I’ve been on a bit of an heirloom kick, which is probably because I was just bequeathed a box various vintage dishware that once belonged to my great great grandparents, but it’s also because weddings and heirlooms and tradition go so seamlessly in hand. Perhaps the most common way that we see heirlooms in and around the salon is through fabric; brides quite often have a piece of their mother’s gown or veil or a piece of their grandmother’s gown or veil sewn into theirs. It’s a nice way to incorporate something old or something borrowed into the big day, and it’s also a great way to keep the important people close to you.
But let’s say that you don’t have a piece of your grandmother’s gown to sew into yours, what are some other ways that you could incorporate precious items into your gown?
Raid Your Closet
Traditions have to start somewhere, so why not use an item that is close to you personally? Maybe you have a favorite t-shirt from when you were in elementary school that you managed to fit in all through high school and college and now it’s practically in shreds? You might not call it an heirloom per say, but it certainly has significance for your and probably those who know you. Why not cut a piece of it into a heart and sew it into your gown? Maybe you still have your prom dress, you know, from the prom you went to with your now almost spouse? Pretty sure that is worthy of sewing into your wedding gown. All these things are nice reminders of your own personal journey from little kid to bride and those things are worth thinking about. Those items and those memories are worth carrying with you as you walk down the aisle.
Raid Your Parents’ Closet
Ask permission of course for such a raid and always maintain the integrity of the piece you are borrowing from, but from there take inspiration from all your memories tied to what your parents wear and use. Take a spare button from one of your dad’s favorite shirts. Cut a tiny bit of fabric from the back of that really ugly tie that he still insists on wearing. Find the worn bathrobe that your mother wore every morning as she made your school lunch and lop a little piece off the belt.
Ask Your Friends
You don’t have to be related to someone to feel like part of their family and traditions can be just as strong among friends as they are among family members, so don’t be afraid to look to your friends. Maybe your best friend has already gotten married, you could use a swatch of her gown or one of his cufflinks.
Not everyone might be keen to let you cut into their prized possessions just for your big day, but ask them to keep in mind that by taking just a bit from their prized possession you give that item new life. You extend its life and its significance. You give that tie or button or scrap of gown the chance to participate in another family milestone and perhaps many more milestones after that.