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Wedding Dresses: Not Your Granny's Gown

One bride-to-be is torn when she’s asked to wear her fiancé’s great-grandmother’s gown — which she absolutely hates

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The Wedding Guru says: There are lots of compromises and concessions that you’ll be asked to make while planning your wedding; you should be sensitive enough to realize how easy it is to disappoint the people you are — and will be — closest to in your lives together. Be prepared to “give in” to as many requests as you can. That said, I believe that the one compromise you should not be expected to make is what bridal gown you wear!

The tough part is how to get out of this dilemma, and what to say to your future in-laws. Here, the upmost diplomacy and creativity will be necessary. Explain that you’re honored to be considered for their long-standing tradition, but the dress just doesn’t suit your figure and style. Rather than wear the gown, could you somehow include it in your ceremony by displaying it in the entrance to your house of worship or reception location? An explanation of the gown’s history and perhaps photos of previous brides at their weddings could be included. 

You can offer to have the gown restyled in a more contemporary style, though my guess is that they won’t want you do that, so you’ll be off the hook!

You can also offer to incorporate a piece of the gown into your new dress or veil. My daughter-in-law used some fabric from her mother’s gown in the ring-bearer pillow and explained what she had done in her program, for instance.

If none of this works, ask them if you could wear it for your first dance and then change back into the gown you wore at your ceremony. Good luck!’s Wedding Guide offers a few articles that you may find interesting: “To Buy a Wedding Gown, Be Prepared”  and “Finding the Wedding Gown of Your Dreams.”

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Your to-dos before the I-dos

About This Blog

Tying the knot shouldn't put knots in your stomach, so whether you're the blushing bride, hubby-to-be, or even a wedding guest, The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis can answer all of your wedding-related questions.

This blog hails from, the one-stop resource for services and products, promotions and specials, a Regional Bridal Show schedule, Wed Shop, and links to money-saving and wedding-related Web sites.

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