So, you just told your mother that you are getting married and she made a mad dash to go dig out her wedding dress. While it was quite lovely on your mother over 20 years ago, it is far from what you had in mind, so what do you do so that your mother is not crushed?
Is Mom opposed to altering the dress? If she agrees, perhaps you can ask a bridal shop to update or modernize the dress? If that’s not available to you, find a seamstress that can possibly do it for you. Perhaps take parts of the dress, like lace or fancy pearl buttons and have them sewn into a new dress that is part old and part new.
If you are seriously opposed to this idea (and Mom can’t stand the thought of her dress being cut into) there are other ways to make both of you happy. Brides often change from the gown they wear during the ceremony, to an entirely different dress for the reception.
Perhaps you can have the dress you really want for the wedding and then change into your mother’s dress for the reception. Your new married life will be about compromise, so why not start it off by compromising to make your mother happy? You could even slip into her dress as a surprise for her.
Still a no? If Mother does not mind the dress being altered, offer to have it altered into a style that will work for a mother-of -the -bride dress. If you don’t like the idea of you and Mom both being in white, see if it is possible to dye or tint the dress or add some wedding colors to it.
Another, “think outside the box” idea is to have your mother wear the dress just as it is and have your father escort the both of you down the aisle as two generations of “his” brides. You might even get dad to dig up the suit he wore at their wedding. It would be a great way to honor the parents that are giving you away, to start your new life.
Remember that your mother has probably been dreaming of her little girl one day wearing her wedding dress for many years. Think too, that you may have a daughter someday and want the same thing, even though you don’t think so right now. So even if you are opposed to wearing her dress, take her feelings into consideration.
If none of these ideas appeal to you, then it is time to be honest with your mother, but do it gently. Explain to her that while you think her dress is gorgeous, you have your own style and vision in mind. Allow her to be involved in the shopping trips to look at wedding dresses. Make it a fun, mother and daughter time. Once she sees you modeling dress after dress, and how much fun the two of you are having, she will understand.
Remember that today it’s much more acceptable to do unusual ideas for weddings. For example, I knew a lady once who got married with her dog in a matching dog wedding dress. We also hear about people having non-traditional weddings, staycation honeymoons and more. The times are changing and there are many creative ways to work in the traditional with the new so if you’re really opposed wearing your mom’s wedding dress, sit down and be honest, and discuss some alternatives.