Ask Unclutterer: What to do with a wedding dress?

Reader Allie submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer:

I’ve been enjoying (and learning from) Unclutterer for quite some time, and am now downsizing from 1800 sq ft in a big city to 1000 sq ft on a lake in the country. Of the few things that I am not ready to unclutter, my wedding dress is one of them. After our wedding, I had my dress professionally cleaned and boxed, but the box is HUGE and much too large for our new wee cottage. Do you have any suggestions for how I could store my wedding dress properly with a smaller footprint? Perhaps a very good quality garment bag? Any advice you have for me would be so gratefully received.

What to do with a wedding dress is often a polarizing topic. It charges up emotions in people who are married, people who have been married but aren’t currently, and even people who aren’t married but have inherited their mothers’ gowns and/or their grandmothers’ gowns. I’ve joked with other professional organizers that the first rule of professional organizing is not discussing wedding gowns with clients. It’s a topic I like to avoid without exception.

But … I’m making the exception to my normal rule of not writing about wedding dresses because you have already decided to keep your dress and you are secure in this decision. I’m still crossing my fingers as I type, however, in hopes of not offending you.

Let me tell you about my dress and the path it has taken, which will hopefully be beneficial to you as you make your decision. The first thing you need to know is that I had a lot of fun at my wedding reception. By the time the celebration was over, I had chocolate icing smeared on the front of my dress (not sure how this happened), wine and other drinks spilled on the back of it (accidentally, by guests), and a good rip in the bottom hem (a mishap I had on the dance floor). The dry cleaner did what he could to save the gown, but there was no way he could have made it pristine. I didn’t even pay him to fix the hem. He cleaned it and put it into a moth-resistant garment bag and I was okay with this.

I had wanted to be a part of the Trash the Dress project so the dress didn’t need to be perfect, but the timing never worked out for the photo shoot to happen. As a result, my dress continued to hang in the closet in its special bag for years, also taking up a good amount of space.

When we moved out of our previous house in March, I found that my dress was covered in moth larvae. In its special moth-resistant bag, in my closet that was very clean and full of lavender sachets and cedar chips, it was no match for hungry hungry moths. I had my dress dry cleaned again and boxed — stains, rips, moth holes and all. Now, my intention is to have the good pieces cut up and recycled into about two dozen handkerchiefs that I plan to give as wedding gifts to nieces, close friends, future daughter-in-law, etc.

If you get a professional garment bag for your dress, be sure to open the bag and check on your dress every month. Also, constantly stock it with fresh cedar and lavender sachets. The professional moth-resistant garment bag is key because if you leave it in a regular dry cleaning bag the bag will disintegrate and stain the dress.

Personally, I think you should keep it in the large box. Since you enjoy keeping it, choose to get rid of something else in your home that matters less to you. Every six months or so put new cedar chips and lavender sachets in the box and check it out to make sure it’s okay. The box is not fully critter proof, but so far the box has been much better than the moth-resistant garment bag I paid big bucks for that didn’t work. If you’re a millionaire, consider encasing the wedding dress box in concrete and steel and unobtanium and submerge it in the ocean like a submarine … although I wouldn’t even guarantee pesky moths couldn’t find it there …

If at some point you change your mind and choose to get rid of it, consider:

  • recycling it like Andie Walsh does in Pretty in Pink or like I plan to do with the handkerchiefs
  • donating it to Making Memories breast cancer research foundation
  • donating it to the Glass Slipper Project, which accepts all types of formal gowns to give to students who are unable to purchase prom attire
  • or if it’s couture and icing free, I think you can donate it to The Bridal Garden, a non-profit bridal shop that accepts dresses to sell to benefit educational programs for children in New York City

Thank you, Allie, for submitting your question for our Ask Unclutterer column. Be sure to check the comments for even more suggestions from our readers, and good luck with your dress storage.

Do you have a question relating to organizing, cleaning, home and office projects, productivity, or any problems you think the Unclutterer team could help you solve? To submit your questions to Ask Unclutterer, go to our contact page and type your question in the content field. Please list the subject of your e-mail as “Ask Unclutterer.” If you feel comfortable sharing images of the spaces that trouble you, let us know about them. The more information we have about your specific issue, the better.

61 Comments for “Ask Unclutterer: What to do with a wedding dress?”

  1. posted by Tammy I. on

    At the risk of angering others I have to mention http://myexwifesweddingdress.com, which includes over 101 things to do with a wedding dress. Not for those who want to preserve a precious memory, but hilarious nonetheless.

