Where’s Your Wedding Dress?

As you know, the month of June has more weddings than any other month.
The weather is usually gorgeous, but not blistering hot,
everything is in full bloom, and young brides-to-be
have been planning their weddings for months,
dreaming of their perfect June wedding.
And of course, what was the biggest decision they make?
Their dress…of course.

Hours upon hours are spent pouring through magazines
and visiting bridal shops.  Or perhaps they made their
own dress or will have someone make it for them.  Each bride feels a
little like a queen walking down the isle in the dress of her dreams.

What becomes of that dress, after her special day is over?
What’s become of yours since you were that queen on your special day?

You know, I’m not sure I
want to hear the answer to this question.
There’s just a little too much guilt involved in the answer for me,
but also some redemption at the end of this story.

Are you one of {those} people,
who sent it to the dry cleaner
the day after your wedding,
and it is neatly boxed up…
preserved for the next generation?

Okay, the truth be told,
I wish I was one of {those} people, but I’m not.

So, where you might ask, is MY wedding dress?
The dress my mother lovingly made for me?
The one she slaved over for hours and hours,
and had to keep adjusting because my
shoulders are sloped different, so one side kept slipping?
(A fact I didn’t know until then).

Where is that dress?

Why, the landfill, of course.

Isn’t that where the wedding dresses of all stupid women reside?

There…I’ve admitted it.
I kept my dress for quite a few years, (at least 10),
but I never got around to getting it cleaned and boxed up,
like {those} kind of people do.

I *did* intend to do it, but it just never happened.
The dress sat in a plastic bag all that time,
waiting for me to do the sensible thing, like {those} people do.
But after so many years had passed, and it had been
in that trash bag, in an outdoor shed (further guilt),
I figured that mold & mice had probably damaged it
beyond preservation…so I pitched it.

Yes, I confessed my deed to my mother and she still
speaks to me and loves me.

All these years, the thought of my wedding dress
and my sheer act of stupidity have haunted me.

But, a little of the guilt has been lifted off my crooked shoulders.
You see,  I decided to call my mom, and mentioned a few I’d love to have.
Things that don’t cost any money, but are meaningful to me.

I asked for HER wedding dress,
as well as some old watches from her
jewelry box that I loved looking at when I was a child.

She agreed and sent me her dress.
Antique Wedding Dress via Knick of Time
My mother made her dress also.

Antique Wedding Dress via Knick of Time
Look at that pretty little waistline.
Antique Wedding Dress via Knick of Time

My mom said that these watches were gifts from her father.
One of them has teeny, tiny little diamonds on it.
None of them work any longer and
I’ve got some ideas of what I’d like to do with them.

Guess what?  My mother told me that
she was thinking she would throw HER wedding dress in the landfill
because it was just taking up space in her closet and she didn’t think anyone
would ever want it anyway, as it is now too fragile to wear.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it, Mom?

Antique Wedding Dress via Knick of Time

So, though my poor wedding dress is buried in a landfill in New Mexico,
I have saved my mother’s wedding dress from the same fate.

Does that make me one of {those} people now?
Please…say it does.

So…where is YOUR wedding dress?


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  1. Absolutely gorgeous wedding picture!

    You may now come out of the “dark side” to the preserved side. 🙂

  2. I am one of *those* people .. mine is in a box. It actually makes me sad because I would love to look at it and touch it… I was planning to crack it open and try it on when my 20th rolled around.. and I forgot. May do it this year 🙂

  3. Well, my first wedding dress was borrowed and I gave it back to the gal who loaned it to me, we got married at a judges house however I wanted to wear a pretty white dress and didn’t have time to go shopping wouldn’t have found one anyway in our small little town.
    It was white strapless and I loved it , I had white kitten heels. I married my high school sweetheart who was moving out of town to take a job and I just couldn’t stand the thought of him leaving me so we got married very quick and my Mom helped me pack his car with everything she gave me, dishes, sheets pots and pans.
    The next day I cried and wanted to go home LOL.
    well anyway don’t know where the dress is or the dishes, sheets, pot & pans. My Mother is in heaven

  4. ps

    It is so wonderful you have your Mother’s wedding dress and her watches

    treasures for sure


  5. Well, I was one of those…sort of…I took it to the dry cleaners to be boxed up…only like you…it hung in my closet for 10 years until I did. It was closed up…without even a window…so didn’t even know if it was even really in there…I’ve heard stories like that. Anyway in 2006 my daughter was getting married…we opened it up…and it was in wonderful shape…it fit her beautifully…I was so excited….and then she bought her own…go figure. I guess it was a bit outdated. So it’s wrapped back up…awaiting her to rescue it from me as you did your mom’s lol!

