Before you read my blog today, you have an assignment. This is the first time I linked to an msn slide show. I just previewed it and all the pictures are there for me. Click on “brides” above and enjoy the photos.
Now I have to admit, some of those photos are stunning art work. I really have mixed feelings about this trend however.
What IS a bride supposed to do with her dress when she has worn it? The practical side of me says the kindest thing to do would be to donate it so another bride could look as beautiful and radiant on her “special day” as did the original purchaser of the gown. Especially in these times which look like they are not going away any time soon, that would be a kind way of helping others.
Women began doing that with prom dresses several years ago and young high school girls who normally wouldn’t go to the prom for lack of a dress, or couldn’t afford a very nice one, are given the opportunity to look nice and feel good about themselves for that one evening.
I’m wondering if any businesses really cater to second hand bridal dresses. I honestly think some women would consider renting a dress. We have been sold a bill of goods when it comes to bridal dresses or any special occasion dresses for that matter. We couldn’t possibly be seen in something someone might have seen another bride wear, or could we? We are talking about a dress that is worn for the maximum of several hours. Men have wisened up and rented their tuxes for decades. I know my ex never would have worn his brown tux a second time. OK it was the middle of the 70s. That’s why the brown.
My honeymoon started the morning after the wedding and consisted of driving to our new apartment in CT. I didn’t have time to have my dress cleaned and packed away. Once we were moved in, it hung in my closet for four months until we moved into our first home. A year later it was packed with my other clothes and moved to Illinois. I wore it for our second anniversary for a dinner I prepared for my ex in our home. I wanted to prove to him that I no longer looked “ten months pregnant” like he proclaimed the first time he came to the hospital after I delivered our son. That’s another blog. We didn’t go out because the weather was horrible in January and our son was less than four months old. I was nursing and afraid of being stuck some where unable to get home. The roads were really bad and I didn’t really know a reliable babysitter yet since we’d just lived there four months, having moved in two weeks before his birth. You know the doubts of a first time mother. Anyway, I was trying to be romantic setting our table in front of the fireplace. The dress was rather plain by bridal standards but I thought rather elegant with its “candlelight” color. I definitely chose it with the intention that I could possibly wear it again should we ever go to some formal dinner. It didn’t look all that “bridey”.
Anyway, back to brides trashing their dresses. Besides the outrageous waste due to the cost of these creations, what is a bride to do with the dress? Many pack them away in special cases but in reality, why? They sometimes dream of the day that they will watch their beloved daughters walk down the aisle wearing the same dress. I guess that worked better when the time between the mother and daughter’s wedding was much closer together and styles didn’t change as drastically. Can you imagine a bride today wearing an outfit from the 80s?
There was a lot of lace and fru fru thirty years ago. The picture above is one of the more restrained ones. Think Princess Di and all the copy-cats of that gown. At least she’s not wearing the Native American looking headband that was so popular.
The idea of “trashing the dress” is that we all know that the dress, regardless of the cost, will only be worn once. Even though extravant weddings don’t ensure longevity of a marriage any more than more modest ones, many brides still feel they have married their one true soulmate and their marriage will last until death (natural causes) does them part. No one could imagine keeping the first gown with the express purpose of using it in a second or third ceremony.
We all know that daughters very seldom would choose to wear their mother’s wedding dress, although it is a very romantic idea to some. We all know that mothers and daughters aren’t often the same size. My mother was only a little over five foot tall and I was 5’7″. Her dress was a dark green velvet. The waist of that dress probably could have fit one thigh. I was not built like my mother. By today’s standards she probably wore a size 0. We all know that dresses change radically from decade to decade on purpose so the clothing industry can keep in business. If you like bridal dresses, check out this site to see how the styles have changed in the last hundred years.
As far as my bridal dress went, it lasted longer than my marriage. It continued to hang in the hall closet with other “special occassion” clothes the practical side of me thought I would wear again. I don’t know how it happened but something in the attic (the handyman thinks it has to do with condensation from an air conditioning duct) caused a spot in the ceiling that leaked. I looked one day and saw a big brown spot on the front of the dress, even though the dress was hanging in a plastic bag. I’m talking a BIG spot, not one that might have been caused by a drop of coffee. The plastic bag by that time had a rip in it (unnoticed by me) and the water rolled down into the hole.
By then it was the late 80s and the dress was horribly out of fashion anyway. At that point, with nothing that could be saved, I unceremoniously took it out to the garbage can and pitched it. I did save the mantilla for several more years. I have no recollection of what happened to it. It may still be in the closet for all I know.
I visited the ex-wife of a cousin about five years ago. There on the floor of her bedroom lay her wedding dress in a pile. Her daughter had been playing with it. At first I was shocked because I KNOW that dress was probably ten times the cost of mine. Then I thought, “Why not? The wedding dress outlasted the marriage. She’s not ever going to wear it again. Let your little cousin have her dreams of white dresses and a handsome loving her forever husband. Sometimes dreams DO come true.
What is your opinion, getting back to the topic. Is this “trashing the dress” trend in photography another gross example of waste in America? Or is it just a speeding up of what will eventually happen to most dresses anyway? Talk with me. What do you think? Namaste. Attic Annie