Recycled Wedding Dresses

Friday, October 25, 2013

A wedding gown is one of the most important items in a matrimonial celebration, although most of the time it is the most expensive item invested in for the day, and usually only worn once.

In times of an economic downturn, many women would prefer to opt for an affordable wedding dress for their nuptials. Bridal sites such as The Green Guide provide wedding gowns made with recyclable materials such as silk like satin, chiffon and taffeta at very reasonable prices.

Alternatively, with a growing interest in recycled clothing, some women may consider wearing recycled wedding dresses, giving new life to old frocks.

There are a few ways to explore the idea of recycled wedding dresses, which need not be limited to buying a second hand frock. With a little imagination, a recycled wedding dress can be creatively tailored to individual taste.

1. Dye an old dress and make it new again

White is usually the chosen colour of a wedding gown, but it doesn't have to be.  This is certainly down to personal preference, but some women may choose to wear an alternative coloured wedding dress in which to walk down the isle.  We're not just talking about ivory or beige; blues, reds, yellows or pastel colours could all be an option.

Another idea for those that prefer to stick with a traditional white gown, would be to dye a petticoat  underneath the dress, displaying an unexpected flash of colour when the opportunity arises.

:: Image source The Brass Paper Clip ::

Instead of buying an expensive new dress, a used wedding dressed could be purchased from a thrift or secondhand bridal store and dyed to the required chosen colour, resulting in a unique, creative and budget friendly take on the traditional wedding frock.

2. Customising existing wedding dresses

Another way to utilise used bridal gowns could be by means of trimming and “restructuring” the overall look of the dress.  A simple way to customise would be to trim a long wedding dress to a shorter length. Another idea might be to add intricate details to a plain frock, such as incorporating beads, sequins, and sophisticated embroideries.

3. Buy a dress designed with recycled materials

You may recall a previous blog post on recycled fashion, "A Sustainable Wedding". Sarah wore a spectacular dress made of second hand doilies created by Australian textile artist Chris McIntosh, and her husband, Liam, wore a suit from the local op shop.(more here)

UK based Eleanor from ReFashioned offers a bridal service creating custom made eco-friendly wedding dresses using upcycled materials in her designs.

Readers would you, or did you, get married in a recycled wedding gown? Would you consider getting married in a colour other than white? On my own wedding day, almost a decade ago, I chose to wear an aqua-green (although you can't tell in this photograph) budget friendly dress:



Patti said...

The doily dress is simply gorgeous! I bought my own dress from eBay for under $50 and had it tailored to fit. Then I donated it!

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, most weding dresses were recycled - from mother to daughter, with refashioning as required. I bought an evening dress (cost $80), and have since passed it on to my daughter. I couldn't wear my mother's or my Nan's wedding dress, both were married in 'street clothes'.

Anonymous said...

I wore a hired dress when I got married in 1978. I was a student and we had a limited budget. I decided to spend more on photos than the dress because they would be used more..

Sleekit said...

Erica, you look beautiful!

Sleekit x

Jean said...

Although my dress wasn't recycled, I made each of my daughters dresses and a couple (we have 3 daughters) had loaned their dresses to friends. Nothing like spreading the joy! :)

tess said...

aww! you look so happy and beautiful!
the doily dress is so pretty
my wedding slipper satin dress was bought in a bridal resale shop, looked like from the 1940s?
seamstress remade the top part from the extra long train, kind of a sailor style
(the bride it was originally made for seemed much taller and skinnier)

Something Else said...

Cute pic! I wore my mum's wedding dress which I had cut off to knee length. It's a gorgeous guipure lace very simple 1960's style which was made by my great-aunt. I was tempted to cut it off further to make a cute lace top or to dye it to make a cocktail dress, but I might leave it to see if my daughter wants to have a go.

Iliska Dreams said...

I have never been married, so have never thought of it. But Mum's wedding dress was re-fashioned for my elder sister. Which was re-fashioned again for her eldest daughter. And the dress was orginally made for hand made for Mum by her Mum.

Erin said...

found you through Lila's blog:) you're blog name caught my attention!
Recently we refashioned a wedding dress (from op shop! for $3!!) for my daughter's Confirmation.
It was a halter neck, but wasn't the style I wanted for an 11yr old, so I bought satin ribbon, sewed together to make straps, with a snip here and sewed on there straps were down. I did have to take in tucks at side to fit her. Haven't' taken back shots in this link but you can see the gorgeous front in the link. PS Never told anyone it was from an opshop and they all thought it gorgeous, I told my girls that a girl's allowed a fashion secret or two

Unknown said...

Really enjoying your answers here everyone, I should have addressed the whole hand-me-down wedding dress option, which is really the most obvious when it comes to recycling a wedding gown. Perhaps thats another blog post in itself!

Unknown said...

Very inspiring

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