  2. posted by Damsel on

    I donated my wedding dress to my hometown high school’s drama department. They were happy to get it!

  3. posted by lex on

    In Jewish communities there are people who collect wedding dresses and give or lend them to poor brides who cannot afford a new dress. it is called a ”gemach”. it is a wonderful way to recycle a dress, and you can claim a tax deduction. there are many in the MY and NJ area, but also in other metro,cities.

  4. posted by Selena on

    Pardon my potential ignorance, since I have never been married and don’t own a wedding dress, but my thought would be to put it (depending on the structure and style of the dress, of course) in one of those vacuum “Space Bags.” Just suck the air right out of the thing and it becomes a fraction of the size. I have done this with larger garments and other cloth mementos (a couple stuffed animals from my childhood, etc.), and the bags hold up for this purpose. So far no bugs, no disintegration, nothing!

  5. posted by CSS on

    An idea is to recycling it into baptism gowns of the couple´s children.

  6. posted by Jen on

    I donated my wedding dress to the Bridal Garden! I happened to live just a couple of blocks from there when I got married and I knew that I didn’t want to keep the dress for any length of time, so it was an easy decision for me – made easier by the size of our 1-bedroom apt. (FYI, maybe it’s changed by now but my gown was in no way couture so even if yours isn’t they may still be happy to accept it.)

    This is all really good advice for people who do want to keep their wedding dress – it is really easy to put it in a closet and forget about it for years on end, only to find it destroyed after a long period of time. Good luck with yours, and I hope you find something fun and/or useful to do with it!

  7. posted by Joy on

    Another idea for those who have yet to buy a dress – Rent one! It works out to be much less expensive. Plus you get to wear the dress of your dreams without having to spend the big bucks to purchase it, clean it and store it. It is the ultimate “green” and clutter free solution. Seriously, I just cannot justify spending so much money on something that most brides will wear for 1 day of their lives.

  8. posted by LoriM on

    The trash the dress web link is broken but I found some great photos via google – wow, what a great idea.

    And this reminds me I need to check on my dress and do something with it – it is in my brother’s basement; love the donating/recycling ideas. I never had mine cleaned, though…yikes, I’m scared to look.

  9. posted by Mackenzie on

    One of my friends said her plan for her wedding dress was to dye it after the wedding and wear it again when she needed a formal dress. It was 100% silk, so very easy to dye.

    I’m figuring that if I get married some day, I’ll just make a dove grey infinity dress, wear it one way for the wedding…and 100 other ways whenever else I need a pretty dress.

  10. posted by KAB on

    While today’s question pertains to keeping a wedding dress, for those looking to donate their wedding dresses, there’s also a charity called Brides Across America. The group collects and donates gently used wedding dress to military brides. http://www.bridesacrossamerica.com/

  11. posted by Another Deb on

    I have struggled with the decision about my mother’s wedding gown for the last year, since they downsized and could not keep it in its box. My own wedding dress did go to a high school drama department, but Mom’s is a lovely princess dress from the 1950’s.

    At their 50th anniversary shindig they had it out on display and it was just gorgeous, attracting many comments. It also has served as a wedding gown for one of we three daughters.

    If I can do this without weeping, I hope she will allow me to create a baptismal gown out of it for future generations. My grandfather’s original christening gown is still being used over 100 years later on that side of the family and I love that tradition.

    Step one: Learn to sew…. (just kidding)

  12. posted by Lee on

    i have seen bridal gowns in thrift shops and hope they went other lovely brides.

    Although this is not about wedding dresses, it is about bridesmaids dresses. The fabrid for my friends dresses was washable. My matron of honor used pieces of her dress as part of a quilt she made for my first child. i cherish it.

    Lots of good ideas.

  13. posted by DivaJean on

    My wedding dress(es) were made by me and my mother. My first dress was 17 years ago and I made it out of white cotton linen with printed white flowers on it. My new wedding dress from this year was just a light lavendar colored linen. I am in the process of cutting both up to make a quilt with other purple and floral prints I have in my fabric stash. (I had two weddings because 17 years ago, same sex marriage was not legal. Now it was legalized this year in New York, so I got a second ceremony/dress out of the deal).

  14. posted by Kyra on

    I got married around Christmas, and so after it sitting around at my parents house for a few years, I hacked it up and now use the skirt to go around my Christmas tree. This way, it can be a constant reminder of my wedding, and I can use and see it every year. It’s still white right now, but later I can dye to red or green.

