September 4, 2023


Your mother’s wedding dress is a treasured heirloom that holds sentimental value. It’s a beautiful reminder of her special day, but what if you want to give it a new purpose or update its style to fit your own taste? There are numerous creative ways to upcycle or repurpose mom’s old wedding dress, preserving its memories while making it relevant for your life.

1. Create Unique Keepsakes

If wearing the dress isn’t your plan, consider turning it into cherished keepsakes. Crafty individuals can repurpose it into decorative throw pillows, delicate handkerchiefs, or even elegant table runners for special occasions. Each item will carry the memories of your mother’s wedding day, becoming a part of your home’s decor. One of my favorite aunts is an absolutely whiz with a sewing machine, and she made me a set of Barbie Doll wedding wear from my parents’ wedding–so a wedding dress made from the material of my mom’s dress, and a series of bridesmaid dresses from the material from those. It was really really really cool.

2. Design Fashionable Accessories

Your mom’s wedding dress might hold intricate lace or beaded elements that are perfect for crafting stunning accessories. You can create beautiful hairpieces, veils, ties or bowties, or even clutch purses that add a touch of elegance to your wedding attire or everyday style. I have seen moms and daughters wear robes make from the old gown as well as clutches. These themselves can become heirlooms in their own right, so it could be the perfect way to repurpose mom’s old wedding dress.

3. Use it as wedding decor

I have seen this only a couple of times, and I love it so much. One way to repurpose mom’s old wedding dress is to set it up at your wedding–create a whole love history corner that has a dress form wearing the gown with photos of generations surrounding it. Such a cool way to pay tribute to your love story by highlighting the chapters that led you to yours.

4. Frame a Piece of It

A unique way to display your mother’s wedding dress is by framing a section of it. Frame a piece of the fabric, lace, or even a photograph of her wearing it in a shadow box. This beautiful wall art not only serves as a tribute to her wedding day but also adds a touch of vintage charm to your home. I love Frambridge for my fun framing needs, so sending them a piece will no doubt result in amazing home decor!

5. Let the legacy live on

If the dress doesn’t have personal significance for you, consider donating it to a charity that specializes in creating wedding gowns for brides in need. Your mother’s dress can bring joy to another bride and make her day even more special.

There are numerous creative ways to repurpose or upcycle your mom’s old wedding dress, from creating keepsakes and accessories to passing it down or donating it to a meaningful cause. Whatever you choose to do with it, your mother’s dress will continue to hold a special place in your heart and in the lives of those who come after you, keeping its memories alive for generations to come.

Kayla Lee is a Minnesota-based wedding and elopement photographer (and handcrafter and designer on the side). She serves elegant, authentic, sentimental couples who not only choose their own adventures, but also live them to the fullestSee more about the KLP Wedding Experience!

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At home on the road. Forever-focused on authenticity and the thrilling art of creation; always found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After fourteen years as a high school educator, I stepped back through a door I thought was closed. Journalism came back into my life. Armed with a Masters of Arts in Communication, I was again challenged and prepared to tell the stories that would become history, but with a twist: It is now your legacy of love that I document. The tension I seek is that from every tear, smile, laugh, and moment of love on your wedding day. 


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