REHEARSAL DINNER FASHION / A TIMELESS TRIBUTE TO MOM
By Lindsey Sachs
With wedding dress shopping in full swing for many newly engaged brides like you, COLLECTIVE/by Sachs has an idea you'll quickly want to borrow.
Shopping for your wedding dress and other wedding weekend fashions is a charming experience not only for the bride, but for the moms, aunts, siblings and friends who are often influential during the shopping experience. Saying “yes to the dress” is an iconic moment because it means you’ve found a dress that represents your personal style, is flattering, and makes you wish you could wear it for more than one day. (Read on to find out why you’ll want to consider saving it for a future occasion)! The combination of traditional wedding dress retailers, wedding consignment shops and even local boutiques selling white, ivory or cream dresses provide brides with ample choices to find a dress that meets both style and budget considerations.
But, what if the dress you were looking for was already preserved and found close to home - in your mom’s closet?!
COLLECTIVE/by Sachs caught up with a recent bride, Kalie of Chicago, about her wedding dress experience and how she chose a stunning combination of wedding fashion both borrowed and new. We loved Kalie’s idea so much that we had to share, hoping to inspire more brides to consider this timeless tribute to mom.
I met Kalie, the fiance and now wife of my husband Chris’s long-time friend since college, and was naturally stunned by her timeless and elegant style. We traveled to Chicago for their spectacular wedding weekend on a fresh, fall weekend in September. Chris was a groomsmen in the wedding so we gathered at the Park Hyatt Chicago Hotel for the ceremony rehearsal and were then treated to an incredible rehearsal dinner experience at The Crown, atop the Chicago Tribune Tower. From the second we arrived, I couldn’t help but notice Kalie’s stunning dress that seemed to be made just for her. The style was elegant, classy and timeless. I couldn’t help but ask where she purchased the dress and her answer brought a pleasant surprise. The dress was her mother’s wedding gown! I caught up with Kalie on what inspired her to incorporate this family heirloom into her bridal attire by modernizing the dress to fit her personal style.
What inspired you to turn your mom’s wedding dress into a rehearsal dinner dress?
K: I have always looked up to my Mom for her sense of fashion and style. She's a creative interior designer which is reflected in her clothing and accessories..she's way more hip than I am! We went to Kleinfelds in New York to "Say yes to the dress" for my wedding dress so it was fun to have both dresses be sentimental/tied to a memory with my Mom.
My Mom and I are super close. My husband (Jake) thinks I'm nuts because she and I talk on the phone multiple times a day. ;-)
The designer of her wedding dress, Tadashi, coincidentally ended up being the same designer as the dress she wore for her mother-of-the-bride dress.
What was the process you took to alter the dress and how long did it take?
K: Luckily the dress fit me perfectly, only thing we had done was remove the lace in the back to create the open back.
How did your mom respond when you told her your plans for using her dress?
K: We had always talked about me incorporating it into the day somehow - I think it was even initially her idea. She didn't pressure me at all to use it so when I told her I wanted to wear it to the rehearsal dinner she was very touched.
When you wore the dress during your rehearsal, how do you remember feeling?
K: It was very sentimental and special.
Any tips for brides looking to borrow this idea?
K: My Mom and I had fun modernizing the dress with shoes and jewelry. We enjoyed changing the dress slightly to make it my own version while still maintaining the look from her wedding day.
Here’s 5 reasons to consider adding this timeless tribute to mom to your wedding wardrobe:
Tribute to mom. Donning your mother’s wedding dress creates a beautiful tribute to one of the most influential women in your life. And, consider how wearing your mom’s dress also honors your parent’s marriage and the example they’ve set for your happy and healthy marriage ahead.
New is not always better. Aside from the sentimental value of wearing your mom’s dress, this option is a great solution for the minimalist, practical and budget brides. With modest alteration and accessory costs, you can create a dress that is like new to you, yet full of memories and meaning to honor a piece of your heritage.
Check off your “something borrowed.” By borrowing one of the most special family heirlooms, your mom’s dress meaningfully counts as “something borrowed” leaving you only to find “something blue.”
Put your DIY talents to work! By building off the base of your mom’s dress, it’s easy to enjoy modifying the dress DIY-style adding embellishments, altering the seams, accessorizing and more.
Look amazing + save money. With budget as a key concern for couples planning a wedding, allocate savings on a dress to adding a special experience to your wedding day, hiring the photographer you want or save for the honeymoon.
Bonus: with this idea you have options! As Kalie did, she desired a new wedding dress (and exciting shopping experience) for her wedding day, but was clever to modify her mom’s dress for the rehearsal dinner getting the best of both worlds!
If you are a bride or already married with a dress you’re wondering what to do with, consider preserving your dress so your future generations may have this option too!