I got married in a light blue dress I bought for about $100 at what used to be The Bon. I remember the elderly saleswoman who rang up my purchase, smiling sweetly at me and asking me if I was buying it for prom.

I had to wear these weird boob stickers under it on my wedding day, since it didn’t allow for any kind of support garment. I also wore clear plastic heels.

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So, to recap: cheap fake satin dress, boob stickers, hooker shoes. I was the classiest bride ever.

The dress has been hanging in the back of a closet ever since. Not stored or preserved or even slightly protected: just hanging there gathering dust and crumpling on the floor.

I dug it out in 2008 and took some photos, just for fun. I learned that if I needed boob stickers in 2001, I would need something more like an anti-gravity device to wear it now.

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I do think it’s pretty, but let’s be honest: I’ll never wear it again, it’s hardly the sort of heirloom you pass down for someone else’s wedding, and even if it were, I have two boys, and if it turns out either one of them wants to wear a dress on their wedding day, not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m guessing they will want to choose their own.

So this weekend, as I was neck-deep in the process of cleaning out our various storage areas, I laid the dress on the pile of junk we were taking to the thrift store. I figured I have the photos and the memories and now I could reclaim the closet space.

JB, however, reacted as though I’d pulled off my wedding ring and hurled it in the toilet. “What the hell,” he complained. “What the HELL.”

“Listen,” I told him. “This is not a metaphor. This is cleaning.”

But it was no use. Back to the closet it went. Along with, I will confess, the clear plastic shoes. Because you never know when those might come in handy, like if I need to compete in a beauty pageant or offer to blow a guy for a dime bag of coke.

Tell me, what did you do with your dress? Is it professionally stored? Being worn by your daughter? Stuffed in the back of a closet to be ignored for a decade at a time?

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Ashley
Ashley
11 years ago

So funny you wrote this! Just today I took out my wedding dress and put it on just for the hell of it.

My dress is stored in a plastic storage container under my bed. I really don’t like my dress, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.

Belle
Belle
11 years ago

38 years ago, I bought my dress at a small bridal shop….didn’t cost all that much and it was pretty. I never had it professionally cleaned and boxed, and I believe it is in a plastic tub down in the basement. Daughter played dress up in it when she was small, along with my other prom dresses. The netting on the headpiece has pretty much disintegrated and the dress has yellowed, but I will never get rid of it. And, since I weighed a whoppin’ 120 pounds (at 5’7″) when we got married, I haven’t fit in it for approx. 35 of those 38 years. Well, maybe my arm can squeeze in there but that’s about it! :)

I’m with JB, don’t get rid of your dress! It’s a memento of the beginning of your lives together and it doesn’t hurt a thing to be hanging in the closet.

Lana
Lana
11 years ago

My mother paid to have it preserved in a box and was annoyed to find out that I use it for dress up with my girls (who are the same age as your boys). I don’t envision anyone ever using it again, but I just can’t let go of sentimental things.

operation pink herring
11 years ago

I tried to list mine on Ebay to recoup some cash, but my husband wouldn’t hear of it. So it sits, in the plastic from the dry cleaner (I heard preserving isn’t great for dresses/the environment/lazy people), taking up half of the one closet we share. Every once in awhile my cat sneaks in and makes a nest-bed in the bottom, just to let it know it’s still loved.

Jessica
Jessica
11 years ago

I love my dress. Simple, but beautifully embroidered fabric. I don’t presume my daughter will want it, but I am holding on to it in case I want to make it into a short cocktail dress (not out of the question). Also considering a crafty something or other — like using it to line a shadow box or to cover a photo album. Options for you, maybe?

Autumn
Autumn
11 years ago

I just think it’s unbelievably sweet that JB wants you to keep it. And you definitely should.

bj
bj
11 years ago

I think it’s sweet that your guy wants to keep it. It’s also cool that you can still wear it. I think you should keep it and make a tradition of going out every three years (or going in, with candlelight and a special dinner) for the rest of your lives together.

Em
Em
11 years ago

I think mine is in my mother’s closet where it belongs. I never cared for it anyway, kind of felt like the whole wedding got away from me. Not that I am bitter 10 years later (much).

