My wedding was almost nine years ago, and since that time, my wedding
dress and veil have been sitting in a dust-proof bag in our garage.
We are getting ready to move a long distance in a few months, and have
begun selling off those items that we find we really haven't, in the
end, used all that much. Of course, the dress falls into this
However, I find myself reluctant to part with it, for no reason
whatsoever other than sentimental. About all other things, I am
fairly practical in my life--but I can't quite bring myself to part
with it, but I can't really justify keeping it, either. I have one
son and, all things being equal, even if he were to want to wear my
dress at his wedding, I have always heard that children never want to
wear their mother's dress: too big, too small, too ugly, etc.
I do have the option of keeping it and not moving it (we are renting
our house, and will be keeping some things in the garage), but that
seems impractical. I also think that someone could be out there who
may LOVE to wear my dress at her own wedding, if given the chance (I
bought mine used, so why not put it out there again)--but again, I'm
not quite there.
I am wondering what others have done who have been in the same boat.
It isn't really about the money, but I have thought of maybe putting
the money from its sale toward another sentimental piece for myself,
like a wedding ring (we didn't do the ring exchange, and I find myself
wanting one), so maybe some suggestions in that vein. Or maybe
someone sold her dress/gave it away and regretted in ever since? Or,
success stories? Any advice is much appreciated here. something old
Keep it. Your post makes it clear (to me anyway) that you are not
ready to part with it. Maybe the next time you do a big purge you
will be, but not this time.
And you mention you did not exchange rings. Maybe the dress is
the symbolic representation of the vows you made on that day, as
the role the ring normally plays, and so that could be behind
your feelings of not wanting to part with it, even without
knowing it. Just a thought.
My mom still has her wedding dress and though neither me nor my
sisters will ever wear it we love looking at her wedding photos
and being able to feel and smell her dress. Don't get rid of
yours. It can't be taking up that much space, right?
I wish i could offer sage advice. I too have held onto my
dress for 9 years now. Mine's a bit different, I made the
dress, and it's a renaissance themed dress, so maybe not so
popular on the re-sale market, I have two sons who probably
wouldn't be interested when the are old enough. But, when I
just recently cleaned out my closets, as we are also trying to
downsize, I knew all the reasons why I should just part with
it, but I found that I still couldn't do it yet. I carefully
tucked it back away, maybe this year will be the year I wear it
to ren faire, maybe next year when I revisit it (or if we have
to move), but for now, I am just not ready, and so it will
stay. A note on wearing mom's dress. I would have loved to
have worn my mom's dress. It was a very simple dress, but
lovely. But, she had left it with my dad when she left him,
and it had been stored improperly for some 10-15 years and was
quite yellow (I got it after he died 2 years after my wedding),
and it would have been too small without a doubt! My mom's a
lot shorter than I am. Goodluck, it is a hard decision.
a reforming pack rat
Keep it! it's not like hanging on to the bed you first slept in.
it doesn't take up that much room and you like having it - keep
it whether it'll be worn again or not. My friend still has the
plaid pants she was wearing when she met her husband.
I think it is absolutely fine to hold onto your wedding dress.
When the right time comes along to give it up (i.e. a friend
needs a dress for her wedding, etc.), you will know, and you'll
be glad to be able to offer it. I held onto my dress for years,
and felt guilty about how long it sat in the back of my closet.
Then, out of the blue, my sister announced she was getting
married. It fit her perfectly, and I was so glad to be able to
pass it along.
If you can separate the emotion from the sale, you could try to
sell your dress. Compared to the emotional attachment, you will
probably not get close to what you think it is worth. Your
first avenue would be one of the better consignment shops. I
have used one on Piedmont Avenue near Piedmont Grocery. I don't
know if they take wedding dresses or not. Most shops have set
hours to take consignments so call ahead. I donated both of my
dresses to a church rummage sale. I figured the church gets the
donation and some person would be happy to get a lovely gown at
a low price. I have not regretted giving up my dresses in the
least. I have pictures to look back on (and they are lots
easier to move!).
