Visit our Online Flea Market!

August 4, 2014
Did you know that the average wedding in the U.S. costs a little over $28,000?  And, according to the Bridal Association of America, the average cost of a new wedding gown is in excess of $1,600.  Many brides spend over 10% of their entire wedding budget on their gown. 

What do these statistics have to do with today's Repurposeful Monday?  Repurposing 'happy memory' wedding gowns is our subject today!

There are many reasons why a daughter rarely wears her mother's wedding dress - most brides want to choose their own gown, fabric deteriorates over time, and it's difficult to lighten a vintage dress that has yellowed.

Photographer Kimberlin Gray chose to have her daughter's
christening gown made from her wedding dress: 

Abigail Mauritz was baptized in an outfit
sewn from her mother's wedding dress:

An ingenious mom had Christmas angels made for her daughters (and one for herself!) out of her wedding dress.  The spoons are from her sterling silver pattern.

Each one is a little different.

Another clever re-use of a bridal gown is
to have a wedding pillow made from it:

Other uses of a beloved gown:
A pretty nursery valance 

 Flowers that can be attached to hair clips, head bands,
flower girl baskets, or included in a bridal bouquet

The traditional garter!

A baby jacket

skirting for a bassinet

a Christmas tree skirt

Old wedding gowns can be sewn (with other fabrics used
to decorate the wedding reception) into Christmas stockings:

Heirloom Textile Art

Here are a few more ways to repurpose a wedding gown:
o  cut and stitch it into memory handkerchiefs

o  for those of the Catholic faith, a wedding gown can be resewn into a First Communion dress

o  cut the gown into squares and make a Wedding Memory Quilt:
The Patchwork Bear

Quilt With Us

My favorite repurposing of a 'happy memory' wedding dress:

make it into an anniversary tablecloth
that can be used every year!

Unfortunately, with the divorce rate hovering at 50%, half of all wedding gowns could be considered unsuitable as family heirlooms.  Options for these beautiful dresses?  Many are sold and some are donated to non-profit thrift shops.

Have you heard of the Mary Madeline Project?  It's a wonderful organization in Omaha, Nebraska, that sews wedding dresses into burial gowns for infants.  Completely funded by contributions and donated dresses, this group gives beautiful gowns to their local hospitals so that grieving parents don't have to shop for a gown or suit in which to bury their infant.
 Many babies that pass away are premature so the Mary Madeline Project specializes in very small

Angel Gowns of Cleveland, Ohio, is another organization that
converts donated wedding dresses into infant burial gowns and wraps:

If you're interested in donating a wedding dress to such a worthy project check your local hospitals to see if they participate in a similar program.  There could hardly be a more beautiful way to use an unwanted gown.


  1. My daughter gets married in November so it will be interesting to see what she does with hers, I intend to show her your post.

  2. What fun and interesting ideas.
    The last part breaks my heart. My daughter was full term but through a doctors mistake lived for two months before she died.
    We had Nicole cremated and I had flowers, photos of us and a few toys put in with her. But I can't remember what she was dressed in. How strange.

    cheers, parsnip