Many mothers would love for their daughter to wear their wedding gown on their daughter's special day. In some families, it is a tradition to pass down a wedding gown or another accessory such as a garter. Generations of women can share in a special day by passing down an heirloom.
My own mother has never suggested that I wear her wedding gown someday, but I have tried it on just for fun. As is the fate of many daughters whose mothers were married in the 1980s, I discovered that it would be best to get a dress of my own with a little less pouf and lace. My mom agrees.
There's even a new TLC show devoted to this topic. The show, Something Borrowed, helps brides to choose between an heirloom gown or a new dress. The mothers and grandmothers often present a strong case as to why the bride-to-be should wear their dress, making it hard for the bride to decide. A fashion designer updates the old gown while the bride shops for a new dress. In the end, she tries on the brand-new dress she picked, and the restyled hand-me-down. Then she decides which dress will make it down the aisle on her special day. The show is fun to watch because you can see how much family history means to people. There is even an interactive part of the show's website where you can post a picture of your heirloom dress for other visitors to give a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down."
Family is a hugely important part of most weddings, so heirloom pieces such as gowns and garters can be very special. Someday I hope to walk down the aisle with an important piece of family history, as long as it is not a poufy '80s dress.
Girl Museum Inc.