I wasn't sentimental about my dress (but I still have my dried bouquet
go figure!) and I donated my wedding dress to charity shortly after my
wedding. It had
a long train and was a pain to store. I also knew I was never going to
wear it again. I
don't recall phone numbers and addresses, but it was for breast cancer
the charity was located in Portland, OR. I had to ship the dress there,
of course. I liked
the idea of someone else wearing it and getting a great deal on it AND
for a worthy charity.
I haven't been able to let go of my wedding dress either. I've
seen a few ideas about repurposing the skirt portion of wedding
dresses. Do a google search. I like the Christmas tree skirt or
quilt idea. Not sure if your dress would lend itself to such
repurposing. Or how about wearing your dress one last time for
a lovely dinner at home with your husband?
I have let go of my wedding dress, a few years back, similar to your
space, 2 sons...
I donated my dress to http://bridesagainstbreastcancer.org/ which I felt
great about. I
did keep my veil, just to have some momento
I am getting married in the late spring and would like to wear something casual but nice. I definitely don't want to wear the typical white gown. I would like to wear something colorful, creative and fun. I am not a good shopper and need some advice of where to go find something like this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I love the huge variety of fun fabrics at Stone Mountain on
Shattuck. Japanese, Indonesian cottons, and some pretty ''fancy''
materials. Also, if you are the lace type, check out the antique
lace and cool vintage accessories at Lacis, also on Shattuck. Then,
I would go through some magazines looking for something you like
(or draw something)and have it tailored for you. Then it can be
casual, fun and uniquely you!
Congratulations on your nuptials. My first thought reading your
post is that you should hire Maureen French to help you find the
dress. She is an independent personal shopper who works with
clients to do a whole range of things, including helping them find
the right clothing for them -- and it ends up being a really
enjoyable experience. Which if you don't really like shopping (and
I don't) says a lot! She helped me find special clothes that I
never would have picked out in a million years and which I wear
over and over. The amount of time, energy and frustration that I
saved working with her was worth her fee. You can learn more about
her at her website: http://maureenfrench.com/ I think she could
help you find a great dress you'd love.
Anthropologie in Berkeley, in the 4th street area might be a cool
store to check out. They have beautiful, funky (but in a
cool-classy-nontraditional sorta way!) dresses. Prices range from
$100 to over $300. You can look at the dresses on-line then go walk
into the store for a better view.
non formal bride too
Looking for a dress to get married in...not white, not poufy,
not shiny. My perfect dress would not rustle. It would
preferably be a simple but well-cut off-the-rack dress that will
be found in a store with good selection and kind, helpful sales
people. If that store also had a nice selection of mother of the
bride dresses, more's the better! Our budget is almost nil, so
vintage or second-stores would work.
Another interest I have is for organic, hemp, or fair trade
dresses...but I don't even know where to start.
I would welcome any and all suggestions...I'm getting a bit
I think the wedding line in JCrew is really nice. But I don't think they're
organic... but they might be. Check out Jcrew.com.
I've checked the archives but would like more up-to-date
information, hopefully convenient to the Oakland/Berkeley
Has anyone purchased bridesmaids' dresses or had them
made recently? I am going to be a bridesmaid soon and the
bride has just put us in charge of finding our own dresses.
We'd like to find matching dresses under $200 each that will
be appropriate for 7 women who range in age from 21 to 35,
have a fairly drastic variety of body types, and whose
personal styles range from hip-hop cool to librarian-ish
Writing this, it is becoming clear that whatever we come up
with will be hilarious. Still, I welcome any advice, so thank
you in advance.
At Least The Bride Will Look Great
I just got my daughter a flower girl dress on eBay for $30. I
noticed that many purveyors of wedding attire, including
bridesmaid dresses, sell there. It *can* be difficult to get in
quantity there, but it's not impossible.
When I got my daughter's dress, they had a ''Buy it now'' option
(meaning I didn't have to bid) and they had several sizes and
colors of the same dress up for sale.
An idea worth considering is picking a fabric you all like, and
then sewing or having a dress made from a variety of patterns,
so that each bridesmaid can have a style suitable for her body
type and personal taste. A friend of mine did this, and the
bridesmaids (she had 5) looked great, and even had a dress they
might wear again (gasp!). I think she retained veto power over
the patterns and fabric ultimately selected, just in case
someone went berserk, but I don't think she had to exercise it.
