Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: How to Incorporate Your Mom’s Wedding Dress

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A answered by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

It’s that time of the week where we answer your most pressing wedding planning questions and get you the answers you need for your wedding planning success.  Today we’re talking about sentimental items and including a mom’s wedding dress.

Q: I’m getting married next year and while I’m thrilled I’m also a bit sad because my mother is no longer with me.  I know she’ll be there in spirit, but I’d like to have something of hers with me all day.  I was thinking about using her wedding dress somehow.  But, I didn’t have any ideas on how to do that since I don’t want to actually wear her dress.  Do you have some suggestions that could help me?

First off, I’m sorry that your mom isn’t around as I know how hard that can be during such a big event in your life.  And secondly, I love that you want to have a piece of her with you all day and I think she’d love that too.  Incorporating your mom’s wedding dress into your wedding is a really nice touch because it’s something she wore on her big day and something that will probably not serve any other purpose in the future.

But, before you go cutting up your mom’s wedding dress, make sure you don’t have any sisters who would want to wear it (we don’t want a 27 Dresses issue here).  Or any daughters who might want it or it’s not something so vintage and fabulous that you’ll want to keep it intact.  If none of those apply, then you are ready to get creative!

What you decide to do will obviously depend a bit on the dress itself and what material it is made of, but here are 5 ideas for you ponder and brainstorm through.

1. Make her dress a part of your dress.  You may not want to wear your mom’s wedding dress, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include some of it into your dress.  If you are buying a gown off the rack or designing your own, you can find a way to corporate a piece of your mom’s wedding dress.  This could be something people will see like a trim or piece of lace that gets added to your dress (or your veil).  Or something no one sees, like a patch sewn into your bodice near your heart.

2. Turn her dress into your reception dress.  Get her dress remade into a style that fits your personality.  You can make it your fun dress that you change into for the dancing part of the evening.  This way you can still have your dress that you picked out and love, but also have her dress redone in a new way.  This way it’s part her and part you.

3. Use some of the material for your accessories.  You can turn the dress into a vintage clutch or shawl or handkerchief or even a hair accessory.  You can use it for the wedding and can keep it for later use after the wedding.

4. Use the fabric to wrap your bouquet in.  Most times bouquets are wrapped in silk ribbon, so why not use a piece of your mother’s dress instead?  Ask your floral designer how long it should be and then give the material (with the edges pre-sewn) to them.  And then every time you hold your bouquet you’ll be holding your mom’s hand too.

5. Incorporate the dress design into your decor.  Now while I wouldn’t necessarily use her actual dress in your decor (you don’t want to wipe your mouth on your mom’s wedding dress), you can use her dress to inspire part of your decor.  Perhaps there is a detail to the dress that is especially pretty like the way the fabric is gathered or the way the beadwork looks or the special buttons on the dress.  You can take that detail and weave it into your decor in the table design or the invitations or the cake or your ceremony backdrop.

Hopefully this gets your brain thinking through some of your options and will spark some other ideas as well.

White wedding bouquet accented with the bride's mom's wedding dress and father's watch for a Hawaii destination wedding by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Emily Piraino)

Struggling with your wedding planning?  Ask us your question in a comment below and we’ll get you sorted out.

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