Re-wearing a Vintage Wedding Dress on Your Wedding Day – An Essential Guide
Photo Credit: Anna Campbell
As trends in wedding fashion come and go, there is no greater honor for the memory of a loved one than re-wearing a much-loved vintage wedding dress on your special day. This trend has, to no one’s real surprise, been a common theme among Great Britain’s royal family where wedding dresses are painstakingly preserved and archived for just such an occasion.
Princess Beatrice famously adorned a vintage family dress (note – not a wedding dress) borrowed from her grandmothers’ collection which dated back to 1962 rather than consulting with the world’s most bespoke wedding designers - a choice applauded by many fashionistas and royal family enthusiasts around the world. Even businesses have begun to embrace the trend with emporiums such as William Vintage in the UK sourcing and selling couture vintage wedding gowns for brides wanting to make a unique and timeless statement on their wedding day.
You certainly don’t need to be of royal lineage to adorn a vintage wedding dress. Regardless of whether you’re honoring a loved one by re-wearing a wedding dress passed down through the generations, or if you’re shopping for a vintage dress to match your own timeless style, we can help you navigate this trend and look absolutely stunning on your amazing day.
Why More Brides are Choosing to Re-Wear a Vintage Wedding Dress Rather than Buy New
The trend of re-wearing a previously beloved wedding dress doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. Over the past year, our Wedding Gown Clean-Only with Restoration Add-on has seen a growth rate of over 300%. While some brides we surveyed stated their reason for wanting to wear a vintage wedding dress was for financial or environmentally responsible reasons, the majority stated their decision was based in honoring a present or past family member.
Another popular reason was that of a personal style choice, opting to purchase their vintage wedding dress from a consignment store or online marketplace. These brides are theming their wedding day celebration into a vintage styling and looking for a beautiful, throw-back wedding dress to complete their look.
Where to Shop for a Vintage Wedding Dress
If you don’t have a vintage wedding dress that has been passed down through your family, but you want to make a vintage statement on your wedding day, you have many options to choose from. Below is a list of both online and brick-and-mortar locations that curate vintage wedding dresses for purchase. Keep in mind – our list is focused on authentic vintage wedding dresses, not modern-day look-a-likes.
Etsy.com is an excellent place to start your search for your vintage wedding dress. Imagine being able to shop all the local small town vintage shops across the nation on one platform. That’s exactly what the sellers on the platform specialize in, visiting their local shops and hand selecting vintage wedding dresses from all eras. This provides you with a huge selection of vintage wedding dress styles at your fingertips.
Visit Esty.com to start browsing
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Dalena Vintage offers hand selected vintage wedding dresses and accessories for purchase through their e-commerce store front. Owner Leslie Hilker has been obsessed with vintage clothing from a young age and her passion shows through in the company’s selection of bridal dresses, headpieces, and even vintage wedding lingerie. If you come across a vintage wedding dress or own one you’d like to part with, they also purchase vintage bridal items dating from 1910 through the early 1970’s.
Visit DalenaVintage.com to view their current selection
Not to be overlooked, Ebay is also a great place to find vintage wedding dresses at very reasonable prices. When we were browsing, we were able to find everything from a 1950’s Princess Bride dress, all the way up to a 1970’s Edwardian wedding dress complete with matching pearl hat. Be sure to ask the seller if the wedding dress has been professionally cleaned to help you save on having it professionally cleaned yourself.
Visit Ebay.com for more
Located in the busy metropolises of LA and NYC, Happy Isles is the premiere destination for hand curated vintage wedding wear. Ranging from the 1930’s to the early 2000’s, Happy Isle can outfit you with your perfect vintage wedding dress along with all the accessories to match. They are by appointment-only so be sure to book online before you visit.
Book your Happy Isle appointment today
Focusing primarily on the high-end market, Shareen offers a curated selection of stunning vintage wedding dresses that pay respect to the great designers of the past. They have convenient locations in both LA and NYC and offer an appointment-only experience to help you find your perfect dress. Shareen is always buying and re-buying so if you fall in love with one of their vintage wedding gowns, be sure to move quickly.
See their latest hand-curated vintage wedding gowns
Another by-appointment only vintage bridal salon, Miranda’s Vintage Bridal was founded by Miranda Park, a fashion design major with a passion for sewing and a love of vintage which was developed while antiquing with her grandmother. Miranda’s Vintage Bridal has an extensive selection of hand-curated vintage wedding dresses you can purchase on their website ranging from the 1910’s to the 1970’s.
See their latest hand-picked selections at MirandasVintageBridal.com
Ensuring Your Vintage Wedding Dress Looks Stunning on Your Wedding Day
We know you want that chic, vintage look on your wedding day, but the last thing you want is for your dress to look faded and dated. The best way to ensure your vintage wedding dress really “wow’s” your wedding guest is to have your wedding dress professionally cleaned and restored before your big day. A talented team of conservatists will be able to identify all the fabric in your vintage wedding gown, determine the correct coloration of your dress when it was brand new, and restore your wedding gown back its original brilliance.
In addition to making sure your vintage dress is brilliant and stain-free for your wedding day is making sure it has the prefect fit. The distinct benefit of choosing to adorn a vintage wedding dress is that most are very easy for a seamstress, or a talented at-home DIYer, to alter for the perfect fit. Some boutiques, such as Mignonette Reutiliser specialize in vintage wedding dress alterations and can add style and flair to your vintage wedding gown to make it your own unique statement.
Nervous About Wearing a Family Heirloom Wedding Dress on Your Wedding Day? Don’t Be!
If you’re wearing a family wedding dress that has been passed down through the generations, we can imagine you may be pretty nervous about getting stains on such a special family heirloom during your wedding day. We can tell you that you should absolutely not be nervous or change your behavior on your wedding day due to nerves about ruining this special family memory. As the leading wedding gown restoration and conservationists in the world, you can rest assured knowing our highly trained team can remove any and all wedding dress stains that may have occured on your big day.
Enjoy all the delicious food, silly photos, and fun dancing the day of your wedding and leave our team to beautify and restore your vintage wedding gown to be adored by future generations and even re-worn again one day.
What to do with Your Vintage Wedding Dress After the Day is Over
Be sure to pre-order our Wedding Gown Restoration Kit a few weeks before your big day to ensure your kit will be waiting at home for you after your day is over. The sooner you send in your vintage wedding gown for restoration, the easier it will be for our team to remove stains and neutralize fibers. Because the materials in your vintage gown are very delicate and fragile, sending in your dress soon after your wedding day allows us to process those fabrics as gently as possible. You will be provided with stain stickers which you can use on your dress to indicate areas where you know a spill happened along with a notes section you can fill out which is passed on to our cleaning and preservation teams.
Enjoy Your Vintage Themed Wedding!
Hopefully by now we’ve put your mind at ease and the only item left on your task list is to accessorize with your vintage wedding gown and focus on having the time of your life at your wedding. Re-wearing a vintage wedding dress is the most special way we can think of to honor a loved one and you can rest assured knowing our team is ready to return this special item back into a family heirloom.