My mom's wedding dress

posted 3 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
499 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@AllyCRN:  I think your mom is being a little bit selfish here.  It’s a great gesture on your part to want to incorporate this dress in your wedding as a dedication to the tradition.  Plus, is she ever going to wear it again?! NO.  Yeah, I’m all for getting it altered, but if it’s near impossible, you have to compromise, and I think you and your grandma are right…. You can even save the leftover fabric for your daughter when she gets married to incorporate into her dress some how to keep the tradition going!


Post # 4
4893 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I agree with the previous poster – she should let you do something with it, even if it’s taking it apart/altering it. It’s better than having it sit in a closet for decades.

It is very beautiful!

Post # 5
844 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Sorry to say it, but yeah. You shouldn’t be upset about this.

It seems to me like your Mum is very happy to allow you to wear the dress, but just doesn’t want you cutting it up. I can understand that – and you know it’s your Mum’s gown. She’s not saying you can’t touch it, just giving limits, which is down to her.

Luckily it sounds like you’re aware that you can’t push this. I’m going to ask my Mum if I can wear her veil, but if she says no then I’ll have to get over it because at the end of the day it’s not mine. It doesn’t matter if it’s been hiding away for fifteen years. Just because something’s not out on display that’s not to say it doesn’t mean the world to her.

I don’t really have any advice but to let it go. You can’t force someone to be happy to do this, so maybe you should agree to rework the dress to fit you or forget the idea altogether. I’m sorry you’re not happy with it, though.

Post # 6
1249 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@AllyCRN:  I am not a seamstress, but a gown like that can be altered in length. The skirt would have to be removed from the bodice and taken up that way.

Post # 7
1002 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Does she still have the veil?   Maybe there is a way to include the tulle from the veil into your wedding day look?  I actually wanted to wear my mom’s dress and alter it (she was fine with that) but I am 5 ins taller than my mom so it didn;t work out.

If your mom isn’t willing to compromise I wouldn’t push the subject (you don’t seem like you will) weddings are a sensitive subject…

Post # 8
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@AllyCRN:  As PP have said, if you want to shorten it, it would come from the waist.

I actually love petite brides in ballgowns.  On me (5’3″, size tiny) I thought it made me look womanly and substantial, instead of waify.  But obviously everyone has different preferences.

Post # 9
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

It is a beautiful dress and I know that your mom wore it but it was grandmother’s first and she should have just as much say in the matter. Wink How does your mom think you can wear it as is if you are so much shorter?

Maybe you could just take some of the buttons off the back of the dress and then they could be replace. But to hem the dress it would have to be done from the waist. The bottom of the dress would have to be detached from the top and then resewed back to the top after the extra fabric is cut off from the top of the skirt. You could reuse that fabric to make the top bigger. 

If it was me I would take that beautiful lace off the skirt and use it on a new dress. I wish you luck coming up with a solution for your mom, but it is nice that your grandmother is on your side.Smile 

Post # 10
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’m with your Mom (Sorry!). This dress is an heirloom from the 50s! It would kill me to see it get cut up, too! Especially just to harvest the lace!

Post # 11
894 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I don’t blame your mom for not wanting it cut.  That is an absolutely classic, gorgeous dress.

If, however, you really would consider altering it to fit you and wearing it, I’d say go for it!  I did this, and had my mother’s:) dress, which she wore (at 5’3 and barely 110 lbs) altered to fit me at 5’8″ and 120lbs.  The total cost, including extra lace I purchased for about $100, was about $500, and I had probably six fittings and quite a lot of work done on it.  

A good seamstress can really work wonders.  I had my doubts up until the second to last fitting, but my goodness did it look and fit great the day of the wedding even though I couldn’t even get it on all the way at my first fitting 🙂

Post # 12
6194 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

I think you should wear it, screw what your FI says- you can’t let him start dictating everything you do before you even get married! It would be one thing if he said he doesn’t want you to wear something revealing, etc., but for him to just say that he wants you to have a new dress when you want this one is BS.

FYI, it definitely could be hemmed- they just take it up from the top. Mine had a hem like that and that’s how it was done!

Post # 13
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@AllyCRN:  my wedding dress had scalloped lace trim and they were able to alter the length without loosing the detail.

I would see what kind of condition the dress is in first, maybe you can alter the dress to fit your body so you don’t look like a cake topper? lol

Post # 14
2246 posts
Buzzing bee

@AllyCRN:  I was faced with the exact same problem. My mom’s wedding dress was also my grandmother’s, and somewhat similar to the style of your grandmother’s dress (it has the sheer sleeves and illusion neck but her’s were short sleeves instead of long). Nobody told me I couldn’t alter it, BUT nobody could find it!! I knew I was going to face the challenges of having the material be fragile along with a ridiculously small waist, so I decided to not attempt it. The good thing is, lace and sheer sleeves have become much more popular these days. I ended up getting a lace cap sleeve dress that was a ball gown, and took out some of the crinoline to make it more a-line (I’m 5’1 so I feel your pain there). I ended up with a dress that fit me exactly right, but had a very similar feel to my grandmother’s dress. I did not show her the dress until my wedding day, and she burst into tears seeing it. I know it reminded her of her own dress and I really think you could have a similar experience if a really good seamstress isn’t able to do what you’d like with your grandmother’s dress. Good luck!!

Post # 16
311 posts
Helper bee

I love it when I see ladies wear their mother’s gowns! I had a bride a few weeks ago (I’m on here for my own personal wedding, but I’m also a wedding planner, Day-of-coordinator and most recently….a bridal stylist!  

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