Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Wedding Gown

My wedding gown was a soft ivory color, with beaded work and lace around the neckline. I bought it from a place in the French Quarter at Tanglewood Mall (that whole area no longer exists), obtaining the whole get-up for less than $300 because the dress was torn. Fortunately, it was torn in a place where I needed it taken in and so it looked good as new.

After the wedding, my mother had the dress cleaned and then she stored it in a cedar wardrobe at her house. In 1989, lightning struck the roof of her home and fire destroyed a good portion of her house.

My wedding dress was not destroyed, but it was severely scorched and smelled of smoke. My mother had it cleaned and gave it to me. It still smelled terribly of smoke and so I asked my mother-in-law to store it in her basement, as I had no place to keep it.

Fast forward 20 years. My mother-in-law the other day was cleaning out her basement and so my husband brought home my wedding gown wadded up in a bag. I have no idea what happened to the hat; maybe it burned up in the fire, I don't recall.

Yesterday I noticed the bag with the gown in and it and pulled the garment out. It is no longer ivory but instead is a muddy brownish color, a result, I suspect, of the cleaning used to try to remove the smoke. The lace is shriveled from where it melted in the fire.

I had thought to take pictures of it but it looked so bad that I did not want to make a visual memorial of it. Instead I stuffed it back into the bag, noting that it still smells of smoke despite the cleaning and the passing of many years.

It is destroyed.

It is time to send this to the dump, but somehow I can't bring myself to do that.


  1. Isn't it strange how we hang onto certain things that evoke wonderful memories, even when it doesn't make sense?

  2. I have this same dilemma with a few things! I almost think I'd rather burn it in a ceremonial fire than send it to the dump. I just can't bear to think of my things lying in a heap at the dump. No matter how ruined they may be.

  3. Leonora's idea of giving the dress a final send off is very worthy. It won't feel like you are sending it off to the county dump. Oddly, I pulled my wedng.gown out of the bag in the basement closet and it is covered in large yellowish areas that look like oil...must be time. Might send to my granddaughter to play in and enjoy so it has some energy before it bites the dust.

  4. Aw, I'm sorry! If you decide to throw it away, can you save a small piece of it and maybe make something with it?

    But look at what lasted. A rarity nowadays. The marriage.

  5. I love the idea of a ceremonial burning, as well as the idea of saving a small piece of it. I'll have to see what I can come up with. Thanks to you all.

  6. Oh, that's too bad. I still have both my wedding dresses, both under $100 and both ivory.

  7. So sorry you lost your wedding dress to fire. I didn't have a formal wedding. The dress I wore was sent to Goodwill years ago.

  8. I second the idea of saving a piece of it, maybe even more than that. If you don't sew or quilt, maybe find someone who does and see what they can make with your dress. That would be a great keepsake.


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