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Hi there! Welcome to the J & J Blog. A place for pretty things and wedding tips.

Hi, I'm Sammy

10 Ways to Incorporate a Loved One’s Dress on Wedding Day

Nov 28, 2018

wedding dress

Tale as old as time…

Raise your hand if you have a mama, grandma, aunt, or cousin that you absolutely adore.

Okay, raise your hand if you love the sentiment behind wearing your loved one’s wedding dress on your big day.

Now raise your hand if your loved one was married 30+ years ago and their dress features puffy sleeves and a hoop skirt.

Girl, I’m raising three hands right now. I loved the idea of wearing my mom’s dress on wedding day, but when I tried it on, it wouldn’t zip- at all. I also realized that although it was stunning on my mom in 1986, it really didn’t match the vision I had for my dress.

loved ones wedding dress
Excuse the bra, but it wouldn’t zip without ripping. LOL.

What I wish I would have done.

Since my mom’s dress was too small and didn’t match my vision, we decided to move on and start shopping. I wound up finding my dream dress that I absolutely loved (and still do), but looking back, I wish I would have incorporated my mom’s dress into my look in some way.

So today I want to walk you through 10 Ways to Incorporate a Loved One’s dress on Wedding Day. Aka: ideas that I didn’t think of until long after my wedding. *face palm*

10 Ways to Incorporate a Loved One’s dress on Wedding Day:

1.Bouquet Wrap:This one is super easy. Take a piece of fabric/lace from your loved one’s dress and have your florist place it around the bottom of your bridal bouquet. I actually did this with leftover fabric from the bottom of my own dress. Of course I didn’t think of this until now. *additional face palm*

wedding dress
Fabric from the bottom of my dress with my great-grandmothers’ brooches

TIP: If you decide to do this, bring a swatch of the fabric/lace with you when you go dress shopping to avoid clashing.

ANOTHER TIP: If you plan to make custom changes to your dress, you’ll need to purchase/order it (ideally) a year out from your wedding date. Once your dress comes in, start meeting with your seamstress immediately. This will give your seamstress (ideally) 4-6 months to complete the customization and normal alterations. You don’t want to bring custom changes to a seamstress 2 months before your wedding – it may not get done!

3. Appliques: Most appliques (lace or beaded) that you see on wedding dresses can easily be removed. If your loved one’s dress features appliques, you can have your seamstress remove and add them to your dress or veil.

4. Belts or Sashes: If there is beading, lace, or fabric that you like on your loved one’s dress, ask your seamstress to make a belt or sash out of it. It could be the perfect touch of sentimental sparkle to add to your dress!

loved ones wedding dress

5. A patch of love: If there isn’t a place for additions on your dress, simply sew a patch of fabric from your loved one’s dress in the bodice or hem of your dress. They’ll be close to you  in a subtle way.

6. Garter: This might seem a little scandalous, but hey, garters are part of the bridal tradition. Like with the belt, you can have a garter made from lace from your loved one’s dress. I’ve seen a few Etsy shops that hand make garters, ask for a custom order!

7. Hair Pieces: Using lace, appliques, or beading, have a hair piece or headband made. You can also have a piece added to the comb of your veil for a little sparkle!

loved ones wedding dress

8. Handkerchief: A lot of brides like to hold a handkerchief during the ceremony, so it would be really cool if it was made from your mom’s dress. It would be fairly easy to do too!

9. Buttons: Satin buttons are such a timeless bridal look. If your loved one’s dress features satin buttons, ask your seamstress to remove and add them to your dress!

loved ones wedding dress

10. Shawl or Wrap: If your loved one’s dress features a lace train or if she wore a cathedral length veil, have a seamstress create a shawl/wrap for your wedding day or rehearsal dinner. It wouldn’t really be for warmth, but it would be a delicate lace addition that would photograph beautifully!

Now go be more creative than I was!

I hope these ideas have sparked your creative thinking and you’re ready to meet with your seamstress and create a sentimental masterpiece! If you do incorporate a loved one’s dress in your own, please send me pictures!

Happy Wedding Planning!

xoxo,

Sammy

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