s around the house available for my teenaged daughters to re-purpose a la this scene in Pretty in Pink and/or mock.

My best friend already re-used my veil when she married, which was cool.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I just got married in May of this year, and I paid an extra $100 to get a preservation kit from David’s Bridal. I packed up the dress and sent it off, didn’t have to pay any postage, and got it back two weeks later in a gorgeous box along with my veil, pressed and preserved with a 30-year warranty. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

It’s probably silly to preserve and keep a dress, but I wasn’t going to spend $800 on a dress just for it to sit in my closet and get dingy or ruined. If I have a daughter, I’ll give it to her if she wants to either wear it as it is or modernize it for whenever she gets married. If I don’t have a daughter, I guess it’s just going to be on display until I find a use for it.

tranquilsea's avatar

@JLeslie mine is hanging up too. I have no idea what it looks like 19 years later. Maybe I should pull it out.

linguaphile's avatar

I designed mine in a Shakespearean fashion and had it made for me from 4 different white fabrics. I really, really loved that dress.

10 years into my ex-marriage, the ex told me the day the doors opened to reveal me in this dress at the end of the aisle, I looked foolish and ridiculous and he had thought, “What the hell is that.” For a long time, that shattered the pride and love I felt for the whole day and the dress. I had planned to throw it out—but could never find the box it was in.

Until last summer. My son, out of the blue, told me that he remembers being 6 and seeing his mom looking so beautiful. He helped make sure that day wasn’t so ugly. I found the dress during the recent move and didn’t throw it out—I’m tempted to dye it and use if for Ren-Fests, but am not sure how the results will turn out.

augustlan's avatar

My first wedding dress (very traditional) is in a box in my ex-husband’s basement, as are all of our other wedding mementos. We decided to keep it all in case any of our girls want any of it later on. My second dress was far less traditional, and is hanging in my closet. I could conceivably wear it again someday, if the right event came along.

JLeslie's avatar

@tranquilsea I haven’t looked at mine in years also. Actually, I am married 19 years as well, but I did take a glance at it maybe 10 years ago. I always thought I could use it as a halloween dress or something? But, I can’t fit in it for sure. It was very tight the day I was married and that was 20 pounds less on my body. The “skirt” was torn during the first 30 minutes of my reception. A relative of my husband stepped on it being too aggressive during the hora (circle dance). Probably it could be fixed easily or hidden easily as that part of the dress is layers of tulle.

tranquilsea's avatar

@JLeslie my daughter has asked me periodically to pull it out and try it on. I’m not up for that disappointment lol.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m going to pull it out today. Now I am curious.

Sunny2's avatar

@linguaphile By all means try dyeing it. Use a pastel dye in case you want to change the color. Each of the different white fabrics should pick up the dye so you’ll still see the differences

Sunny2's avatar

So many mothers save their dresses in hopes that their daughters will wear them. I’m glad I didn’t do that. I’m 5’6”, My daughter is 5’11”.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Mom put her wedding dress, a simple mid-calf slinky thing, in our dress-up box. We didn’t know its initial purpose until years later. Both of my sisters’ dresses have been hanging in one of Mom’s closets since their weddings 30+ years ago.

@linguaphile That sounds like a wonderful idea.
@tranquilsea and @JLeslie So…have you hunted down the dress and checked it out again?

JLeslie's avatar

I have to admit I was a little dissappointed that it seems the back of the dress must have been exposed to some intense heat (probably during a move). The plastic garment bag looks a little rippled like it was near something hot, and the fabric behind that area is yellowed. It is just part of the train, so could be cut away, and that is the lining of the train so it would be covered by tulle even if it was not cut or replaced. The hanger it was on had a black cushion for the shoulders and that has degraded and fallen apart all over the dress. At first it looked like the dress had black mold patches, freaked me out, but it is just the black foam and can be shaken off. I kind of wish I had protected it, had sealed it up air tight. Not sure what I am going to do with it at this point.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer nope. I haven’t looked at it since I put it away…which makes me wonder why I’m even keeping it lol.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@tranquilsea That is a whole other question. Now I wonder how many daughters wear their mother’s, or any other relatives for that matter, wedding dress for their own ceremony.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I would guess very very few. Just a guess. Especially in the last 50 years. What do you think?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie Out of all of the weddings I have attended, which isn’t a lot, no bride has ever worn a wedding dress that came from a family member. Since my experience is limited, it would be interesting to hear from people who do, especially if they come from different cultures than ours.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Good point. It would be interesting to know what other cultures do. My exoerience is very limited also. America culturally is now so new and disposable minded, you know what I mean? In general. Plus, I think most young women want to define themselves as an independent person from her family, and even the dress style would possibly symbolize that. Lastly, I think in the last 100 years probably women tend to be larger in stature than the previous generation, but of course that is not always true. Anyway, that the logic behind my guess, but I really have no statistical data, it’s my perception.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie Exactly. Even my uber skinny sister couldn’t fit into Mom’s wedding dress at the age of 18. Nor would any of the three of us choose to wear it, even if we could. It seems like most of us gravitate to different styles based upon the times and our personalities.

Do women hold on to their wedding dress because there is the possibility that a future child will wear it? What if that doesn’t happen? Isn’t it time to let it go? Or is it because we have the space to store it? I understand the sentimental value, but there comes a point where an article of clothing that never gets worn again, much less looked at, just needs to be passed forward.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I held onto my wedding dress for the same reason I held onto letters my husband has written and the little gift I have been given when I attend a baby shower, or the cards with prayers when I attend a funeral. It is a keepsake of the event. I never would expect my daughter to wear my dress, or have some sort of desire for that. I would want her to have her own, or she could wear mine, or whatever she wants. I don’t think I would be a mini me type mom. I find it enthralling when kids have their own interests and styles. I would guess that handing down a dress was practical for people who did not have the means to easily afford a dress.

linguaphile's avatar

I have my grandmother’s wedding dress from the late 30’s. It’s a navy blue shirtwaist dress with tiny white polkadots and white trim. It looks like it’s size 2 by today’s standards.

I’m not sure why I still have it, or if it will go anywhere other than the chest it has been in for the past 80 years. Umm….

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@linguaphile The grandmother’s wedding dress sounds lovely. You have a young daughter, no? How about letting her try it on and taking a photo. I wish we had one when we were still able to fit in Mom’s wedding dress.

linguaphile's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer That’s an idea! I’ll do that :)

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