Something Old to Something New: How to Incorporate Your Mother’s Wedding Dress

These brides upcycled their mother’s dresses as a way of incorporating special familial elements throughout their wedding.
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You don’t have to walk down the aisle in your mother’s wedding dress to have it be a part of your special day. 

Stephanie Vehec always admired her mother’s wedding dress, so knew she wanted to incorporate it into her own wedding somehow. Leading up to her Oct. 22 wedding to Austin Hancock, she toyed with the idea of adding it to her veil or even wearing the entire dress. 

“When I got engaged, she had me try it on and it fit like a glove — was so crazy,” says Stephanie.

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Ultimately, she decided her mother’s dress was a bit too vintage for her taste, so she began searching through Pinterest for creative ways to work her mom’s dress into her wedding. Stephanie eventually settled on upcycling it into a robe she could wear while getting ready. Because Austin’s grandmother used to be a seamstress, she asked her to add embellishments from her mom’s dress onto a plain robe. Instead, Austin’s grandmother made the entire robe from scratch using the dress’ bottom layer of silk and its sleeves. 

Stephanie plans to keep the robe safe for years to come.

“I hope to be able to pass that along to my daughter one day,” she says. 

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Paige Pieretti has always loved upcycling, so when she got engaged to Josh Berndt, she knew she wanted to find a way to add her mother’s wedding dress to her special day.

“I am really big on incorporating things from my family into special events of mine,” says Paige, “and I loved her dress so much.” 

While finalizing the floral arrangements, Paige had the creative idea to wrap her and her bridesmaids’ bouquets in lace from her mother’s wedding dress to add the perfect personal touch. Prior to her March 19 wedding to Josh Berndt, Paige’s mother cut the lace from the dress and they sent it to their florist, Fragile Paradise in Washington, who agreed to incorporate the lace into each of the bouquets. 

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However, her mother’s dress was not the only familial detail added to her wedding. To keep her deceased great aunt’s memory with her throughout the day, Paige made sure she had her sixpence coin in her shoe throughout the entire wedding. She also reused her deceased grandmother’s lace curtains as tablecloths for the reception and served her late grandfather’s favorite espresso. 

“We wanted to incorporate pieces of people who can’t physically be with us [knowing they] could be there through these tangible memories,” says Paige

After the wedding, Paige donated her mother’s dress to a friend who remakes clothing into quilts. 

“Repurposing things that are meaningful to be functional is something that is important to me,” says Paige.

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