As she stands at the church doors, father on one arm, bouquet in the other hand she stares down the red carpeted aisle searching for her groom. She carefully walks down, hearing the chimes of the organ and the whispers of her guest- “Doesn’t she look beautiful?”.
This is what every bride wants. For one day of their life they are the focal point, the centre of attention; a princess. Almost every bride will tell you that the most important thing of their wedding day is the perfect dress. They spend hours, days even months scouring the stores to find “the one”. “The one” no longer means the perfect partner. It is now a bunch of tulle and material, beads and lace in strategic positioning, hugging in the right place and flaring in the other.
The result- yes some tears but more importantly a bill of $5000 and only one event to wear it to.
Let it sit in a box?
The other day I was watching Don’t tell the bride, a reality show where a couple is given $25,000 and 3 weeks to plan their wedding. The catch is that the groom makes all decisions, and the bride has no idea what he has planned. This particular groom decided that the most important aspect of his wedding was his buck’s night, so he squirrelled money from other areas (including the dress) so that he and his‘ boys’ would have more money to waste away in the hell pit which is Las Vegas. Yes some of you may gasp at the outrage but when you stop and think about it logically the boys probably have it right. This got me thinking about my own wedding dress which is sitting in a box, hidden away after a $300 dry-cleaning bill.
What am I ever going to do with it?
Well here are some ideas:
Sell your wedding dress on eBay
You may find it hard to part with your beloved dress but really you can probably recover some of the costs by selling it on Ebay or another sale site like Gumtree. Many brides patrol the web trying to find a bargain because for some they just cannot afford to buy the dress new. Why not send it to a good home and help someone else out on their big day?
If your dress was of a more simple design why not dye it? Many dry cleaners offer this service but you can also find specialised providers on the web. Now rather than a white dress you will never wear again, you have a coloured evening or cocktail gown that you could wear on numerous occasions. You can also do this for wedding shoes and transform white or ivory pumps into black or coloured ones for any occasion. For those in Sydney Deseo in Paddington specialises in shoe dyeing for brides.
Alter the design
Many dresses would be able to be altered into a simpler cocktail or evening design (you may need to also include the dyeing idea because having a white dress is a little weird). My dress has loads of material and tulle because it was a massive cupcake so I could easily have enough to make something of the more subtle variety. My mum also suggested that I use my dress one day to make a christening gown for my children. This was a great idea and adds a special touch for another important event.
Trash the dress
I first saw this phenomenon on Jerseylicious (yes I like trash TV). Brides hire a photographer and embark on a journey of mass destruction of their wedding dresses for a creative artwork piece to adorn their walls. Whether it is paint, chocolate, water, fire you name it you can do it. It poses an interesting and creative use for your dress.
Pass it down
Some of you may have grand ideas about passing your dress down as a family heirloom (or you may have been given your ancestors dress as such). Think RomComs and tear-jerking background music and you have your special moment you were envisaging. This is a nice concept but be sensible-fashions change minute to minute and everyone has different tastes. If you are going to do this be respectful of the fact that your daughter may not want to wear the same dress.
I understand the importance of your wedding dress. Because of what it signifies the majority of you will probably leave it in that box, getting moulding or eaten by moths. For the others though be creative. Whether it is though selling to make some money or transforming it so it can be used again, there are many things you can do with your wedding dress to get more than that one wear out of it!