Today’s blog post is about one of my favorite two topics put together: heirlooms and wedding dresses! More specifically, I’m going to give you a few unique ideas for what to do with your mother’s wedding dress on your wedding day. Or maybe you have your grand mother’s veil that is so beautiful, but you aren’t quite sure what to do it with it, you just know that you want to incorporate this family heirloom into your wedding.
I guess you could say that I’ve become known for making wedding garters out of vintage wedding dresses. (Click here to see a few of the different family heirloom wedding garters that I’ve hand made over the years! I just love it when the brides (and sometimes their sisters or their moms) send me the material from their mother’s or mother-in-law’s wedding dress or veil and I turn it into a special, custom wedding garter for their family to have and pass along as an heirloom. You don’t need a lot of material to make something special for the bride to have and to hold on her wedding day; you can even cut the material from underneath the dress or in the lining if you want to keep the bulk of the wedding dress in tact for a future use. I understand, it is hard to cut that wedding dress! (I don’t even like doing it myself!)
Here is a picture of a vintage wedding dress that I use to make wedding garters out of. For this wedding dress, I typically make my polished wedding garter style.
Every time I get the vintage wedding dress material, my mind is spinning about all of the other ways besides a wedding garter that they could use this dress material. After all, once the dress is cut, it is cut! You might as well make the most of it! There is nothing like a vintage wedding dress that has been passed down from generation to generation.
Here is a round up of ways to re-use your mother’s wedding dress to create a new family heirloom.
1 – Embroidered Patch
Perhaps you’ve seen those pretty patches on the inside of a wedding dress? Sometimes the patches are embroidered in blue, or a monogram, a wedding date, a heart, a special saying or quote – the wedding dress patch options are endless. If you are looking to personalize your wedding dress or hold something extra close to your heart on your wedding day, you can sew an embroidered patch onto the inside of our wedding dress. And, you can use the material from your mother’s wedding dress for the base of the patch. For a patch, you’ll want a smooth piece of material, maybe from the skirt of the vintage wedding dress or from the lining of the dress. There are lots of sellers on Etsy who make these embroidered patches, our you could embroider it yourself by hand. (Check out this tutorial that I did for Snippet & Ink about how to hand embroider the inside of your wedding dress!)
2 – Alter It
I think many mothers have this vision that they will save their wedding dress and their daughter will wear it for their own wedding some day. After all, what else are you saving that dress for!? Wearing someone else’s wedding dress – even if it is your mother – is tough. The wedding trends change and certainly no two bodies are alike. Wearing another person’s wedding dress can be difficult, but if you have the right alterations person, it can be done and it will look amazing. You can take off sleeves, take out fullness, change necklines – the option are endless! One of my favorite wedding dress alterations is to shorten it and wear as a fun wedding reception second dress! So, before you cast off your mother’s wedding dress as terribly out of style, think about it more closely. Can you alter it? Can you make a few changes so that you’ll love it? Maybe!
3 – Ring Pillow
To make a wedding ring pillow extra special and an instant heirloom, you can add material from your mother’s wedding dress to the pillow. You can make the whole pillow from the vintage wedding dress material, or you could purchase plain a pillow from a craft store and add your own decorations from the vintage dress. If you purchase a pillow, you wouldn’t need to sew and could probably hot glue the lace and beads onto the pillow. For a ring pillow, you could use just about any part of the vintage wedding dress – the sleeves, the neckline or stripes of lace – any part! You’ll only need a little bit of material for a small pillow, so you have more options of what parts of the dress to use.
Here is a picture of the wedding dress that is made of lace that I use to make my exquisite wedding garter style…
4 – Tulle Skirt for Flower Girl
If you are going to have a flower girl or two at your wedding, you could turn the tulle lining from your mother’s wedding dress into a skit for the flower girl. Some of the vintage wedding dresses have plenty of tulle and lining underneath the main part of the wedding dress that you could use. Since the flower girl is small, you won’t need as much tulle as you think. What flower girl wouldn’t love a readig, beautiful tulle skirt to twirl around in on her, err I mean your, wedding day!?
5 – Bouquet Wrap
Your wedding florist will most likely need something to wrap around your bridal bouquet to cover those gorgeous stems. You could trim off a long piece of your mother’s wedding dress and have the florist use this material instead of their own ribbon. The florist will need a long piece of material that is a few inches wide most likely from the hem (or bottom) of the wedding dress. Sections in the lining or the skirt of the dress would be ideal here. Sections of the dress that have beads or buttons might not be the best for the bouquet wrap, because you’ll have to hold it and you don’t want to hold beads – it will hurt your hand after a while! Look for the smooth and soft parts of the wedding dress.
Will you use your mother’s wedding dress? If so, how? Let me know!