As a bride, I was shocked to discover the amount many girls spent on their wedding dresses. My own dress, a red gothic wedding gown with a 7-foot train, came in at around $500 and is to date the most expensive piece of clothing I own, but is considered a cheap wedding dress by bridal industry standards. Most girls spend $1000-$5000 on their wedding dress – often for the same dresses that are made in China and sold on discount sites for a fraction of the price.
If you’re paying for a bespoke designer dress, it’s no surprise you’d expect to shell out thousands – those things are stunning. But your wedding is just one day, and after you’ve worn that beautiful bejewlled creation down the aisle and aroud the dance floor, what are you going to do with it? Is there any way to get your money’s worth from a wedding dress?
Of course there is – if you’re willing to think outside the box. Here are some ideas for getting your money’s worth out of your gothic wedding dress:
Of course, you could sell it on and recover some of the costs. I always intended to sell my wedding dress after my wedding. I knew it would bring me a lot of joy and I loved the idea of the garment being passed on to another bride who would also get a lot of joy from it. However, when I told my husband and mother my intentions, they both stepped in and put a stop to it! Now my dress hangs in my wardrobe, but one day soon it will live again …
We goths and alternative types are quite lucky in that we often have opportunities to dress extravagantly. Masquerade balls, goth operas, conventions, costume competitions, friend’s weddings and photo-shoots beckon us to bring out our finery. Many of us are performers or models, and love nothing better than slipping into beautiful and alluring fabrics. If you choose your wedding dress with future events in mind, you may find yourself wearing it again and again. For example, instead of opting for a full dress, choose a corset and skirt combination, like any of those offered by my favorite store, Gallery Serpentine. You’ll be able to mix and match both items with other pieces in your wardrobe.
Another option is to alter your dress to make it more wearable. The most common alterations are hemming the dress so it’s no longer floor length, and dying it if it’s a colour you don’t normally wear (for example, white). You can also remove features to make it seem less “wedding-ey”, such as excessive beading and details. If you’re making drestic alterations, save the material and use it to make pillow cases, quilts, other clothing items, clothing for children, or to cover your wedding album.
I love the idea of using your wedding dress – or part of it – to create beautiful art for your home or for gifts. The kind of art you choose to make is only limited by your imagination – I’ve heard of brides making collages, creating cushion covers, making pencil cases, sculptures, painting pictures of their dresses, turning them into bed canopies and stuffed toys and even Christmas tree ornaments.
Speaking of art, what gothic girl doesn’t love a few arty pictures of herself looking her best? Why not organize a “Trash the Dress” photo shoot and get a local photographer to take you out and create some stunning art. Despite the name, you don’t actually HAVE to trash your dress – choose a great location and let your imagination run wild.
You could start your own Sisterhood of the Travelling Dress – what a great way to be able to see where your wedding dress ends up and how many other happy brides you’ve helped create!
Just writing this article has got me thinking about my own dress again, and I think I’d really like to do something with it this year. I’m thinking a trash the dress shoot – who can resist one of these – maybe with a couple of my girlfriends who also got married recently – followed by perhaps some alterations to make it more wearable. This would probably involve removing the train, meaning I could make the train into some cool gothic cushion covers.
Sounds brilliant! Readers, what are you planning to do with your gothic wedding dress once your wedding is over? Do you have anymore ideas to add?
Want more ideas on choosing your gothic wedding dress? Check out the Gothic wedding planner book!