A Legacy in White

Submitted by lex on June 17, 2013

A wedding dress is often one of the most important outfits a girl will wears in her life. Yet more often than not this most precious of garments will only see the light of day once, and even then only for just part of the day. As brides become more waste conscious, wedding dress longevity is back in fashion, although not always in the traditional sense.

Our professional wedding watcher, Amy Vales, investigates.

My sister took weeks to chose the right cut, material and accessories for her wedding outfit - spending a small fortune in the process. The fitting sessions seemed to go on forever and the family consultations (on the female side, at least) involved every form of modern media: from phones and Facebook posts to Skype chats and regular face-to-face meetings in coffee shops and home kitchens.

Fortunately, because a villa in Thailand was her chosen wedding venue, she didn't have much other planning to do for the big day. The team at Signature Weddings took care of all the details, which was just as well, or she would probably still be single (albeit with a very nice dress) today.

I must say I was puzzled when she turned down my mother's offer of the dress that she wore on her wedding day. I had always thought such familial recycling was expected, even today. My sister, however, disagreed, claiming Mum's dress was far too dated to be made new. And judging by the intense hunt for a replacement that followed, I have to admit she was probably right.

Instead of wearing Mum's dress, she promised to make sure her new dress (when finally ready) was put to good use after, as well as during the wedding. This, I later found out is a trend that's taken off around the world in recent years - and it certainly makes perfect sense.

Here are 5 popular ways to give a wedding dress life beyond your special day:

Make the dress into something with sentimental value


This can be anything from a quilt to a gown for your first born child or even a teddy bear. The fabric can be used in a multitude of ways and the new product will always remind you of the most romantic day of your life. It's also a novel way to pass on the dress to your kids without expecting them to wear it.

Shorten and/or dye the dress

Wedding dresses are often made of the finest fabrics and exquisitely embroidered or enhances with sequence and other accoutrements, all of which will also look great on a cocktail dress. Once its shortened and dyed a different colour, only you will remember the original, and you can recapture that once-in-a-lifetime, million dollar feeling every time you slip it on.

Throw a "Trash the dress" party

Also known as "Rock the Frock" parties. These themed events are based on a photography trend that involves the model wearing an elegant wedding dress or ball gown in the most trashy location possible to create a sharp contrast that is also a fashion statement. The parties became popular in the United States and may sometimes involve destroying the dress completely. It's a  little extreme, but at least you get two completely different sets of photos while wearing the outfit.

Take the dress around the world

Jennifer Salvage and her wedding  dress have travelled across the world in search of adventure, beauty, an excuse to never end her honeymoon with husband Jeff. Turning a passion for travel into an unprecedented photographic project, she has since modelled her Destinations by Maggie Sottero wedding gown in over 100 locations. Share their experience by viewing some of the amazing photographs from their journey at www.onedressonewoman.com

Donate the dress to a good cause

There are thousands of less fortunate brides out in the world that would give their ring finger for the chance to look like a princess on their special day. Alternatively, you can donate your wedding gown for re-sale and help raise funds for a worthy cause like Brides Against Breast Cancer. The dress donations they receive from designers, manufactures, bridal shops, and individuals worldwide, enables Brides ABC to provide wellness and educational services to people affected by cancer.




"The Signature Weddings is a bespoke destination weddings service offering a wide range of options to couples. However, some of the products and services mentioned in the blog articles on this page may not be available as part of the Signature Weddings' service."