    Also, I was a matron of honor in my brother’s wedding, and instead of just tossing that dress, I cut up the bodice and sewed it into a pillow to give to them for a gift. This you could also do with your wedding dress.

  15. posted by Nana on

    My mom had Cissie’s wedding dress boxed (at a fair amount of expense) and moved it several times. We opened it, 35 years later, and laughed as Cissie held it up to her (much wider) body — and groaned when we saw the stains that had mysteriously appeared over the years. Then we donated it; and perhaps it ended up at a drama department or some such…since it wasn’t wearable with the stains.
    If you sew and/or are sentimental, cut a hunk of it for some use…Donating seems a MUCH better use.

  16. posted by Mary in TN on

    Maybe make ringbearers’ pillows for other family weddings….

  17. posted by Sue Winter on

    My friend made christening gowns out of hers. The were beautiful.

  18. posted by Tammy H on

    I listed my dress on Craigslist for sale a couple months after I got married last year and said to reply with the story of why you need an inexpensive dress, but a beautiful one none the less. I chose the girl with the best story and who I thought would fit it best, and sold it to her for the cost of the cleaning and shipping, plus $20. So really I didn’t make anything by selling it, but I felt good giving my gorgeous dress to someone in need. We added each other as friend’s on Facebook and I was able to see the pictures she posted of her wedding day in my/her dress. I’ll be honest, every once in a while I get a little sad that I don’t have it, but then I think of her and that I helped someone stay in their wedding budget. And I think about how little closet space we have in our one bedroom apartment and am grateful I don’t have to push past it everyday. Plus, I am kinda crazy about being green and recycling and the ultimate recycling is reuse. I hope she passes it on to someone else to use again.

    After all, it is just a dress.

  19. posted by Beth S. on

    I love reading all these different responses, esp. Tammy H.

    A friend of mine took her dd’s wedding dress and made it into several American Girl-sized dresses for her 4 granddaughters. Neat.

    Also, if your daughter is ever a flower girl, it’s a WONDERFUL gesture to give the dress back to the bride for her daughter to wear in a few years.

    And yes, at my folks’ 50th anniversary, 5 generations of wedding dresses were displayed. I think I will donate mine to the collection, to be stored at someone ELSE’S house!

  20. posted by Wendy on

    With no need of christening gowns in our family, I think I could sew enough to make a few beaded handbags from mine- something I could use on the few occasions we get dressed up. Also, a travel jewelry organizer would be really helpful- since I discovered etsy, I have a number of great jewelry pieces that I’m not taking enough care of.

    I had my dress cleaned, but the cleaner wasn’t able to get the dirt and grass stains off the lowest inch. It is sitting in a box in the top of our closet.

    I tried the vacuum bag idea on a silk and lace dress that I love, but I did put it in a box first, so the fabric wouldn’t be squished or create permanent fold lines.

  21. posted by Sally J. on

    Erin, sorry you had to learn the hard way that the only true “cure” for moths is to examine your stored gown regularly. You wouldn’t believe the hocus pocus offered by some dry cleaners. (Boo!)

    For anyone who’s decided to keep a wedding gowns long term, I recommend a hanging garment bag made of unbleached cotton muslin from Heritage Gown. They sell a DIY kit that lets you create a “body” out of tissue to prevent folds or creases. It’s also *very* easy to get into your garment bag to make sure no unwanted pests are taking up residence. http://www.heritagegown.com/sh.....-Supplies/

    I also enjoyed reading the various re-purposing suggestions in the comments…xmas tree skirt, wedding ring pillows, American Girl doll dresses, handkerchiefs (did I miss any?). My mom dyed her wedding gown black so she could wear it again, she tells me this was common in the early 1960s.

  22. posted by Rosemary Bolton on

    I still have my wedding dress. It is gorgeous.
    It is 29 years since my wedding and I wrapped it in tissue paper and put it in a box and sealed all of the openings with packing tape. Well, I just pulled it out of the closet last week, to show my youngest daughter. It is a beautiful dress, with Schiffli lace (swiss). Now I need to wrap it back up again.

    HEY the space bag idea sounds marvelous!

  23. Profile photo of

    posted by luxcat on

    for at least one (and if memory serves possibly several) great discussions about how/why/if to keep wedding gowns and how/why/if to recycle them, check out the forums tab and do a search for “wedding dress”…

  24. posted by c on

    I sold my wedding dress right after having it cleaned. It was still a current style, so I was able to get a reasonable amount of money for it. It wasn’t cluttering up space in my home and because I didn’t hang on to it for awhile wondering if I should keep it, I have never missed it. It might also have helped that my husband was laid off 2 weeks after our wedding and feeding the family was more important than keeping the dress. It really puts things in perspective. I do not regret my decision and likely never will.