  6. Anonymous says

    I haven’t married yet. However, many, many years later. I still have the most gorgeous prom gown I have ever seen stored in my mother’s cedar closet. I saved and saved until I could afford to buy it from a local bridal shop. I looked at it last year, still as pretty as ever. Why I can’t part with it, I’m not quite sure. Mind, you had had literally dozens of other gowns/dresses from events over the years and I donated them all to Belles of the Ball, a charity for girls who couldn’t afford a prom gown. I thought even if mine were outdated, some creative teen could pull a “Pretty in Pink” trick as Molly Ringwald did in the movie and refashion the dress to her own liking. Others could still be worn as is. As for wedding dresses, my mother’s still hangs in her closet. It wasn’t professionally packaged, so it has yellowed over the years. I suspect that someday, I will inherit it. I truly don’t know what I’ll do with it, but it will be kept. My aunt, who married in ’72 had her wedding gown cut down into a christening gown. All four of her children wore it when they were baptized and it is now being kept for her grandchildren.

  7. Oh, that is sad but kind of amusing 🙂 I love your mom’s dress and that picture — those are my favorite style of wedding dresses — ones that came just to the ankles and were real poofy! Mine never got cleaned either but it’s just hanging in my closet. It’s hideous. 1984, Victorian was all the rage. It’s awful. My plan is that if I ever have granddaughters, I’ll use the lace to make their dedication dresses. If I have grandsons, no idea what I’ll make them but something from the satin perhaps shorts and a little jacket?

  8. Angie,
    My wedding dress is on a dress form in my bedroom!! I decided to display it this way several years ago when I realized that since I have no daughters, it would most likely go to the Salvation Army when I am gone so I thought “What am I really saving it for stored away in a bag???”
    I do wish I had my Mother’s. It was supposed cut and made into my sister’s and my Christening gowns and was then passed on to cousins. So it may very well be in a landfill in Pa.!!!
    great post and an interesting question to ask!!

  9. My wedding dress is in a tub in my closet…I also have my going away outfit. My girlfriend Ro, still has her shoes!!
    I would give anything to have my mother’s dress….she had it for years…but then, it was gone. Guess she sent it to a landfill in Michigan!

  10. Well, my first wedding dress was dumped (as well as my first husband, lol). My second dress was borrowed from my sister, but 20 years later I still have that husband. :~D

  11. In my moms spare room (used to be mine) waiting for my wedding! The picture of your mothers wedding is beautiful. My mom wore her mothers dress (I’m about a foot taller than both of them plus 100 lbs, so new dress for me!) and had it preserved, she never opened the box so she isn’t sure it’s even hers.

  12. My wedding dress was a casual dress borrowed from my sister. We were married at the courthouse, which I have no regrets about, but I do regret not buying a special dress and having photos taken!

  13. OH, that is a lovely dress…how wonderful you have it now! I do still have my wedding dress…early 70’s style! It is packed in a box, not properly I’m sure, but if the empire waist velvet ribbon was replaced, it is still wearable. We have my husband’s grandmother’s wedding dress and veil from the 20’s…I posted about the veil once, and should write about the dress as well- it was peach colored!

  14. Sadly my dress has hung in my closet for 35 years. It now looks like one that could be found in Miss Haversham’s closet, but yet I still have it. To make matters worse, my daughter said she ‘would have worn it, if only it was not hanging in tatters’. Serves me right……. Oh well, we do have pictures. Best, Lisa

  15. I make angels out of peoples wedding dresses. People bring me their Mother’s or grandmother’s or whoever and I make angels for keepsakes. I use porcelain heads and hands and they can hang on a tree or on the wall. I also make tree toppers and ones that stand on a music box and go round while it plays.
    I’ve sold hundreds and some from ones we thot were too damaged, but I managed to save them.

  16. Angie,
    Mine is gone too.I could not afford to buy my dress.So a good family friend let me borrow her dress.This was her first dress.The marriage did not work out.But she kept the dress.I was hoping I could keep it.I would have paid.But she wanted it …weird.She remarried and had this dress displayed in her home…weird.I guess I am lucky I don’t believe in bad karma.Because we have been happily married for 23 years!

