Saturday, April 3, 2010

DEAR ESB: to sell or not to sell

JOY: it's almost been a year and it's still hanging in my closet..
i live in ny.. i don't have room for this.
and i'm a little old to have my mom store it for me..
and i know the longer I keep it the greater the chances of bf walking in to me wearing it, watching law & order, eating a tub of ice cream..
do daughters even wear their moms' dresses anymore? am i even going to have a kid? i'm moving, do i want to carry this up four flights of stairs? i won't wear the same dress when i marry my second husband (cough)...

ME: oopsy, am I too late with this one? did you already move??

JOY: No I can't decide.. Pre wedding that was my plan but then when bf first saw me during the big reveal he said 'gf you can't sell this' and I feel like I shouldn't.. You're 'not supposed to' right?! Haha

ME: I am a tremendous believer in the cleaning out of closets and the letting go of stuff. But if any little part of you wants to keep your wedding dress, I say keep the damn thing. Watch Law & Order in it. Why the hell not?

(Photo by Kimberly Craven)


  1. What about keeping it for your kids christening (if you are into that kind of thing). You or a dressmaker could turn it into a christening gown. That is my current plan.

  2. can't wait to hear what joy has to say about THAT.

  3. i was just thinking about this... my dress is all cleaned and preserved and currently sitting in a box in our garage.

    the romantic in me wants to keep it and give it to one of my kids someday... but surely they'll want their own dress, to suit their own style? i think there is a tiny part of me that wants to hold on to it... so for now, in the garage it stays!

    p.s. ESB, i did not have you pegged as a sentimental saver of wedding dresses!

  4. I have already talked to my seamstress about dying it coral and cutting it off at the knee. Yep.

  5. yeah, I'll be pulling mine out of the closet for my great-niece to try on one day and trying to tell her that the exposed zipper was totally cutting edge in 2008.

  6. Ms Bunny.. i don't even know what a christening is ... def not into that kind of thing .. but i imagine a mini me version of my wedding dress would be ah-mazing

    esb.. id really like to see a pic of your dress... i promise the glitter won't fall off!!

  7. keep it. my mom and i had a "moment" when we dug hers the other day, and we're not "moment" kind of girls. seeing the rips and hanging beads and drink stains made it even more fun. i'm not going to wear it for mine, it is awesome but i'd like my own... but i will always hang on to hers.

  8. My mom got married in a floral print "woodland nymph" style dress (it was 1978). I used to play dress up in it. When I got married, my mom made me a garter out of the necktie my dad wore at their wedding. These things can possibly serve purposes in the future.

    I will say, though, that it is my belief that one should only hold onto things if you think of positive things when you see it. If you hold onto something, no matter how beautiful, that reminds you of negative things, you are harboring negativity in your precious living space (is that new-agey enough for you? :) )

  9. @Joy yeah, I just like the idea of keeping it and then repurposing it for hypothetical kids. Whether it's for a ceremony or just dress up doesn't really matter. Just the symbolism of reusing it.

  10. as clunky and in-the-way as it is to lug it around in the move and find a place to store it- i think there's less of a chance of regretting keeping it. more of a chance of regretting getting rid of it.

    my pre-wedding plan was to sell mine. now, i don't have the heart. who knew i'd get so attached to a dress i'd hated? maybe the wedding really ISN'T about the clothes?!

  11. My aunt told me recently, when we were having this exact discussion, that she kept hers and puts it on every anniversary...
    (I'll leave out the dirty bits that followed...;)

    i thought it was kinda cute.

  12. My grandma told me she trashed her wedding dress years ago.
    I was shocked.
    I mean selling it would have at least been useful,
    turning it into something new is a great idea
    and just keeping it feels also right for me , so does giving it to others (niece, daughter...)

    but: throwing it away? thats awful.
    and she didnt even ask me...
    i would have kept it or would have designed something new from the fabric.

    @joy i am happy you kept it!

  13. You should keep it. I was so happy to see my mom's and my grandma's wedding dresses and I am toying with wearing my grandma's dress at the reception (its a knee length GORGEOUS 50's style wedding dress). Its worth the room it takes up!

  14. Have you asked bf what he thinks now? Is he in the same camp as the first time he saw you at the big reveal?

  15. My mom kept hers, a traditional Chinese dress, not quite Miss Chinatown, but imagine a version of it 45 years ago, as well as the other dresses she wore during the reception/banquet (here in the US); they were all custom made for her in Taiwan. Through the years I wore one of them to the Sr. Ball (1985) in high school and my sister (2003) and I (1992) wore another at our wedding receptions. Now, less then 1 week out to my second marriage, I am wearing the actual wedding gown at the reception. So, yes, lug it around... for the first wedding gown... I really wanted to hang it on a clothes line, douse it in lighter fluid & throw a match on it (2006), but had visions of being cited by the fire dept ... I couldn't bear to give to a friend's daughter for dress up, because I never wanted to see it again... it ended up at Good Will

  16. I totally did peg you as a dress keeper ;)

    Yeah. I'm keeping mine. I'm keeping mine to the point that I don't even get it being a discussion. IE: it's my WEDDING dress. It's AMAZING. It's 60 years old. It's MINE.

    I'd be pretty pissed if my mom had given hers away, and I didn't even wear it. But maybe my daughter might... by then... the 70's will be super stylish vintage.

    So yes. Don't give it away because you think you should. Do what you want. What you REALLY want.

  17. @Meg are you deluding yourself that 70's is not already "super stylish vintage"? we are nearly PAST the 70's.

  18. I vote keep it. But I'm sentimental.

    I still haven't had mine cleaned, but I don't even know if it's worth it. I'm planning to make it knee-length so I can wear it again.

  19. back when we were talking to a lot of different photographers, I had one who was REALLY PUSHING for a trash-the-dress shoot after the wedding. I think my horrified reaction to her wanting to destroy my expensive pretty never-been-worn dress means I'm going to keep it in the damn garment bag hogging precious closet space forever.

  20. My mum put her wedding dress (bought from a friend for £15 in the 1970s who'd already worn it) in our dressing up box, along with her red sequined evening dress from 1983. I *loved* that dress and pretended I was Celine Dion in it (it was the 90s, ok?). After a year or two me and my sister had destroyed it :) It fitted me at 8 years old so no way would I ever wear it for my big day! So, if you want to keep it, keep it. You can always sell it in a couple of years if you change your mind...or give it away for good karma ;)

  21. If it makes you feel beautiful, I say keep it! I'm happily divorced but the dress is such a thing of beauty I won't get rid of it. Some things don't need any other justification for holding a special place in your life.