(Closed) HELP my grandma made my dress and I don't like it. (Long post)

posted 4 years ago in Emotional
Post # 121
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

I am siding with store dress. Yes, it’s sentimental, yes, grandma made it etc etc but that dress is not a dress I would be wearing to my wedding. Sorry Grandma.

Post # 122
587 posts
Busy bee

To me the grandma’s dress is not pretty, I just don’t… It’s ugly. I’m sorry. That skirt is just  a piece of fabric and not a skirt.

Sure, you asked her. But if she made you a wedding dress from a potato bag, would you wear it? It’s not well done and you can so clearly see it. Maybe she was more skilled when she was younger, but that dress looks so amateur to me. I would think it’s ok to use as a wedding dress for a school play, but not to an actual wedding. You get married once, get your dream dress! Sorry, grandma.

Post # 123
570 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

Just explain it to her again, show her the store-bought dress, and go with what you planned (her dress shortened, wearing the dream dress). I’m in a similar situation with my grandmother, although my dress is for our engagement party. She made it for my mum when she got engaged nearly 40 years ago, and I wanted to have the sleeves altered. Gran was initially a little miffed/upset, but ultimately understood, and now she’s changing it for me. Just takes a little extra talking.

PS: Your store-bought dress is BEAUTIFUL!!

Post # 124
1410 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016


I think some of the comments about your grandma’s dress are a bit unfair. It looks like a nice dress and quite well made. You look pretty in it, not frumpy or bad. My only reservation would be the colours seem to be a bit of a miss-match between different shades of ivory/white.

That said, I completely understand where you’re coming from. It’s a sweet dress but not a  stunning once-in-a-lifetime dress. I do honestly think that with your hair and make-up done and with a great bouquet, you would look truly beautiful in it, but I know why you wouldn’t be happy- it wouldn’t be the best dress you could have worn. 

You’re in a horrible position and you’ve done exactly what I would have advised already and it didn’t work. Poor you! Your grandma may come around…she is probably bitterly disappointed that after all her hard work and care you just didn’t really love it. That must hurt her. But ultimately you can’t wear it just to keep her happy. You should wear it as it is for your other occasion, don’t shorten it,  unless she allows you to, that’s just too upsetting for her- literally cutting up her work. Keep it long but accessorise it in a more fun way with another brighter colour to keep it from looking too bridal. 

I’m not sure if you can win this one but to add to what you’re already said, you could try explaining that you feel the dress is not ‘you’ and you love it for all the family memories and connections, but that you want your own marriage to begin with ‘something new’ that is fresh and never worn before and reflects the era you are getting married better, and say that you made a big mistake in not realising that earlier. Say you feel really attached to the dress she made and are desperate to wear it to your rehearsal as you feel it carries good luck from the past. But you want a new beginining.

And make sure you get some really nice ‘couple photos’ of you wearing it and give her a nice photo frame of them as a gift to say thank you. Once it’s done, you might be surprised how she comes around……

As for whether you’re a people pleaser or not. Well, you clearly are. You seem genuinely upset over this. You’re hardly screaming ‘get over it, gran’ at her! You sound really nice and thoughtful, so ignore the criticism. All you’re guilty of is making an error of judgment, being too optimistic, maybe a bit disorganised and wanting to look amazing not ordinary on your big day, mainly to please your new husband. I can’t see anything that terrible in that.

Good luck!

Post # 125
3035 posts
Sugar bee

Oh dear, this is an awful situation.  No matter what you do, someone (you or Grandma) is going to be hurt and upset.  

As many others have pointed out, the dress your grandmother made is awful.  Dreadful, really. Poorly sewn, not remotely like your inspiration dress, and it does look childish.  It looks like an adult-size version of an infant’s christening gown to me, in fact.  Frankly, I don’t think a good seamstress could do much to rescue the dress, either. And if Grandma was upset about the idea of you shortening the dress, she’d probably be even more upset if you took it to a professional to have it “fixed”.  

And you look amazing in the BHLDN dress.  (And your figure looks so much more svelte!).  

I know what I would do – I’d wear the dress that made me feel terrific. And I’d thank grandma for her efforts, and trust in her ability as a grownup to handle her own feelings and emotions.  

I am curious about how on earth this dress happened – surely you had concerns when the mock-up/shell she made initially didn’t bear much resemblenace to your inspiration dress?  I can’t imagine the mock-up/shell fit you much better than the ‘finished product’. 

Let’s be honest: Grandma is probably well aware of the fact that the dress is awful. I can’t help but wonder if her “wear the dress for the entire day or not at all” ultimatum may, in fact, have been a way for her to try and save face?  