  25. posted by e on

    I left my wedding dress with my mom, and told her she could get rid of it any way she saw fit. I just found out a month ago that she still has it, 6 years later. I can’t figure out how to get rid of it without sounding like I’m nagging her about her clutter problems.

  26. posted by Susan on

    So many good ideas on what to do with wedding dresses!

    Every few years I use mine as part of my Halloween costume – Zombie Bride. A great costume, if I do say so myself, and it’s been fun to get several wears out of my dress!

    My mother’s wedding dress was actually a knee-length cocktail dress & she let me use it for dress-up when I was a little girl.

  27. posted by Marie on

    I had my wedding dress made by a seamstress with the intent of converting it for dancing later. I did wear it once as part of a costume at a themed dance, and managed to rip the hem. Oops! It wasn’t made for vigorous dancing at it’s original length.
    Then I was so overwhelmed with ideas of colors to dye it, hem lengths, etc, that I haven’t undertaken that project. But meanwhile, it’s in one of those boxy bags that you hang from the closet rod. It’s feeling like clutter recently, taking up so much space and not being used. Not sure where else to put it, though. Most of my longer dresses (evening gowns, etc), are in bags on the back of various doors. There’s no good solution to that dilemma either.

  28. posted by Jodi on

    I am not the type of person who wanted a fancy dress, so when I first got married I went to the mall. My primary criteria was that the dress be re-wearable in normal life. Cleaning my dress involved tossing it in the washer with my other “lights” and drying it like I would a t-shirt. The dress was ready to be hung in my closet until the next time I needed a dress for a friends wedding, baptism, or anniversery date, etc.

    Obviously not a solution to help those with a dress already, or for those who want the beautiful Cinderella dress.

    I have really enjoyed the comments and suggestions! Such creativity here!

  29. posted by Wedding-Dress-Into-Costume Virginia Allain on

    I did some brainstorming at Halloween and came up with quite a few ideas about turning a wedding dress or a prom dress into a costume. Prom dresses don’t usually hold as strong a sentimental attachment, but do become a burden to store.
    Anyway, if you want to see the ideas, they are posted on Squidoo. A wedding dress might transform easily with a few props into Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz or into a fairy costume.

  30. posted by Jasmin on

    I donated my dress immediately after my wedding to The Brides’ Project in Toronto (http://www.thebridesproject.com/). You can mail your dress there, and not only do the proceeds go to cancer research, but the dresses are made affordable for people on a low budget. Another option I had looked at (weddings cost a lot of money these days, so if you’re trying to get some back, this might be the way to go) is WhiteXchange in Chicago (http://www.whitexchange.com/).

  31. posted by Kim on

    The wedding itself is of only passing significance–it is what comes after that is important! Anybody can hold a wedding, few can sustain the marriage…Why worship a garment that is a symbol of waste, since most of the wedding dresses are little more than unitaskers! As for wearing a dinner jacket (i.e., tuxedo) by the guys what can you say? Sartorial ignorance….

  32. posted by OogieM on

    Lavender and cedar will not really work on moths. All they do is confuse the moth sense of smell but if you really want to kill them you must use mothballs. Properly stored and properly aired out before use mothballs are good at killing eggs, larvae and adult clothes moths.

  33. posted by Christyn@StrivingforSimple.com on

    I struggled with this one myself being so sentimental and all, but it was time to learn to let go. Moving and storing my bridal gown was becoming a hassle and why? when someone else could wear it and enjoy? So, I donated it to The Bridal Garden…I’ve never regretted it since and I feel good knowing it went to an organization that supports programs for inner city youth…something that hits close to home for me.

  34. posted by clothespin on

    http://bridesagainstbreastcancer.org/#donategown

    I donated my mom’s dress to this group. I should have done the same to mine. My mom kept hers for years and neither my sister nor I wanted to make it over… I kept mine with the idea of converting it to a ren faire dress – but never did that. Then the sky fell… and it was gone. Better to have done something positive with it than lost it that way.

  35. posted by Dawnie on

    I am really curious about the hankerchief idea… would love to know what the process is. I’m not a seamstress by any means so would not dare try this myself!

  36. posted by Johnny Mean on

    My wife sold her’s and made $100+ Dollars. And that was after doing an underwater “Trash the Dress” Photo shoot in it.
    It was cleaner than the day of the wedding after swimming in Cenotes, “Underwater Caves”.

