Rock the Frock

Your wedding gown has a value far beyond the amount of money you paid for it – the memories of searching for, and finally finding the gown, trying it on, making it yours, and finally wearing it for one magical day.  And then… what?

You surely can’t just relegate such a treasure to the back of the wardrobe, so, here’s The Wedding Whisperer’s boxful of ideas of things you might choose to do with your wedding dress:

Heirloom it: If you loved your dress, why not save it for another generation to enjoy? As a bride who got to wear my grandmother’s wedding gown up the aisle, I know that a wedding gown can make a beautiful heirloom. There are no guarantees, though. Fashion is a fickle thing, so it’s a long-term investment.  Be ready to store your gown for two generations – that’s how long it may take for your gown to transition past kitsch and back into style again.
If you think your gown will stand the test of time, make sure you pack it away spotlessly clean, and well wrapped in acid free white tissue, or clean calico/cotton, never plastic. Remove any metal parts or boning, to guard against rust. It would be a tragedy to keep carefully for years, only to discover that the armpits have rotted out, or that the colour of the box you stored it in has leached into the fabric.

Frame it: Last summer, a bride showed me the stunning 3D mount and frame she’d arranged to display her gown as an art installation – she’s definitely getting more than one day’s pleasure out of it!

Model it: If you enjoyed walking down the aisle, all eyes on you, then why not unpack your dress and take a stroll along the catwalk! This year’s Bride of the Year is open for entry, and the prizes are fantastic!
Nelson Brides, married between 31 June 2008-1 June 2011 have until 4 June to register, for the Nelson Bride of the Year / Hospice fundraiser on 11th June.
Marlborough Brides married between 7 June 2010 and 7 June 2011, register now for the Marlborough Bride of the Year with Beavertown Blenheim Lions on 18th June 2011

Rock it:  A Trash the Dress photo shoot can simply be a way to get those artsy shots you simply couldn’t squeeze into your wedding day schedule. Or, it can be the beginning of something totally audacious – paintball, mud-stomping, whatever appeals to you – to create an album of stunning photos that celebrate how beautiful you feel while wearing your gown. Facebookers, check out a recent [paintball!] photo shoot

ReStyle it: It’s really rare for a wedding gown to successfully do double service – no matter how much you may have tried to choose a gown that you could wear again, somehow it always feels like you’re wearing your wedding dress out to dinner. A little bit of re-styling may be all it takes to bring it back into your useable wardrobe – add a touch of colour with a belt or sassy wrap cardi, or even dye it;  shorten the skirt, change the details, so that it’s not JUST your wedding dress any more.

Quilt it: A really neat way to keep your gown in the family, without relegating it to a box in the attic, is to use the fabric and accessories to make a quilt, wall hanging, pillow covers, christening gown, bassinette ruffle – something that will be part of your family’s day-to-day life.

Gift it or Sell it: The Wedding Whisperer sells a lot of pre-loved wedding gowns, and I really enjoy watching a bride step up to the mirror in a gown she never dreamed she’d be able to afford. It’s really satisfying to call a bride and tell her that the gown she wore and loved has found another bride who loves it just as much. If you really don’t have any other plans for it, bring it down to the store, and we’ll be happy to match-make on your behalf!

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