  17. goodness..i’m not sure!!
    thought i had brought it home when i cleared out my parents home after they had both died….have a ginormous pile of boxes and stuff in my garage…it’s more than 30 years old..never had it boxed..although a always meant to!
    you moms waist was tiny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! such a beautiful dress!

  18. Angie,

    I AM one of those people. But the plastic that is wrapped around the box has a tear in it, so I wonder what it may look like. I’m also ONE of “those people” who think that if I let go of something sentimental that I will forget the memory. Courtney Carver from “Be More With Less” says that: “Your memories and the people you love are not in your stuff. That said, if something brings back fond memories, take a picture of it, frame it and put it on your wall. This way you can share your memory instead of stuffing it in a box, because you don’t have a place for it.” And, no, I haven’t done this yet. I’m procrastinating. Have a lovely day!


  19. i’m so sad for you
    that your dress is lost

    but your mum’s is gorgeous

    i am also
    one of ‘those’ people
    who never had her dress cleaned and preserved

    mine has been hanging
    in its original garment bag
    for 17 years now
    and still looks the same
    as the evening i took it off

    some of those preserved gowns
    don’t actually hold up so well either

    i do hope mine lasts long enough
    for my daughter to use it
    or part of it
    when she marries

    thanks for sharing
    at Fridays Unfolded!


  20. I had my dressed boxed 47 years ago and 21 years later my daughter wore it for her wedding. It fit her perfectly. To moderinze it we removed the sleeves and made a lace overtop. I am not sure what she did with it after. Her duaghter is now in her 20’s but is much tinier than we were. I must ask my daughter if she still has the dress!

  21. Hi Angie … Thanks so much for this post. Today, June 25, 2012 is our 62nd wedding anniversary and I loved reading this as a reminder to make me check on my wedding dress. It is in my cedar chest … I hope. It is much like your Mom’s. Maybe I can get it out and do a post on it. A little late to think about it, but would be fun to do. I am so happy that you have your mother’s dress … what at treasure.
    Blessings, my friend.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures.

  22. Angie, I am writing u from las vegas! This post is so wonderful and brought back so many memories of the hours that I spent as a 17 year old making my first wedding dress! When that marriage failed and my sisters that wore the same cursed dress, I trashed it too. However, my second dress, purchased is still in my closet and comes out once in a while to be put on my dress form. Love that u got ur moms now! And how understanding is she. Terry @ forever decorating

  23. Angie, I so love the memories that your dress and its fate have elicited. My dress was thrown away some years ago. After the husband took off, it actually sat in the closet many years until one day when I was doing a clean out, I wondered what in the world I was saving it for. I never loved it and it was getting yellow spots that the moisture here seems to leave behind. Besides, it seemed weird to save a wedding dress when the man you married left the family in the lurch.

    We had a backyard wedding in 1981 and the style at the time was not that attractive and my dress was just a nice (for the time) short dress. I only miss it now because it would be stepping into its cool age. Previously it was still at that awkward time of life when things are just ugly and outdated. Now it would be gaining significance for it’s testament to the time warp (definitely not for it’s sentiment). I still have fond memories of the wedding itself, it’s just the man that turned out to be a loser. I got three wonderful children who are growing beautifully with age as I’m sure the dress would have been too had I known not to let it go. Now that I’m in my 50’s, I’m learning about not throwing things out when they hit the awkward stage. Right when you are finally about to ditch something because you feel it will never be back in style or it’s so ugly, or falling apart, etc., put it back and forget it for a few, if not 5 years. I bet everything will have changed and it will have become valuable.

    Your mom’s watches are priceless and so is that photo! Thanks for the wonderful post and for encouraging all the fun stories. I enjoyed them all! (Sorry, I wrote a book. Typical.)

  24. I am definitely NOT one of those people…I still haven’t cleaned mine, but at least it’s tucked away safe. I know when I have a daughter she won’t want to wear it, she’ll probably want something of her own. I’m assuming this because it’s not vintage. I really would like to have a “trash the dress” session. In mud! I just haven’t brought myself to do it yet…as I bought my own dress because it was so expensive, it was something I wanted to do for myself. So I’m wondering…Should I do it?!

  25. Married in summer of 1981. I had my dress boxed after the wedding. Really loved that dress; it was beautiful, and looked so “ME”! Lace and pearls and lots of tulle. So beautiful! However. . . the marriage did not last beyond eight years. Best part was that I was gifted with two wonderful sons who are the light of my life. After the divorce, the three of us moved into a small apartment, (the first of several) During one of our moving phases, I decided that I did not need to hang on to the dress and gave it to Goodwill. With no daughter to pass it along to, and who would want the bad karma associated from a failed marriage? But, I do regret not holding on to it! Now that I have time to sew and craft, I would have disassembled it to re-use the fabric and the lace. Well, I do hope that whoever needed it loved it as much as I did.