  37. posted by Nikki on

    I am so glad we don’t have the moth problems you speak of here in Oz. I had my dress cleaned after our wedding and it has been sitting wrapped in a piece of tissue paper in a box that isn’t even sealed anymore, for 11 years, and it’s still perfect :) I consider selling it quite often, but I think I’d regret it, and I have plenty of space to store it, now I’ve gotten in the habit of decluttering all the stuff that doesn’t really matter to me!

  38. posted by Quilting Bibliophagist on

    My mother kept her gown but it didn’t fit any of her daughters when they got married. Over fifty years after her wedding, she and I made it into a christening gown for one of the great grandchildren. It will continue to be used as an heirloom in that branch of the family.

    My own wedding gown is still hanging in my closet and takes up no more room than an ordinary dress. (It doesn’t have a poufy skirt.)

  39. posted by Laura on

    Unlike most everyone here, I would NEVER get rid of my wedding dress, or cut it up. I LOVE my dress and if any of my daughters want to, they may wear it as well. It’s a bit 1980’s (puff sleeves, polka dots weaved into lace) and I wouldn’t have a problem with altering it to update it for a daughter. But to destroy a beautiful raw silk gown? Or give it away? Not a chance. To me, this isn’t clutter. It’s an heirloom.

  40. posted by Laetitia in Australia on

    Nikki – it all depends on what part of OZ you live in. I have found that the moths we get here are particularly fond of natural fibres so we store woollens with mothballs if they’re being packed away for a while.

    My wedding dress receives no special treatment apart from being in a large chest. I can’t buy dresses ‘off-the-rack’ so I had one made. It’s in the style of an Anne Boleyn dress so someone else would find suitable in its current form only if they too were having a mediaeval style wedding or if they were wanting to ‘play’ dress-ups.

    For our 10th anniversary, we wore our wedding attire for a party in the park where we had been going to have the original ceremony (washed out, so held at the reception venue).

  41. posted by Laurie on

    I also used http://www.bridesacrossamerica.com (which was local so i didn’t even have to ship it!) for military brides. So happy that I did! I was a little sad at first post-wedding. I had always known I would sell or donate it, but did have that quick moment of doubt after the wedding. Now, if only I could find a quick and easy place to donate the napkins, table runners, vases and marbles!

  42. posted by CJ on

    I loved my dress, but after finding Brides Against Breast Cancer, I felt very strongly that I couldn’t keep it. I have the most wonderful memories of the dress and lovely pictures, but I knew it could do so much good not being stored in my closet. So, my husband and I packed it up – along with the shoes, bodice, and veil – and shipped it off. I even have pictures of us packing it up. I kept the tiara I wore (in a shadow box with my preserved flowers) and the purse I used (I intended to dye it black to use it as an evening bag, but just haven’t gotten around to it). I have never once regretted giving it away.

  43. posted by beth on

    The moths eating a well-preserved dress is why I sold my dress at a consignment shop, so it could keep being appreciated, not wasting away. I hate holding on to sentimental things that I know I’ll never use again, not only because it takes up space, but also because it’s wasteful. That dress could make someone very happy, so why not extend its life. I’ve even come to think of it as respecting the time and craftsmanship it took to make the dress. Its should be appreciated and loved, not boxed away being eating by bugs.

  44. posted by Mike on

    Echoing @CSS, we took apart my wife’s wedding dress and used it for baptismal gowns for the kids. We still have some of it in a box in the garage in case a use arises for the fabric, but if we end up needing the space and we don’t have any specific use in mind at that point, it will get donated or dumped.

  45. posted by Barbara on

    My dress ended up getting mildewed. I used it one last time for Halloween as a ‘dead bride.’ It worked great, and my kids were impressed that it still fit well :)

  46. posted by Em on

    Love the christening dress idea. My parents were married in 1945 and the satin dress with French lace was custom sewn for my mother, as typical of the time. My aunt then wore it to her wedding, and then in 1980 I wore it myself after minor alterations. My daughter would love to wear it, but sadly the satin has deteriorated too much.
    Turning it over to a seamstress for the christening dress would keep this “lucky dress” – yes, all the marriages lasted – into an heirloom.

  47. posted by Steph on

    My mom used my dress to make a baptismal gown for our kids. I have the gown hanging in a closet and the rest in a small box in the garage.

  48. posted by MelD on

    Did anyone mention using a vacuum bag to preserve the dress? (Vacuum all the air out around the dress, which also reduces the volume significantly.)