Jessica Contreras
11 years ago

I never even got my dress dry cleaned. It hangs in my husband’s closet taking up his space.

Lauren
Lauren
11 years ago

Both my dress and my partner’s dress are sitting in our closets in the garment bags they came in. Never cleaned, not neatly stored, and moved to five different homes since our wedding. I don’t know that we’ve even opened the bags since we put them back in there. Oops.

E
E
11 years ago

JB’s reaction is SO SWEET! You are the luckiest woman! Bless you two!

K.B.
11 years ago

Well, WOW! Gotta say, boob stickers or no, you look pretty damn good in that dress :)

My wedding gown is hanging at the back of my closet, un-cleaned. I doubt my son will ever want to wear it for his wedding ;) so it will likely sit there many years to come (it’s spent 8 years there so far!)

I *do* take it out every anniversary and try it on, though. I took pics on my 5 year anniversary even though it was a bit tight. The way I figure, if I can still cram my body in there, I’m doing okay weight wise. I’m happy to say that it’s been loose the past couple of years :D

Erika
Erika
11 years ago

I don’t exactly know how mine is hanging but I do know that my mother-in-law has it. I have my veil. I don’t know where it is though. I got rid of the shoes about 5 years ago.

MotherGooseAmy
MotherGooseAmy
11 years ago

Spent over $100 to have it professionally cleaned and preserved. I think it is in one of the boy’s closets (I think).

I have two sons, so it doesn’t look like it will be passed down. I vowed never to try and push 30 year old crap onto my daughters in law like my MIL does.

So basically I spent a bunch of money for nothing.

tawnya
11 years ago

Wrapped in dry cleaning plastic (not that it was cleaned…) and on top of photo boxes and other keepsakes in my cedar chest. So, squished and wrinkled and shoved to the side to get to photo books on a regular basis…

Maris (In Good Taste)
11 years ago

Wow, I’m not married so I don’t have a wedding dress storage tale of woe but I literally laughed out loud multiple times at this and probably will laugh again.

H
H
11 years ago

Professionally preserved, in a box, which is somewhere in this house. It’ll probably be re-purposed some day or tossed, who knows.

I love your story and the ensemble, especially the hooker shoes.

Holly McMolly Whats Her Pants
Holly McMolly Whats Her Pants
11 years ago

I am the anti-hoarder. But I would never throw out, give away, purposely fuck up my wedding dress. It wasn’t expensive, it was an off-the-rack BCBG ivory bubble skirt knee-length number – but it’s my wedding dress. Always room in the closet for that.

Deb
Deb
11 years ago

I bought a ridiculously expensive dress from Kleinfeld’s in Brooklyn, so it is professionally sealed and stored in our attic. Whenever my husband sees it he goes crazy about how do we know it is really in there?
We have to trust some things! My mom had a beautiful wedding dress that she donated to a blind girl (so the story goes!) to wear on her wedding day and I was always sad that I didn’t even have the option to try that dress or use part of it or whatever. So that is part of the reason why I had it stored – no one has to wear it, but I do think it would be nice to have the option or it cut up or somehow have it repurposed.

OF course, I have two boys, so not sure anything will ever be done with it…but you never know…

adequatemom
11 years ago

Not only do I still have the dress from when I married my amazing husband in 2006 – I still have the dress from when I married the amazingly CRAPPY husband in 1999. Clearly, I have trouble letting things go. (I have worn the second dress since, though – as it’s a kick-ass Chinese silk cheongsam, I can get away with stuff like that.)

Love the photos! What a great idea.

Anyabeth
11 years ago

Mine is hanging in my mother’s basement and I just know she is going to make me take it home someday.

I do feel like she should store it since she picked it out and also would have a fit if I threw it away. I don’t think my husband would care–he isn’t sentimental–but I guess I don’t know.

I do have a daughter but since my mother made me feel so guilty for not wanting her dress (I am five inches taller and have a different build so it wouldn’t work) that I do not want to do that to her.

And the preserving thing is a racket–when I used to work bridal we would find out all the time that the preservation would ruin the dresses.