  26. LOL! My wedding dress from 1984 is draped over a wire hanger in my junk closet. My girls and I have worn it for Halloween and costume parties. It. Is. A. Mess. I’m going to have it cleaned and save some of it for binding the quilts I someday hope to make for my future grandkids!

  27. Anonymous says

    Mine wasn’t a gown, it was a white late-1980s Jessica McClintock tea length dress from the department store – because we eloped! I saved it, but it’s really out of style now, and anyway I have two sons, no daughters. I wonder if I should make it into a christening gown and save it for grandchildren instead??!

  28. Do I dare say, I’m one of those people who have their dress all boxed up from the dry cleaners? lol Well, I am but if it makes you feel any better, I’ve often wondered suppose my dress isn’t in that box? Suppose it’s just a box of rocks & my dress was sold on the black market by the dry cleaners or something? lol
    You are lucky to have your Mom’s dress then. It’s like you were given a second chance.

  29. I enjoyed this post, and the pictures of your mother’s lovely dress. My mom kept her beautiful dress for many years, but with eight kids eventually let the older ones play with it. That’s okay because she made the most beautiful bride in 1948 and we have the pictures to prove it 🙂

    My older sister made my dress but I wanted one in cotton moire (July wedding and I sweat so no way was I wearing a synthetic material.) It was lovely for our country wedding, with hand rolled rosettes around the neckline and all over the detachable train. We will be married 20 years in July of this year, and it is hanging in a garment bag in my sewing room.

  30. Angie, I’m glad to hear that your mom’s dress is in safe hands. LOL My wedding dress never made it to the cleaners to be boxed and stored, but it is hanging in one of our guest closets. It’s now yellow with age. Pretty sad looking actually, but we celebrate 37 years this August. Nothing sad about that!

  31. Mine’s in a box! I’ll take my daughter’s picture in it in a few years while she’s still a baby. She loves to dress up!

  32. Your mom’s dress is stunning. I always wonder how wedding dresses end up in resale shops but never think of them being in landfills! So sweet that you saved your mom’s. Mine is in a bag hanging in the basement (it just moved there a couple years ago after always being in the back of my big walk in closets where ever I lived). Mine is total 80s taffeta and poof. My first visit to your blog but it won’t be my last – love your style. Am now your newest follower. Come by and say hello sometime.

  33. Hi, I am also one of those people. I didn’t even want to buy a dress, I wanted to rent one. But that was 1977, and their was only one store in OC, So. Cal. So I found 2 dresses, and bought the cheapest one, 175$. It was pretty for the time. It stayed in my parents cedar closet for about 10 yrs, got stained from the cedar, so I gave it to my 5 yr old daughter to play dress up in. She wore that thing out and had so much fun with it.

  34. I used the fabric from my wedding dress to make my first granddaughter a blessing/christening dress when she was born. I made a hankiefrom a piece of it and folded it into a baby bonnet for her christening. Now she can use it for her hankie when she gets married.

  35. Great post. Lovely dress your mother made and it’s so nice that you are now keeping that memory for her and for the next generation.

    Married in ’94. Divorced in 2002. The cream-colored, heavily brocaded, cocktail length, off-the-shoulder dress I wore was hanging in my attic in the original garment bag up until winter of last year. One of my dearest friends and the woman who altered the dress for me lo’ those many years ago, who kept bitching and moaning cuz I continued to lose weight right up until the wedding, was going to the “Bride’s Ball” in Seattle last winter and she needed a wedding dress she could alter for the occasion. I offered her mine. She cut it up, raised the hem, made it higher in the front than in the back, and paired it with knee-high dressy leather boots with leather fringe and colorful stud work. She looked fabulous!

  36. Anonymous says

    I had my mothers wedding dress from 1944…lovely old satin yellowed to a pretty creame…lace and those sweet little buttons…what did I do with it…ring pillows for my daughter and sons weddings…and now I will be making one for my nieces wedding…I’ve kept the top in tact and some day I will frame it…I thought it was a wonderful way to have their grandmothers spirit with them at their weddings.

  37. Awesome wedding pictures. I really like your mom dress. If you wear this dress on your wedding than you look so beautiful.

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