  49. posted by gypsy packer on

    I purchased an informal long dress, in a color, and wore it for years after the wedding. I do have my mother’s dress, which she stored in a dresser drawer. It is acid- spotted and a terrible example of early 1950’s small-town couture. Thanks to you all, I can now repurpose it once a year on Halloween. I love how y’all always come through for me!

  50. posted by MaryJo @ reSPACEd: Budget Organizing on

    I love the ideas about turning the dress into christening gowns. I have also seen some awesome Halloween decorations, you know, Bride of Frankenstein-type dummies made out of old wedding dresses.

    Strangely enough, someone asked me yesterday how to get RID of hers when her husband wanted her to keep it. http://respacedpdx.com/2011/11.....t-want-to/ if you need some ideas for how to make it “disappear”.

  51. posted by Mimi2Madylan on

    This is a link to the story of my wedding dress. Thanks, Iris! http://www.thebeardediris.com/?s=inspired

  52. posted by Wendy on

    What about storing it under your bed if you don’t want to use closet space or re-purpose it?

    My mom’s wedding dress has been stored under her bed for years and my gown and my sister’s gown are stored there as well. My sister was going to wear my mom’s dress but it didn’t fit so my mom had hers preserved when she took my gown and my sister’s gown in for cleaning preserving (we got married 7 weeks apart).

  53. posted by Kristina on

    I made my wedding dress of silk satin my mother had bought many years earlier. I planned to dye it to wear as a cocktail dress, but the fibers were too old to accept dye, and it turned out that my husband was sentimental about keeping it! It would also make a beautiful long skirt, satin jacket, bed jacket, or other garment, but fabric does not last forever unless very meticulously stored. If I had it to do over, I would not discuss it with my husband, as the wedding photos are actually more important to me than the garment. We have too much stuff already, and every less thing to store or move around is a blessing.

  54. posted by Sharon on

    I wanted to save my wedding dress, but where it would have more meaning. I bravely cut it up and made heirloom boot christmas stockings out of it. I love seeing them every Christmas on the mantle and it has lots of special meaning. I know I see it more than I would if I had kept the dress packed away. They really turned out even better than I imagined!

  55. posted by eileen on

    My sister (www.etsy.com/shop/gramadona) takes wedding dresses and makes beautiful baby quilts for the couple’s firstborn. My son and daughter-in-law used their gorgeous quilt for the baby’s christening. It is a lovely family heirloom now. And with a history.

  56. posted by Sharon on

    http://marymadelineproject.org.....donate.htm

    This group takes old gowns (wedding, prom, bridesmaid, etc.)_ and turns them into burial gowns for stillborn infants. It gives the bereaved family a beautiful photo of their child to treasure. That is where mine will go.

  57. posted by Sharon on

    Or you can give them to theater groups if the gown is intact.

  58. posted by bryan on

    Do anything, but keep it. It’s just a dress and your only gonna get one wear out of it

  59. posted by emmer on

    i have seen wedding dresses made into christening gowns, boudoir pillows, and small crazy quilts. the most charming piece i have seen was a large, very realistic “picture” of an antique armoire, doors ajar, with the skirt of the wedding gown cascading out. other bits of the gown showed up in details of the hanging, such as in a bouquet of flowers and as a scrap of curtain visible at the window. beautiful use that was seen everyday by anyone entering their home. i have never seen hankies done–i’ll be adding that to my list of possibles.

  60. posted by Laura H on

    I have lugged my mid-90s nightmare of a polyester-puffed-sleeved-cathedral-length-beaded dress around for 15 years. From a cramped 400 sf apt, to a 5000 sf house with no storage issues without giving it a 2nd thought. We then spent time in a TINY temporary home while building our current home. I discovered when we moved that despite being stored in what I thought was a safe cedar lined trunk, a mouse made its way in and tried to make a nest. The train now has 2 chunks taken out of it. I had a momentary feeling of panic and then thought….it’s just a dress not the marriage. I still wanted to keep it because my daughter is young and I know she’d like a chance to try it on, but since I had nothing to lose, I threw it in the washer and spread it out on my bed to dry. I’m sorry at how much I spent on dry cleaning 15 years ago because other than the mouse holes, the dress came out looking gorgeous.

    I am saving it since I currently have the space and it shows a glimpse of my life to my daughter. But I now know that I’d be ok without it!

  61. posted by darcee on

    I made mine into my daughter’s first communion dress. It turned out so lovely and she was so excited and proud to wear it.

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