Vintage/Borrowed Wedding Gowns

Add Romance to Your Attire

Instead of paying top dollar for a run of the mill bridal gown, why not wear a vintage wedding dress, or the wedding dress that your mother or grandmother wore, to add romance and a sense of tradition to your wedding day.

Regardless of what era a couple decides on the bride's vintage wedding dress will garner the majority of the attention. The most common ways to find a vintage wedding dress is at vintage clothing stores or on vintage Internet auction sites. Vintage wedding dresses can cost between $25 and $2,000 depending on the dress's current condition, its uniqueness, as well as the workmanship that went into it.

Modern brides wishing to wear vintage dresses are often disappointed because they are unable to fit into the vintage dresses that teenage brides did 50 years ago.

If you do find a vintage wedding dress suitable in size be sure to examine the dress's condition, for example silk and lace tend to disintegrate over time. If you are unable to find a suitable fitting dress one solution is to have a new dress made, either by using parts of an already existing vintage dress for inspiration or by making a whole new dress out of a vintage pattern and details.

The following are popular vintage wedding dress styles:

Saxon - During 16th and 17th centuries, the color of a bride's gown represented the rest of her married life. For example, white meant her parents had chosen a groom wisely; blue signified true love; red meant the bride wished to die and grey meant she was moving far away with her new husband.

Medieval - brides wore long, slim-fitting gowns with empire waists. Skirts were pleated in rich colored velvet of silver, gold and burgundy. Bridal gowns were embellished in elaborate embroidery, cross-lacing, gold belts and jewelry. Blue, not white, was the color of purity (this is why brides wear something blue for good luck to this day).

Victorian - White became the traditional bridal color when Queen Victoria wed in 1840. Early Victorian wedding gowns were made of organdy, tulle, lace, gauze and silk; they had fitted bodices, synched waists and full skirts over hoops and petticoats.

1920s - Bridal fashion was dominated by the straight-cut chemise dress, which resembled a long slender tube. 1920's wedding gowns were made of silk, satin, georgette, chiffon or silver lame, often with asymmetric hemlines and beaded or fringed hems. Scoop necklines with dropped waistlines were all the rage. But many gowns often had no waists at all with sashes draped around the hips. Wedding style was reminiscent of flappers and pearls, rhinestones, beads, sequins and silver lace were trendy dress embellishments.

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