I got married last August and although I don't like the big
corporate stores, I used David's Bridal for my bridemaids. I
had five bridesmaids in four different US cities. They could
all find a local David's bridal to get a dress. (There is one
here in Pinole.) I picked one style line (Shades of You) and a
color. There were eleven styles in that line and so they could
each pick the style that they liked the best on themselves, but
they would all be in the same fabric and color, and all the
dresses went together.
Here's a link to their ''Color Expressions'' style line:
they each cost about $110. They fit sizes 2 to 26, and they
will alter the dresses for you.
Hope this helps!
This is just a little out of your way but we had great luck with
David's Bridal in Pinole. We were all different ages, shapes
and sizes, too, and the bride picked the color dress she wanted
us to wear (plum). From there, we got to pick our own dress
style (halter top, short sleeves, no sleeves, even 2-piece,
etc.). I think we paid around $145 for each dress. So we were
all able to look similar yet we wore what flattered us (as much
as a bridesmaide dress can flatter!).
I just bought a bridesmaid's dress last week from The Wedding Party on
College near Alcatraz. I clerk was very helpful. Appointments are required.
They've got a website with several of their dresses but they don't list prices.
The Siri dress I bought was about $200 plus a rush charge. Siri also had a
website. The shop is also used to working with clients who are out of town. I
must say that I like my dress a lot and hope to wear it to upcoming showers
and other weddings . . will see.
If you are willing to have them made, why don't you ditch the
idea of matching dresses and go for dresses made out of the
same material, but in cuts to flatter each person. Or, if you
aren't going to have them made, then pick a color and all find
a ready-made dress to fit/flatter each of you. The bride
sounds very cool if she is putting you guys in charge of
finding your own dresses.
Bridesmaids dresses are the one do-over that I would have back
for my wedding. I really didn't care what they wore, but my
bridesmaids made me go out an pick something out for them.
they looked great (they all had similar figures), but they
definitely weren't wear again type dresses. And, in
retrospect, I would have loved them to each have found
something in similar styles/colors, and something that they
each chose for herself. Each groomsman wore the tux already
hanging in his own closet. They were all different, but it
looked very cool in the pictures.
The size differential is normal for weddings. There are a
number of things you guys can do. One is you can pick a color
and let everyone choose their own dress style that works best
for them but all in the same color or fabric. There are several
bridesmaids companies that make dresses which have separate
tops and bottoms which you can mix and match- so same color and
fabric but one top is off the shoulder, one is long sleeve
sheer, one bottom is a line another mermaid. Most bridal shops
have dresses well within the 200 range and many give an extra
discount if you also get the tuxes there- for instance Sterling
bridal in Pleasanton 925-463-9432 gives a 15% discount if the
tuxes are rented through them. Another idea is to go to the
Design Center they have a couple of bridal shops in there and
the dresses are often about $70 bucks less. There are lots of
internet things but I always need to try things on so those
never really work for me. If you want to go with the same exact
dress I'd suggest the two most divergent sizes go together and
try the dresses on till you find one that best suits both body
types- everyone in between will fit nicely. Personally I wanted
to keep the costs down for my bridesmaids so I picked a nice
summer dress at Mervyn's for $40 and $20 shoes and left it at
that. My idea being that maybe folks could wear it again if it
was just a nice party dress insted of these fancy, fancy
things. Good luck and just have fun and try not to get to
bogged down in the details.
