Did I ever say how much love receiving emails from readers?
Emily emailed me to share her wedding venue (which will be our next Glamorous Venues post by the way) and when she told me she had worn the wedding dress her grandmother worn on her wedding day in 1936 I needed to know all about it. It’s not everyone who has the courage to forgo the trendy strapless dress from the bridal store to wear a real vintage dress.
She shares the process of restoring a vintage dress and offers advice to other brides who are interested in wearing a vintage gown:
My grandma and my mother also wore the cross around my neck I’m wearing in the photo above. The dress did not fit me perfectly. In fact, it was a little too short and didn’t leave room for any weight gain (thank goodness for Spanx). My Aunt also wore the dress in the 1960’s and at that time, the slip underneath and outside piece of lace were added.
The dress came shipped to my mom in a basic cardboard box. The dress, slip and outside lace were wrapped in tissue paper and stuffed in the box! How long it had been stored like that, I have no idea. Since it is satin, the dress was so wrinkled we weren’t even sure if steaming it would smooth things out. The underneath slip didn’t fit at all and the outside lace was ripped in places. But we thought it just MIGHT work because the dress fit fairly well minus the wrinkles.
My mom took the lead in finding a tailor in our area. We didn’t have to alter the dress at all but the slip had to be completely remade to fit me. The tailor steamed the dress about a month before the wedding just to be sure, one more time, I could pull it off. And, the ripped outside lace was repaired over three months by a friend of the family who actually makes lace.
I didn’t wear the dress all night. I bought an ivory bridesmaid dress to wear for the reception just so I could be a little more comfortable dancing the night away! My advice to someone considering a vintage dress would be to find someone you trust and feels your dress is as special as you do. Don’t be afraid to wear something that isn’t exactly perfect but will mean more than you can imagine. I had no idea my dress would be the hit of the party but it was. People commented all night about how special and meaningful it was that I could wear it. It was a wee bit short, tight around the shoulders, needed a full body suit of spandex underneath, and hard to button up the back but it was the perfect dress for me.
*photo credits: top 2 images, Meg Daniels; bottom two, family and friends.