You Wanna Do WHAT To MY Wedding Dress?!

My mother was the first person to make the suggestion.  She sheepishly said, "I had an idea of what Caitlin could do for her wedding, but I'm sure that neither you nor her will agree to it."  Hmmm..."What would that be, Mom?"  She replied by telling me that perhaps Caitlin could use MY wedding dress for her wedding.  I knew that Caitlin wanted her own dress, so I told her that would most likely not happen.  Little did I know that my daughter had plans of her own.

Apparently Caitlin had already discussed the possibility of using my wedding dress in her wedding.  Oh, not as the dress she would walk down the aisle in, but she definitely wanted to use it in some capacity.  When I walked into the room, she had taken my dress out of the attic and the box was sitting before me.  I thought she just wanted to try it on; see if it fit.  She had done this once during her senior year of high school and was surprised how well it fit her (Yea...amazing what four kids did to my body...).  I always knew that there would be no way she would ever want to wear MY dress, since it was made during the "Princess Diana Era" of the 80's.  Full of layers of lace, with a long train and long lace sleeves and lace up to the neck, it was quite outdated.  But I loved that dress.  I remember when and where I picked it out and still liked looking at the wedding pictures of me wearing it.  So, when she dropped the bomb shell that she would like to wear it during part of her reception, I was floored.  Because along with that bomb shell, she also dropped the one that she wanted to have it "redesigned"!

WHOA!...Now, WAIT A MINUTE!  "You wanna cut my wedding dress up?!", I asked with eyes bulged wide.  I looked at her and then I looked at her dad, as though they had concocted this whole thing without my knowledge.  "She wants to cut up my wedding dress!"  All I could think of at that point was the movie, "27 Dresses" and how one sister brought out a piece of lace the size of a handkerchief after she had "redesigned" their mother's wedding dress.  It was at this very moment that I realized that I was more attached to my wedding dress that I had thought.  I didn't want her to cut up my wedding dress; she had her own...and when exactly did she think she was going to wear it anyway?  That is when Robby looked at me and said, "Just let her cut it up; it's not like you are ever going to wear it again."  I had to admit that he had a point, but I was still reluctant to let go of my dress.  We re- boxed my dress and put it away.  I thought the idea of cutting my wedding dress up had also been put away; that is until Caitlin drug the box out again as we were about to head to Dallas for her dress fitting.

When I saw my wedding dress box being drug out again, I asked what she was planning on doing with it.  It seems that she had NOT given up the idea of "redesigning" my wedding dress and had already spoken to the alterations lady about doing just that.  I swallowed my reluctance and agreed to "discuss" the possibility.  We were taking my veil to the veil maker to see if she could redesign it for Caitlin to wear during the ceremony, so I thought...WHAT THE HECK!

We spoke to the veil maker first, who loved the simplicity of my veil with Caitlin's dress and they decided to do a few unique changes that would tie it into the design of her own dress.  I suppose it was during this meeting that I actually became less resistant to the idea of my daughter wearing my wedding attire and more flattered.  How many girls actually not only want to do this, but are also able to fit into their mother's gown?  I was now looking forward to the meeting with the alterations lady.

Since Priscilla's of Boston had gone out of business, we were put in contact with an alterations lady beforehand, who was to meet us in our hotel room.  When she arrived, we talked for a moment, with Caitlin explaining how she would like to have my wedding dress redesigned.  When she slipped it on, it was as beautiful as I had remembered...and fit her absolutely perfectly!  They decided to take the high, lace neckline and sleeves off and make it strapless...and that was it.  I could not have been more pleased!  She was leaving the long train and all of the layers of lace in tact.  The dress was going to be beautiful and I could not wait to see the end product.

It is a dream of most mothers that their daughter will wear their wedding dress.  For various reasons, most girls do not.  I will admit that I kept my dress sealed and protected for 30 years in hope of that possibility.  However, as time passed, I also realized that although my gown was beautiful, its style was outdated.  Caitlin's persistence and ultimate decision to have it redesigned is the ultimate flattery to me.  I love the fact that she not only loves my dress as much as I do, but that she loves and wants to incorporate a bit of the past into her wedding festivities.  I said, "YES...TO CUTTING UP MY DRESS!"  And I must admit that I am happy with that decision.


  1. What an emotional thing to go through as a mom! That is special she still wanted to wear it!(even if it meant making some changes.) Good for you mama for being able to see the beauty in it! Love your blog! Thank you for following mine!

  2. Hi Barbara--I came across your blog post when searching for ideas for re-doing/re-designing my mom's 1980's dress for my wedding next summer. Your dress is beautiful and similar to my mom's--do you mind to post a picture of Caitlin in the dress? I would love to see it!! What a special thing to share with your daughter...I look forward to this with my mom as well!