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5 Tips for Wearing Mom’s Wedding Dress

110413-momsdressLots of girls dream of wearing their mother’s wedding dress on their wedding day. Doing so is a special way to honor your parents’ marriage and to give a nod to your mom and your past. If you’re planning to wear Mom’s dress on your big day, keep these five tips in mind as you work with the gown.

Get Mom’s OK

You’re probably not going to wear Mom’s gown as is, so before you make any changes to the dress, Mom (or Grandma, if it’s her dress) needs to be on board. It is her gown, after all, and she has to be OK with you modifying it or taking it apart.

Know Your Style

Wearing your mother’s dress as-is could make you look old fashioned and dated, so even if you’re planning to wear her dress, it’s worth it to browse wedding magazines and look online at dresses you like. Knowing what your wedding day style is can help you work with a seamstress to make Mom’s dress match your dreams.

Be Realistic

If your mom’s dress is damaged, worn, or faded, be realistic about what you will be able to do with it. Find an expert who can assess the dress and determine whether the fabric is still strong and if any damages can be fixed. If it’s beyond repair, consider other ways you can use her dress on your big day. (See the last tip, below.)

Work With an Expert

Once you’ve got Mom’s OK and a sense of your own style, find an expert seamstress who can work transform the old gown into your modern dream dress. Someone who specializes in antique garments is the best choice if the dress is damaged, weak, or needs restoration.

Consider Your Alternatives

If Mom’s dress isn’t in a wearable condition, consider other ways you could use the material and embellishments from her dress on your wedding day. Here are some of our favorites:

  • As a ring pillow or cover for a flower girl basket
  • Pocket squares for the men
  • Handkerchiefs for yourself, the mothers, and your bridal party
  • Bouquet wraps
  • Use the lace or other detailing from her gown in your gown or veil
  • Hair accessories
  • Garter
  •  Purse
  • A sash for your gown