Vintage Wedding Dress Redesign and Restyle

Getting married is a once in a lifetime experience. No two weddings are alike. No two brides are alike. However, there are times when a bride would like a piece of her family history intertwined into her magical wedding day. Using a vintage wedding dress or bridal gown from a mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, or any other part of your family or close circle of friends can add a nostalgic feeling to the gown that is priceless.

What happens if you are the sentimental bride that wants to use a vintage wedding gown but you do not entirely love the style? Loving a dresses style is extremely important, regardless of how important the previous bride is to you. You may love the idea of using your mother’s wedding dress, but you may not be entirely in love with her style from the 1960’s, 70’s or 80’s. Tastes change… there is nothing wrong with that.

At The Wedding Seamstress near Denver, Colorado ( we have become accustom to visiting with brides that love the idea of their mother’s bridal gown, but are not sold on the style. It may be a sizing issue, or a style issue, but in either case we are here to tell you that there is hope!

Before you start jumping off the deep end and committing to your grandmother’s historic wedding dress, here is a short checklist of things we feel that you MUST consider:

  • You MUST love something about the vintage wedding dress. Not just the idea, but you must actually like the skirt, the top, the lace… some part of this wedding dress MUST call your name, even if it wasn’t your mother’s bridal gown.
  • You MUST trust the seamstress you choose to work with. She should have some experience designing bridal gowns on her own as she will need vision to transform your sister’s wedding dress into YOUR dress.
  • You MUST be okay with the outcome without actually seeing it. This may be the hardest part of having a vintage bridal gown redesigned. You may not be able to completely envision the outcome, but since you are committing to your mother’s wedding dress you MUST be trusting of the outcome.
  • You MUST be patient. While we try to keep your appointments to a minimum for standard wedding dress alterations, there is nothing standard about having your mother’s bridal gown restyled to fit your wedding. This means the possibility of multiple appointments. This is normal… don’t fret!
  • You MUST be okay with a higher than expected bill. While normal wedding dress alteration costs are usually lower than $500, redesigning a wedding gown can run over $1,000. There is a lot of time that it takes to restyle an entire gown, so please be ready to commit financially as well. Now this may be cheaper than buying a Claire Pettibone and paying for alterations by a long shot, it still is not “cheap”. At The Wedding Seamstress we give concrete pricing, so there are no surprises later; and we recommend finding a talented seamstress or tailor that can do the same for your vintage wedding gown restyling.

We hope this helps you on your way to having your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown redesigned to fit your magical wedding day. We have had some amazing stories and many very happy brides that chose to have their vintage wedding gowns redesigned and restyled. Below is a video that tells the story of one bride that enjoyed the experience, and if you are thinking of restyling a gown we hope you have a similar experience!

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