Victoria
11 years ago

I love your dress (and the dragonfly tattoo I didn’t know you had!) but, to answer your question…sort of…

My Mum got married in an inexpensive blue dress (back in the 60s, but still) not a wedding dress, just a nice blue dress. Quite pretty. She didn’t keep it.

This chokes me up all the time. When I get married I probably wouldn’t have worn the dress, but who knows. I’m certain I would have used the dress as part of my wedding, maybe as a something blue or have it turned into a wrap or something. I feel denied the opportunity to carry on a family legacy.

My Mum says she had no attachment to it and didn’t see why anyone in the future would either.

As her only daughter, I disagree.

I wish she’d kept it. But, I’m a girl so I’d bet my brother hasn’t even thought of it! ;)

Kirsten
11 years ago

I’m so ashamed to admit that 8 years later – mine gorgeous dress is crumpled in a bag on the top shelf of my closet….not cleaned and still with champagne spilled down the front. I think I start to sweat everytime I think about shelling out the money for the cleaning/sealing thing – but I really should just bite the bullet and do it already. I just can’t get rid of it for some reason!

Rachel
11 years ago

Mine’s been hanging in a closet in a dress bag for 16 years. It’s so over-the-top early-90’s, with giant shoulders and a zillion pounds of beads, that I can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to wear it. That said, my mom’s empire-waist dress with simple lines from 1971 is back in style. My daughter will probably end up getting married in a gap-time where neither dress will be usable, but if she doesn’t, I HOPE she can wear my mother’s dress. Mine was just something we bought at a store. My mom’s eighteen-year-old hands sewed every stitch of hers.

GingerB
11 years ago

I bought mine used from a lady you could sell it back to after you were done. Then the wretched lady said I’d made too many alterations to buy it straight out, it went back to her on consignment and I never heard from her again. If you live in Utah, avoid Fairy Godmother’s! It is a scam! But when I see the costs as a rental fee for a temporary use of a dress for a pregnant plus size person, well, OK, whatever. I live in small old fashioned houses where closets are an afterthought and I always knew I’d never have spare space to store a dress I’d never wear again. My four year old duaghter is totally mad that I didn’t keep it so she could play with it and she has properly told me off for not keeping it around, but honestly, I don’t miss having to care for it one bit. Zero regrets.

deanna
11 years ago

i myself am not married, but my sister was just married last saturday. while doing various wedding preparations for her wedding, we did take out my moms dress. (which was stored in a box in the attic–which is only accessible by removing shelving from the linen closet i kid you not–so you can guess how often thats been looked at over the past 30+ years) it was kinda fun to prance around wearing it (or bake cookies, as my sister did) in all of its 1977 winter wedding glory (high neck, flowy sleeves tight at the wrist), but other than that its been sitting in our attic in a box for the past 30 years. i dont even know where it is now.

my sister is getting hers cleaned and then i have no idea…

her friend who was married in february didnt even bother with the cleaning and just threw hers out. that seems kind of an unceremonious ending to me, but also practical.

im a fan of the “trash the dress” pictures where some people have put theirs on and taken some amazing professional pictures of them in their dresses on the beach, in the water, etc. THAT seems like a more ceremonious ending to me…

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Your dress is lovely and looks lovely on you. My dress was hanging in the closet collecting dust until my husband insisted that I take it to get it preserved. I really have no emotional attachment to it myself. Which is not to say I’m not a sentimental person-I am. But my husband has a much stronger attachment to it than I do, which I have to admit is pretty sweet. It is currently in the box they put it in when they preserved it and I have no idea what I might do with it.

yaya
11 years ago

I was engaged in college & picked out a dress at a high end bridal shop for $3,500 and it seriously was just white, strapless, straight down, zero embellishment. I guess money does buy boring classy things. That engaged was called off, so I lost the $1,300 I had put down on the dress, pretty sure that $1,300 was from a student loan or something too, classy. Second engagement, selected a hideous dress for $1,200 that covered every inch of my body and was the least sexy thing I ever picked out…needless to say that engagement tanked for obvious reasons. 3rd and final engagement was the wedding and 7 yrs of married bliss. The dress was $700 from David’s Bridal and I loved it, so fantastic, with that front swoop to make you look like you have a tiny waist and then it was low cut in the back and swept to the side. Funny thing is, I can’t stand my back, I have a bunch of moles & scars from various childhood adventures & climbing through Huckleberry Finn berry bushes etc…anyway, I picked a dress that revealed all of my self-conscious areas and never felt more gorgeous (or had more fun) than on that day. Dress is stashed in my in-laws closets since we live in a teeny CA bungalow with zero closet space but I still love it and hope to dye it black or some other rad color and wear it on a cruise ship or something….

