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  • Writer's pictureLydia Mattern

What to Do with an Old Wedding Dress? 7 Ways to Repurpose Mother’s Wedding Dress

What to Do with a Old Wedding Dress, Ways to Repurpose Mother's Wedding Dress, Eco Friendly Wedding Dress Ideas

Have you gotten your hands on an old wedding dress? Whether your mom pulled hers out of the closet after your engagement or you’ve found a vintage dress at your local thrift store, there are many ways to repurpose it for your wedding. While you can always wear the dress as-is, it might not fit your style and aesthetic, and that’s okay! We’re sharing what to do with mom’s old wedding dress to incorporate it into your wedding attire in a way that looks and feels right to you.

Why Repurpose a Wedding Dress?

There are a few reasons why some brides and grooms might choose to repurpose an old wedding dress. First, it’s a way to honor the relative who wore it before you. It’s also an eco-friendly option, especially if you choose to alter and wear an old dress rather than purchase a new one. It’s also a budget-friendly option for those looking for ways to cut costs, as a secondhand dress is much less expensive than a new one (sometimes, it’s free!).

7 Ways to Repurpose Mother’s Wedding Dress for Your Wedding

If you’re stuck wondering what to do with an old wedding dress, we’re here to help! Whether it’s a family heirloom that’s meaningful to you or a way to honor a passed loved one, you can repurpose your mother’s wedding dress in these seven unique ways.

1. Alter and Wear the Dress

If the wedding dress is still in good condition (and your family is okay with it), the first option is to alter the dress to match your style. This might include modernizing aspects that are no longer considered fashionable, such as puffy sleeves or a high-cut neckline. We love this as an eco-friendly wedding dress idea because it minimizes waste and will probably make your mom feel really special.

2. Take Details from the Dress and Add Them to Yours

If you love aspects of the dress, you can repurpose your mother’s wedding dress by taking details off of it and adding them to yours. For example, if you adore the pearl buttons down the back or the lace trim, you can have a seamstress remove them from the old dress and add them to yours.

3. Repurpose the Fabric into a Tie or Suit Pocket Square

Are you wearing a suit at your wedding and want to know what to do with mom's old wedding dress? You can still incorporate aspects of the dress into your attire. For example, you could take some of the fabric from the dress and have a seamstress create a custom tie or bowtie. Or, use the lacy parts for a repurposed, eco-friendly suit pocket square.

4. Tie Some Dress Fabric Around Your Bouquet

Most wedding bouquets have some type of fabric tied around them to hold the stems together. If you’re not sure what to do with an old wedding dress because you don’t want to wear it, use some of the fabric to create your bridal bouquet wrap. If your financé is wearing a suit, you can take extra material to wrap around their boutonniere too.

5. Use the Fabric in Your Hair

Another way to repurpose fabric from an old wedding dress is to create an accessory for your hair. Depending on the hairstyle you choose, you could bedazzle a clip or headband with buttons or lace from the dress.

6. Make Your Garter out of the Wedding Dress Fabric

If you're looking for a unique and personal way to incorporate your mom's wedding dress into your big day, why not make your garter out of the fabric? It won’t take much material, and it's a great way to keep the dress from going to waste. Plus, it'll be a lovely reminder of your mom on your wedding day.

7. Wear it for a Special Wedding Moment

If you don’t want to wear your mom’s dress down the aisle and don’t want to cut it up, there’s still a way to repurpose the dress and honor your mom on your wedding day! Do a quick outfit change during your reception, and wear your mom’s dress as-is for a special moment. You can change into it for your father-daughter dance or wear it during the bouquet toss. To make this idea extra special, don’t tell your mom about it; make it a surprise she’ll never forget!

Find More Creative Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas on the Epic Thyme Wedding Blog

You can incorporate these eco-friendly wedding dress ideas, whether with your mom’s dress, a grandparent’s, or a beautiful secondhand piece you fell in love with. Plus, if you’re looking for more eco-friendly wedding ideas, we’ve got you covered. Epic Thyme is a sustainable wedding planning company in Lake Tahoe, passionate about helping couples curate breathtaking, eco-friendly celebrations. We have tips and resources for eco-friendly wedding favors, sustainable decorations, and waste-reducing post-wedding ideas. We’re here to help you plan the Lake Tahoe eco-friendly wedding of your dreams!


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