Several years ago, I was the bride who left it up to my four
bridesmaids to figure out what they wanted to wear. I thought
they could each decide on a dress that flattered them and fit
their personal sense of style. They all had somewhat different
body types and heights ranged from 5'3'' to 5'9''. The only
thing I really dictated was the spectrum of colors -- no
pastels -- and then they took it from there. Interestingly,
two of them went shopping together and found the same dress
that looked good on them -- and then they emailed the other two
who also agreed to match. Simple gold A-line dresses with
burgundy scarves -- they looked fabulous, and I was really
delighted that my girls came through without putting any
pressure on me about the search or decisionmaking. The dresses
were from Jessica McClintock -- there's a store in Union
Square -- and they could be bought off-the-rack or ordered (no
extra charge) with a week's turnaround. The dress was
something like $125 and many of the other styles there were
under $200, with an array of colors. I think they have a
website, too. If the women want to wear different styles but
the same color, that can be done as well, since many of the
seasonal palettes are the same across the different dress
Two years later, I was one of five bridesmaids who were told to
find our own. Although I went to Macy's SF Union Square and
thought they had a great selection of reasonable, off-the-rack
dresses, I ended up at Jessica McClintock again (as did one of
the other bridesmaids) for a great deal on a sale dress off-the-
rack. I did have to spend money to get it altered, but that
goes with the territory for me. The five of us (from all over
the States) just kept in touch via email and kept our dresses
similar in length (decide on cocktail, tea or full-length),
general style (fitted or full) and color palette (deep colors
like burgundy and emerald blue and navy vs. pastels vs.
primary) -- and it worked out great!
Good luck -- Noreen
it seems all 'flower girl' and fancy dresses come in pastels. we are
looking for rich, saturated, all RED 'flower girl' dresses (size 4, 6 and 7)
for a hot humid summer wedding. hopefully fluffy and incredibly
darling, plus cool, comfortable fabrics. and of course, not wanting to
spend an arm and a leg. ( I am sure you can get whatever you want at
those expensive Bridal Stores). has anyone seen any out there ?
thanks for any tips !
Have you tried eBay? I just checked and they had lots of red dresses for little
girls in the Wedding Apparel/Flower Girl Dresses category. I just got married
recently and I bought TONS of stuff off of eBay, because it was simply the best
and cheapest way to get things for the wedding. There's really nothing risky
about it, because eBay has insurance to guarantee your purchase. Sellers
receive feedback from their buyers, so you can check to see if some one is
reliable or not. Because people sell from EVERYWHERE, you get so much more
variety, and reasonable prices, sometimes even extremely good deals. At least
take the time to check it out, it will be worth your while, I promise!
try looking around fruitvale Bart where there are lots of shops
catering to Latino families. You will probably find something
there that meets most of your reqs, though I'm doubtful about
the cool, comfortable fabric part!
The other day I was at Marshall's, on San Pablo, in El Cerrito,
and they have tons of frilly dresses, and I am sure I saw some
darker colors, including red. It is worth a try.
We found a deep red flower girl dress at Sweet Potatoes near 4th
Street in Berkeley last year about this time. It was on sale -
I think it was originally a Christmas dress. It has a little
jacket which can be taken off, and has a sleeveless darker red
bodice with a more plum colored taffeta skirt, but it is not
particularly summery. Unfortunately we only have one size six.
If you don't need them all the same, you might be able to borrow
it from my daughter. In any case you might check there - you
One of my best friends is getting married in the fall.
(Yay!) I want to help her shop for her dress, but I'm
new to the area (as well as out of practice on this
type of thing) and don't know good places to go. Can
anyone recommend some shops in the East Bay that have
a good selection of simpler, elegant gowns (no poufy
stuff, she said) with decent prices and friendly staff.
Lacis, a lace store on Shattuck Ave. near Ashby in Berkeley,
sells vintage wedding dresses from a variety of eras,
starting with the early 1900's.
There's a dress store on College in the Rockridge area
of Oakland, just north of Hudson St. on the west side
of College, I think it's called Art to Wear - they have
beautiful dresses and wedding gowns.
Well, I'm a big believer in reusing dresses, if
possible. There is a very nice consignment place
in Walnut Creek, Cherished Gowns on Main. Why
pay full price? It would certainly be worth taking a
I bought a beautiful dress at Soiree 5407 College
Ave. in Oakland. The upstairs of the store has a great
selection of elegant dresses that do not seem like typical
poofy dresses. The woman who helped me spent,
literally, hours helping me find something that fit my
body type (and it wasn't too expensive). Another store
that had some great dresses and accesories is called
Shadows in San Anselmo. Best of luck!
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