Ness at Drovers Run
11 years ago

Mine is in a garment bag, at the back of the spare room closet, along with the cloak I wore over it. (snort) Yeah, I went for a Lord of the Rings sort of theme on my wedding day. I’m sure one day I’ll get use out of the cloak again (fancy dress/kids parties etc) but the dress…oh well, who knows. I think you’re right not to get too sentimentally attached to dresses – after all you can’t take it with you when you die. Heh.

Bel
Bel
11 years ago

It is tradition in my family that the bride’s dress has a small square of fabric from her mother and mother-in-laws dresses sewn in – even if it’s just inside the hem.

CharChar
CharChar
11 years ago

I have an awesome photographer friend so I proposed arranging a big photoshoot with all my friends’ in their wedding dresses, running on the beach, just laughing and being us. And if we can’t zip our dress up, all the more funny I think. I want photos of my dress holding on for dear life and seams about to burst. HA!

bouncy
bouncy
11 years ago

I gave my wedding dress (very cheap one from a sales rack) to my friend who was having a yard sale. We were moving across states and I was so happy to have one less thing to shove in the car. I am not regretting it.

beach
beach
11 years ago

Seriously….mine along with the 5,000 bridesmaids dresses and prom crap were being stored at my moms house. I think she gave it to goodwill or salvation army….I am not sentimental when it comes to big puffy,satiny shiny dresses!!

Katy
Katy
11 years ago

One of my friends is having my dress altered to wear at her wedding, complete with a train to trail behind her wheelchair. The dress will be ruined and perfected.

Julie
Julie
11 years ago

Gave it to the Salvation Army for another larger boned woman to wear who can’t afford a dress of her own. I also have 2 boys who probably won’t want to wear a dress on their wedding day!

Tia
Tia
11 years ago

Mine cost $50 at Dillard’s. My shoes cost $80. It drove me nuts that I spent more for the shoes than the dress so I returned the shoes and found a pair in the clearance room for $26! Just last weekend my kids were playing dress up and I pulled my dress out of the closet (just hanging there collecting dust) and were it. My daughter wanted to wear it so I gave it to her to wear. As I’m writing this I just realized I never got it back. So I’m guessing it is now laying in a tub of dress up clothes :)
And I do think it’s way sweet that JB cared if you got rid of it. He’s one of the good guys. But don’t tell him I said that :)

kristin
kristin
11 years ago

Aww. I kind of <3 that he wants you to keep it. :)

As for your Qs, we gays are not allowed to marry so no wedding dress for me!

Amy M.
Amy M.
11 years ago

My wedding dress is preserved in a box in the closet. When I got married, my mother (a seamstress) made me a slip & a garter out of her old wedding dress, so I could wear her dress. (She was 90 pounds when she got married, I was about 40 pounds heavier, so yeah, didn’t fit.) Maybe I could do something similar for my daughter or son – make part of their wedding ensemble out of my dress. I just can’t bring myself to donate something my mother made for me!

It’s sweet JB wants to keep the dress & hooker shoes.

Stephanie
Stephanie
11 years ago

My dress from my first wedding is somewhere in storage at my mother’s house. I no longer have any sentimental attachment to it, but don’t object to her keeping it in case my girls ever at least want to see it (since their father burned our wedding pictures during the divorce). My second wedding was in the backyard of our house, in jeans. Yes, I still have the jeans and the shirt I wore.

perl
perl
11 years ago

Am I the only one who likes to pull the gown out of the back of the closet for Halloween? Voila – instant princess costume! (and yeah, I’m the only girl in the house, too, besides the dog and chickens. A yearly opportunity to feel semi-glamorous.)

