How to Incorporate a Mother's Wedding Dress Into a Daughter's Wedding

by Courtney Ryan

Many brides face the choice of whether or not to wear her mother's wedding dress on her special day. For those who prefer to go shopping for their own wedding wear, there are still plenty of ways to incorporate a mother's wedding dress into the festivities. There are as many ideas as there are brides, so be creative in using the dress to honor your mother while still playing into your own vision of the ideal wedding.

Step 1

Wear your mother's wedding dress to the rehearsal. This is a fun way to start off the wedding festivities and will give everyone a chance to see the dress walk down the aisle one more time. If the dress is obviously very retro, go ahead and play up those features with your hair and makeup.

Step 2

Make a handkerchief out of the wedding dress material to dab away any tears of joy. Better yet, make several handkerchiefs out of the wedding dress and distribute them among the wedding party and close family members. After all, they're likely to get misty-eyed as well.

Step 3

Construct the flower girl's dress from the wedding gown. This option works especially well if the original wedding gown has yards of excess fabric. It will bring the tradition of your mother's dress into your wedding party, without you having to actually wear the dress yourself. Use a professional seamstress or tailor so that the flower girl dress is well-made.

Step 4

Display your parent's and your in-law's wedding photos in the gathering area of the ceremony or at the reception. The dress will still be on display, being worn by the woman who was meant to wear it in the first place. Plus, this option allows you to honor all of your and your spouse's parents.

Step 5

Construct the ring pillow out of the wedding dress material. This simple sewing project is easy to do at home, or you could hire professional sewing help. As one of the focal points of the service, the ring pillow is a beautiful place to incorporate the history of your mother's dress.

Step 6

Have a professional seamstress or tailor remake the dress in your own style. This is the perfect option for you if you who wish to wear your mother's gown, without looking like you're wearing your mother's gown. Older wedding gowns can be remade to look modern and stylish with alterations to the neckline, sleeve length, and skirt cut. As a bonus, you'll get more of a say in designing your own dress than you ever would buying it off the rack. Be sure you involve your mother in the alteration decisions, however, as the changes to her dress could be emotional for her.

Tips

  • Whatever option you choose, be open and honest with your mother about why you wish to wear or not to wear her dress. Wedding stress can be managed with open communication.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Wisconsin, Courtney Ryan has been writing since 2005. She has been published in "The Motley" literary magazine and has provided private research for various businesses and organizations. With a background in education and economics, Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Spring Hill College and a Master of Arts in the social sciences from the University of Chicago.