Birmingham Wedding Gown Care Blog

Restoring and Restyling The Family Bridal Gown

Posted by David Whitehurst on September 27, 2011

Restoring and restyling a family bridal gown requires a bridal gown with fabric that has not deteriorated.  If you have such a family wedding gown, you can usually restore it and have a beautiful bridal gown with a family history to share.

The photo to the left is a 1960's wedding gown that had not been cleaned or preserved after the wedding.  See the photo below for the photo after it was restored.

Every bridal gown is special because it represents a wonderful day in a new bride's life.  This is why many brides spend a long time picking out the perfect dress, in the hopes that it will make her as beautiful as she can be on her wedding day.

Some brides, however, have the option of making their day even more magical.  These brides can take advantage of a wedding gown that has been in the family for generations, rather than picking out a new one at a bridal salon or a second-hand wedding gown at a consignment shop.

Family bridal gowns are wonderful for those who value tradition, nostalgia, history, and sentiment.  After all, how could anything be more special than wearing the same dress that your mother or grandmother wore on the day she professed her love to your father or grandfather?  Even more incredible is when the dress dates back further than that!

Not only do family wedding dresses offer a deeper meaning, but they also give the bride a classic, vintage look.  Many new dresses struggle to recreate the feel of a vintage wedding gown, so if you have a genuine one in front of you, it is nothing to roll your eyes at!

The First Step To Successful Wedding Dress Restoration

Many brides don’t have the opportunity to wear a family wedding gown because family members have not taken steps necessary to preserve the wedding gown.  Simple choices like storing the wedding gown in the temperature controlled part of the home…or keeping it out of damp basements can make a huge difference in the life of the fabric.  There is much more to proper wedding gown preservation, but storing it properly is the first and an essential step to retaining this bit of family history.

But assuming you have a wedding dress with strong enough fabric, a trained and experienced Certified Wedding Gown Specialist can put a refreshed look in an older gown.

Restoring Your Family Wedding Dress

Just because your second or third generation family wedding dress has yellowed or is stained is no reason to discard it.  It is worth seeing a wedding gown specialist about restoring it.  Wedding gown restoration techniques can turn a yellowed gown to a pure white.  Or you can get a diamond white or other tones of white through the restoration process.

Wedding gown restoration will help ensure that you have your family wedding dress that is rich in family history on your wedding day…and maybe even for the wedding days of your own future generations! 

Restyling Your Family Wedding Gown

If your family wedding dress does not fit properly, it can be often be restyled to fit the shape of the current bride. 

Often buttons, beads and sequins on an older wedding dress will fade or turn yellow over time.  Replacing buttons, sequins and beads is very common for us.  The main challenge will be finding the buttons and beads that match the color.   

We have restyled a number of wedding gowns over the years.  Replacing a zipper with a corset back might add  slightly to the bodice but when you do that, the side seams will move forward and can cause your dress to be "out of balance."  And it you don’t want the sleeves in the dress common in past decades, an experienced wedding gown seamstress with dress maker skills can provide alterations for restyling your family wedding gown.

So with a knowledgeable dressmaker, most wedding gowns can be resized and restyled as necessary for today's bride.

Preserve Your Gown After Restoration

Even if the wedding dress is never worn again, it represents your family history and is worth restoring and preserving.  If you wear it you will need to have it cleaned and preserved.  And when you do this, you will pass on a little more family history to future family members.

Restore and Restyle For Today's Bride
...Restore and Preserve For Tomorrow's Bride

Restore and Restyle Your Family Wedding Dress

Champion Wedding Gown Specialist
2548 Rocky Ridge Road
Birmingham, AL 35243

Certified Wedding Gown Specialists

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Topics: bridal gown restoration, wedding gown restoration, wedding dress preservation, Gown Restoration

Can a Wedding Dress Be Restored After 50 Years?

Posted by David Whitehurst on June 2, 2011


How can you protect an heirloom family wedding dress and make sure it can be passed on to future generations?

Wedding dresses are among the most memorable pieces of clothing that a woman will own in her lifetime.  These magnificent dresses represent what is commonly considered the happiest day of a Bride’s life and a giant step to her future.  Because a wedding gown represents such a significant occasion, many women choose to save their wedding memories through their wedding dress so they can pass it on to the next generation.

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Topics: wedding gown restoration, restore vintage wedding dress, vintage wedding dress restoration

Champagne And Your Wedding Dress

Posted by David Whitehurst on May 24, 2011

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Topics: wedding gown cleaning and preservation, wedding dress cleaning, wedding gown restoration, wedding dress stains

Restoring Mom's Wedding Dress

Posted by David Whitehurst on May 16, 2011

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a wedding dress worn by a Mother from Oxford, Mississippi back in 1968.  Her daughter was recently engaged and Mom wondered what shape her wedding dress was in since it had been preserved after her wedding. She opened her preserved wedding dress only to find that it had yellowed over the years.  She wanted to know if there was any possible way to restore the original color to the point that her daughter, who is getting married next year, could wear that wedding dress if that's what she wanted.  Here is a link to that article.

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Topics: wedding gown restoration, Wedding Dresses, yellowing, vintage wedding dress restoration

Don’t Touch the Wedding Dress?

Posted by David Whitehurst on March 26, 2011

So what can happen if I handle my wedding dress?


One question that many brides-to-be will ask us is if they can discolor their wedding dress by touching it with bare hands. There’s not really a straight answer to this. While it can happen, if you treat it with the care and reverence that most brides will have for their dress, it should be fine. We don’t want to make you afraid to handle the dress. After all, you want to be able to enjoy it rather than worry over every little speck.

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Topics: wedding gown restoration, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, Wedding Gown Specialist

Restoring and Restyling Second Generation Wedding Gowns

Posted by David Whitehurst on March 20, 2011

In Meg Cabot’s “Queen of Babble” series, the main character (Lizzie Nichols) finds a vintage designer gown in an attic, wrapped around a rusty old rifle. She is able to remove the rust stains (for she had vast experience with dresses, especially vintage ones) and the gown saves the day for a bride who has a wedding gown disaster.

Although this makes for a good story and is dumb novel luck, a Certified Wedding Gown SpecialistTM doesn’t need luck.  Instead we use our professional training and experience to avert your disasters so that your wedding gown looks perfect for your day.

Many brides today want to wear a

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Topics: Vintage Wedding Dress, wedding gown restoration, wedding gown alterations in Birmimgham Alabama

Can It Be Too Late To Preserve A Wedding Dress?

Posted by David Whitehurst on February 8, 2011

The question is simple but the answer is not.

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Topics: Vintage Wedding Dress, bridal gown restoration, wedding gown restoration, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, wedding dress preservations

Preserve Your Wedding Dress - 7 Quick Tips

Posted by David Whitehurst on January 28, 2011

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Topics: wedding gown restoration, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, wedding gown preservation Birmingham Alabama

Can A Yellowed Vintage Wedding Gown Be Restored?

Posted by David Whitehurst on January 25, 2011

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Topics: bridal gown restoration, wedding gown cleaning and preservation, wedding gown restoration, yellowing

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