Emily
Emily
11 years ago

I was married on the beach in Costa Rica. After, for our wedding photo’s, we played in the surf, so it got covered in sand and sea water. When I got home, I crumpled it into a ball and tossed it into our dry cleaning bag figuring, I’d see what they could do with it. It came back with a note “damaged beyond repair.” But I still love the dress so its just thrown over a hanger in the back of my closet somewhere.

Rhonda
Rhonda
11 years ago

My (now ex)husband threw my dress out with the trash in a fit of rage over who knows what.

Cheryl S.
Cheryl S.
11 years ago

Mine’s in the back of a closet, in a bag. I want to have the lace overlay made into my daughter’s veil for her 1st communion.

I’m totally impressed that you could wear your dress. For me to get into my wedding gown now, I’d need to lose 15 pounds and do something about these hips that seem to have appeared after I had a baby!!!

Tracy
Tracy
11 years ago

in the closet in my old bedroom at my parents’ house…not preserved, but i keep saying one day i will host a new year’s eve party where everyone has to wear their wedding gowns…just waiting ona couple more friends to get married so they can participate :)

Karl
Karl
11 years ago

Wedding dress, what’s that???? :)

She was 4 months along when we went to the JP and formalized things, with her 3-year-old the only other one present.

We were properly rewarded when the baby in question presented us with an unexpected grandchild, 26 years later. Fortunately, the male example has held (I am still with Her, and my daughter’s lover is a wonderful dad to the grandbaby.)

I’ve purchased a wedding dress for our 4th, and she might even wear it. After that, I don’t much care what happens to it…

TS
TS
11 years ago

Beautiful dress!
My $100 dress is sitting in the closet inside the plastic carrying bag, which is where I hung it three hours after my wedding 7 years ago. My husband wants to keep it have me make it into pillows or something.
I would rather cut it up and use the material to make preemie outfits for stillborns.

Mary
Mary
11 years ago

The original silk wedding dress I paid a high-end designer in NYC to custom create? The lady hand-sewing the beads 3 weeks before the wedding dumped coffee on it.

So I went to one of those giant wedding-dress warehouses because I needed a size 4 off the rack like, NOW. And because I was disgruntled and bitter about dress A (a slender sheath dress) I decided to go for the opposite style and bought the hugest ball gown they had.

It weighs 17 pounds. No shit. But oh, it’s beautiful–a sparkly fitted top with layers and layers of toule. It wasn’t gaudy-poofy, just… Cinderella. I had it professionally cleaned and because it’s larger than a VW Van, in storage at my parent’s place until we buy a house.

MLB
MLB
11 years ago

Mine is preserved in a box in my basement. My daughter will never wear it (she’s on track to be taller than me by age 12) but I think that the fabric could be used for some other purpose at some point. I used my mother’s lace wedding gown to make a baptism gown that my brother and I have used for our kids and was really happy to do so. So it’s basically being saved for something similar if that’s what my kids want to do someday.

Tatiana
Tatiana
11 years ago

My mother-inlaw made my dress. It was a peace offering and major concession on my part. ANd she was thrilled.
She is a very good seamstress but just didn’t get the design and kept pushing it in the wrong direction. I was determined to just let it be a momwent between us and let it go. She bulldozed right over my carefully worded and meek protests.
In the end, the dress looked off and I didn’t love it.
I have it hanging in a garment bag. I can’t throw it out and I can’t imagine passing it on to my daughter.
And I don’t feel that I can ever talk to anyone about why I dont’ love it.
And in the end, I’m not sure that it was any help in getting a better realtionship with my mother-in-law.

KDA
KDA
11 years ago

My dress is still in the dry cleaner’s box. It’s moved with us five times. It doesn’t take up a lot of room, so I’ve kept it. The dress I bought during my first engagement (not the guy I ended marrying) went to a consignment store. I have my mom’s dress in my hope chest. It’s very simple; she made it when she was twenty, in 1963. I never considered wearing it for my wedding, but I’m glad to have it, especially since she had passed away. I think about all the love that went into that dress, her marriage and our family every time I look at it.