Mom's Wedding Dress
I talked recently with a Bride-To-Be from Vestavia Hills, Alabama. She was asking about our ability to restore the original color to her Mother's wedding dress and wanted to know about our skills in making some changes to better fit her style and personality. The gown had yellowed over the thirty-four years it had been hanging in Mom's closet but I felt reasonably sure we could return the color to near its original color. And with an effective wedding dress cleaning, her Mom's dress should be in good shape. The alterations she had in mind required dress-maker skills...a skill level we regularly provide. Mom's wedding dress was a classic style which helps when restyling an older wedding gown. But sometimes an older gown has a personality different from what the Bride wants. My suggestion was to not try and make the "old gown" into a "new gown" by making extensive stylistic alterations. If you like the basic look of the dress, and the dress will fit, even with required alterations, you have a great candidate for your wedding dress. And you can save a good bit of money in the process.
We cleaned and restored the gown using a wet cleaning technique and a special bleaching process. She changed the straps, added some lace and a bustle but she didn't try wholesale changes in the style. She respected the personality of this vintage wedding gown and ended up with a beautiful gown that both she and her Mother loved.
Trouble Areas On Previously Worn Wedding Dresses
With many second generation gowns or previously worn wedding dresses, there are often trouble areas if the gown has not been properly preserved or stored. A skilled wedding gown specialist can often find ways to handle these trouble areas without making wholesale changes. Some lace can help cover discoloration in local areas. And a creative dress maker can suggest other ways to hide many faults in a second generation wedding dress.
These same concepts can be applied as well to second hand wedding dresses, including consignment wedding dresses. I suggest that you always respect the gown and don't try to do more with the gown than its personality can handle.
My final suggestion is to clean and preserve your gown immediately after your wedding. Meet with your wedding gown cleaning specialist before your wedding. Get someone to deliver your wedding dress to your selected specialist while you're honeymooning. Some specialists will even pick up your gown for you after your wedding. Just ask your wedding gown specialist! But get your gown in to a certified wedding gown specialist for a proper cleaning and preservation...because you never know who will wear your dress next.