My dress wasn’t a wedding dress per se, but was bridal looking in a casual way that was perfect for my small wedding. I loved the lace insets down the sleeves, as well as the cut of the neck with the lace trim. It was purchased in a regular department store when my mother and I went shopping on a weekend trip home from college. The ceremony was family only, and the reception at my parents’ home was not large. The fact that it was also New Year’s Eve added to the festivities, and means my husband and I have an easy-to-remember anniversary! I’m not really sure why I’ve kept it all these years, but it just doesn’t seem right to get rid of it!
My sister, Diane, had a wedding dress that was made by our oldest sister. It was modest by today’s standards; an A-line, empire lace dress with long sleeves and a round neckline. It featured button loops embroidered by our grandmother. Maybe one reason to keep a dress is to model it several years later in a charity fashion show, as my sister did just a few years ago (escorted by her son)!
My best friend, Susie, had a dress made by her grandmother who was an expert seamstress. Susie loved the sleeves and the lace embellishments, and she says the train was beautiful. Her store-bought veil cost more than the fabric for the dress! She still has her dress, mainly because Granny made it.
My niece, Debi, got married on what must have been the hottest day of the year in 1990! She had a good idea what style of dress she wanted, and she was fortunate to win a $50.00 gift certificate to a wedding shop. She found her dress, a Jessica McClintock, on the prom dress rack! The only alteration needed was to shorten it, and her daughters still use the fabric that was removed as a lacy dress-up scarf. She says she “never had eyes for any other dress”! She has kept it, and although she doubts her daughters will want to use it she can’t imagine selling it or giving it away. She hopes her daughters will at least want to try it on when they are older.
My daughter-in-law, Kelly, wore a dress that fit with the early summer outdoor wedding in an idyllic setting. It featured long, flowing sleeves and an empire waist. It was simple and elegant. Her niece, the flower girl, had a matching dress. Kelly has kept her dress, too.
Another niece, Sally, chose a dress she saw at a bridal show. I was fortunate to be with her (and her mother and another aunt) when she tried it on. It was immediately apparent that she had found “the one”! She loved the simple A-line design that had trickling bead work down one side of the bodice. She also loved the train that fanned out in the back and that was made from a different material than the dress itself. She took steps to carefully preserve her dress, having it museum vacuum wrapped so that her children and/or grandchildren can use it in some way in the future.
And finally my friend Dana, who asked me about keeping my dress, also had a dress she loved and has kept. For her it was mainly about the way the dress made her feel when she wore it. It had many attractive features such as the tiered skirt and the sheer straps. And like other dresses that became the chosen one, the decision holds up in hindsight!