For many people it is a tradition to keep your wedding dress. Traditionally, they were kept to be made into a christening gown for your offspring, passed on for your daughter to wear at her wedding or boxed up safely as a memento from your special day, never to be used again.
My dress took a long time to find. I tried on over 60 dresses to find one that I really loved. Azriel by Watters in ivory was the one that caught my eye. Still not 100% sure of it, I had many alterations made – adding straps, more material to the top, material lopped off the bottom. It was a task in itself to make it just perfect and exactly how I wanted it.
On my big day it was beyond perfect. Along Came Eve in Chester did such a fantastic job in creating something I envisioned and despite a few mini-meltdowns in the shop we got there in the end.
I felt like a princess – a very sweaty princess as I chose to get married in Turkey in 32 degree, scorching sunshine.
The day was over in a heartbeat. The best ever, loved-filled, heartbeat. But still – all the preparation that went into my gorgeous Azriel for the sake of ten hours. It probably took longer than that to get the alterations done.
My dress was one of the most expensive things at my wedding – and it is one of the most precious items of clothing I have ever, and will probably ever, buy.
It feels like a waste. I don’t want to hang it up at the back of my wardrobe never to be seen again. It deserves to be loved by someone else who really needs it.
This is why I have decided that I want to give my dress to someone who doesn’t have the time or money to have a perfect dress made – something I really took for granted. I want someone to wear it and experience the best day of their life in a dress that I helped create.
I’ve done endless amounts of research and found a few charities that accept pre-loved wedding dresses and pass them on to terminally ill brides, and some that have the dresses cut down to make outfits for angel babies – infants who have passed away at a very young age.
It’s not been as easy to donate as I thought it would be. Many charities are not accepting more dresses at the moment because they have too many. On the downside, they don’t have enough volunteers to help transform the donated gowns into anything due to a lack of volunteers.
Other sites have certain specifications of dresses that they accept. I’ve been told only certain materials can be used to create a smaller outfit. My dress is mainly made of tulle – a lightweight, very delicate netting – which can’t really be cut down into something else without it looking tatty, which is not ideal.
Unfortunately, that rules me out for helping angel babies, so I am on the hunt for someone who can wear my dress in all its glory.
I have read stories of terminally ill brides being gifted dresses and other items to give them the day that they really deserve.
Weddings usually take 12-18 months to organise but some people don’t have that long left and it breaks my heart to think that these poor people haven’t been able to get married if it is something that they really wished for.
I want to bring joy and happiness to someone who has a terminal or life shortening-illness.
I have read stories of couples who have received gifts, dresses, rings, free venue hire and lots of other generous donations and they have had the opportunity to have a wedding only some people could dream of. Beautiful weddings that have had to be thrown together at the last minute due to declining health.
I am well aware it’s not just brides that need the help. In some cases, it’s the groom-to-be that is in ill health – but the bride still needs a lovely dress to wear, sometimes at short notice, and doesn’t have much money to throw at a wedding
So if you know of anyone who would like to take my dress and help give them joy, love and happiness if only for one day, then please do get in touch.