If you’re worried she’s been bragging about how she made your wedding dress and that lots of people, relatives, her friends, etc are excited to see the end result, any chance the homemade dress could be the victim of a tragic accident with a glass of red wine/cup of coffee a few days before the wedding? Then, BHLDN to the rescue?  

Post # 126
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Ontario, Canada

I think a lot of the PP have been really unfair. Yes, grandma put time and effort into making you a dress but it’s NOTHING like what you wanted! She said it would be easy to do, so you naturally expected it to at least resemble the inspiration pic. I 100% think you should wear your dream dress to your wedding and use the sentimental dress for the rehearsal/going away. Grandma might be upset for a little but but I am sure she will get over it once she sees how beautiful and happy you look in your dream dress.

At the end of the day, wouldn’t grandma want you to be as happy as can be on your wedding day?

Post # 127
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

As others have said if your grandmother had taken over and forced this on you I’d say sure, choose the store bought dress. But you asked her. She cut up your mother’s dress. She spent hours and hours on this with love for you in her heart. Those bindings round the sleeves and neck are not easy to do, especially onto such a delicate fabric. Try pinning the bodice a little tighter or a padded bra to fill it out a bit?

I read this earlier today and have come back to comment because I can’t get the thought of grandma telling all of her friends with such pride that her granddaughter had asked her to sew her wedding dress. I’d be crushed if I were her. And pissed.

Post # 128
3287 posts
Sugar bee

At this point I think we can assume that the OP is gone. 

Post # 129
971 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Could you possibly wear the dress your fiance hasn’t seen for your private first look and photos?  Then change into grandma’s dress for ceremony?  Then back to the other dress for reception?

This is rough and as a people pleaser myself–I can see how you got into this and how it’s going to be a struggle to sort it out.  Best wishes!!

Post # 130
5870 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

View original reply
aswei12034 :  OP, you’ve opted to engage a lot of “Friendors” in your wedding.  While this has it’s upsides, you are now experiencing one of the MAJOR downsides…when you ask a friendor to contribute to your wedding (especially an unpaid friendor) you will put your entire relationship on the line if you reject their work.

I suggest you check out the archives on A Practical Wedding related to managing friendors.  They have many articles: http://apracticalwedding.com/?s=friendors 

As for what to do, I suggest you talk to your mother about it.  She knows both you and her mother very well and can help you figure out the best approach.  

Post # 131
48 posts
  • Wedding: August 2016

I think you should tell your grandmother how you feel! Find another dress simialr to what you want asasp, and to make your grandmother happy wear the dress she made for a different pre-wedding event, shower, rehersal etc. That way you can get the best of both world, the dress you want and make your grandmother happy!

Post # 132
1 posts

View original reply
aswei12034 :  Take your grandma’s dress to a tailor and have them shorten it. She’ll get over it – emotions are very high around a wedding! Definitely wear it but for the rehearsal and getaway like you want – it’s your wedding!  Take care of yourself and your fiance first <3


Post # 133
486 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’m assuming OP is probably gone by now, but just in case she’s still reading- here are my thoughts.

The BHLDN dress is definitely beautiful.  I think your Grandma did a nice job but it’s also clearly not the look you were going for.  However, as others have said- you ASKED her to make your dress.  Turning around and telling her you don’t want to wear it is likely heartbreaking for her.

I think the biggest issues with the dress grandma made are that the skirt is lacking that ethereal fullness that you were after and the stark white of the skirt is noticeably different from the top.  The top could also be fitted slightly better.

I would go back to Grandma and tell her you love the dress and the hesitation was caused by the lack of fullness in the skirt.  You still really want to wear the dress and since time is short, you wonder if it wouldn’t be best to take it to a professional seamstress to have the bottom portion redone with a fuller skirt.  Go to the seamstress without grandma and see what they can do in terms of making the fit a bit better and making sure the top lays flat.  

I think at the end of the day its a beautiful dress but is lacking the professional finishing and eye for detail.  But after asking her to make your dress I think you need to find a way to wear it that makes you both happy.  

Post # 134
1 posts
  • Wedding: October 2015

View original reply
aswei12034 :  I hate to hurt people’s feelings too, but you shouldn’t wear a dress you’re not totally in love with on your wedding day. Think about how you’re going to feel every time you see your wedding photos. Will you feel self concious? Dissapointed? No bride deserves that. Wear grandma’s dress to the rehearsal and/or rehearsal dinner to show her how you appreciate her hard work but save the gown you feel radiant in for the big day. 

Post # 135
9831 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

You only get one wedding day. I think you should wear the dress you feel most beautiful in.

I totally get that grandma’s feelings might be hurt, but I can’t imagine anyone that truly wanted you to be happy being pissy that you didn’t wear a poorly made dress on your wedding day. Use if for the rehearsal.

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