The Chop…

It’s safe to say that I am obsessed with this post by the delightful Bex. I’ve been umming and aahing over what to do with my wedding dress for 2 and a half years now – and am still no closer to being brave enough to do anything with it! It’s currently hanging in an alcove in our our bedroom…I call it ‘art’.

Bex has some amazing ideas (of course she does) for her (gorgeous, beautiful, stunning) dress and we’d love to hear your thoughts too – what do you think Bex should do? What did you do with yours? (Say that like, ‘How do you eat yours?’ for the full effect.)

Over to the rdiculously talented and creative Bex

AOWers – I need your help!  What did you all do/plan to do with your wedding dress after the big event?  Mine has been hanging in the spare room for 14 months now, *still *waiting to be cleaned!


Bex and her very dashing Dad...


I have worn it once since my wedding in a studio photo shoot with a  photographer friend but I hadn’t quite decided what to do with it yet, most likely store it away neatly in the attic to be looked at maybe once or twice again in the future, possibly to be shown to my own daughter one day or maybe even passed down to her, should she want it (if I even have a daughter!)



 I’m just not quite done with it yet.  I always planned to do a ‘cherish the  dress’ shoot in it, post-wedding.  I can’t quite bring myself to ‘trash the dress’ given how much I love it and how much it cost!!  Ironically, my new plan couldn’t be further from cherishing and yet it still is… I think…



Be honest - makes you want to go and put yours on, doesn't it?


It was actually my Mum’s idea (when staying in the spare room with the imposing dress on the wardrobe door).  The plan is to cut out the front section of the pattern at the bottom and have it framed.  In a big, dark, wooden, old style, chunky frame which would make the delicate beading and embroidery stand out.  That way I can see it every day and admire the beautiful detail while also remembering my dress and wedding day.

But that’s not all… I would also cut out the 2 side panels with some of  the silk from the skirt to be sewn together into a christening style dress (very traditional, no?) although we won’t actually be christening our
 children – but they could wear it for a humanist naming ceremony!

Still not done… I would have the bodice part finished at the bottom so it could be worn as a top!  Imagine wearing part of your wedding dress again to a Christmas party with smart trousers and being able to say, this was my
wedding dress!  Plus, it’s just SO pretty and sparkly and detailed!  I would love to wear that bit again and again!


Bex's new Christmas party top...


I think I could also make a couple of cushion covers or something out of the train too!?  And maybe a 50′s style underskirt from the tulle underneath!  So many uses and such a great way to get my money’s worth out of my beloved dress.  However, before I can bring myself (if I even manage) to attack it with my fabric scissors, I want to wear it one last time for that outdoor shoot I always had in my head.  Somewhere magical, maybe in a  forest or on a beach, who knows!

This is where I need you, readers!  Do you think I should go for it and cut it up?  Do you think I’m crazy to do so?  Can you recommend a (relatively cheap) photographer for a cherish the dress style photo shoot?  (I want it
to remain in good condition so I can have it cleaned before the chop!)  Any ideas for a fun photo shoot idea??  I had always thought it might be fun to do one with all my bridesmaids in their wedding dresses too, in an old
abbey or castle ruins maybe!  (Not sure if I can pull that off though as they all now have young children and one has lost so much weight since her babies I think her dress might fall off her!)


Mr and Mrs Olive Dragonfly!


Categories: Any Other Wedding, Frippery, Wedding Pretty
38 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Roz
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Love this post!! My dress is also in my spare room as you know but I would never have come up with all these fantastic ideas. I think you should definitely do all the things you suggest, I especially love the idea of the panel I the dark wood frame, I think it would make you grin like a loon when you saw it hanging in your house and everyone would ask what it was :D

    Not sure what to suggest for the photoshoot, if you want to keep it clean you could go with inside Kevingrove Art Gallery, it makes for a stunning back drop for photos – wonder how I’d know that? – and you can get some beautiful, serious photos but also ones of you in your wedding dress with the t-rex!!!

    You have to share the results with us all here at AOW obs.

    Ps you could always wear your dress to a certain roller disco on Saturday…?!?!

    • Lara Blue
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Did not realise that you could take photos in Kelvingrove- the main galleries in Edinburgh don’t let you!
      Although saying that, I think you can take photos inside the museum….
      What a great idea for a photoshoot though! :)

      • Roz
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        We got photos taken there on our wedding day :D You have to make a donation to the museum but it’s worth it x

        • Lara Blue
          Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          Amazing!!! :)

  2. Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Oooh do it! It all sounds like such a good idea, and you have clearly thought about it so much! I love the framing idea, and also using the top half to create an evening top – the joy of having a corset style dress!

    When you do it, show us piccies of the framed wedding dress yes?

    L x

  3. Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I love all your ideas but think only you know whether you would be happy to cut up your dress.

    I need to find a specialist dry cleaners to clean and repair my dress – it kind of got trashed at the wedding (someone stood on the train and I walked forward – oops!)

    Whatever you decide I’d be keen to know. I’m still not sure what to do with mine.

  4. Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t we all wear our dresses in the woods together??? Please could we do that! A group trash the dress shot style picnic in the woods!

    I vote picnic in our dresses next Spring.

    I keep thinking about making mine into a bedspread but never had the guts to actually do it. I did wear it in the snow this year though just for a laugh.

    I like the christening dress idea a lot but they grow out of things so quick I’m not sure it’s the best-get most use option. ?

    • Katielase
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      AOW wedding dress picnic in the woods = the BEST. IDEA. EVER.

      K x

    • Caroline Hurndall
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Oh my gosh, if there’s an AOW group wedding-dress-wearing photo session can I caome? Please please? I am still umming about a “cherish the dress” type shoot (although I might have to think if a less cheesy name!), but worried I’d feel like a bit of a prawn wondering around London or something! Cx

    • Caroline Hurndall
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      ps. bex – your dress is amazing, I actually gasped when I saw it. (Quietly, as I am sneakily looking at AOW at my desk…)

    • Lara Blue
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      AWESOME idea Anna, those photos would be so cool! :)

  5. Katie
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Hi Bex. Your dress is so beautiful, it really is. I love your chopping idea though. Do you think you would regret it?

    My dress is in a box. I’d planned to sell it on Ebay. It needs handwashing, and not done this yet. My dress is just a cheap polyester one. I added lace to the bottom, so it needs to be sold to someone of the same height, so small market.

    I’m doubtful it would make very much. I might put a £50 reserve, and if it doesn’t sell, leave for any future daughters to play with. Personally I’m not sentimental about the dress. The only reason I have not sold is laziness.


  6. Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I re wore my short wedding dress at my 40th birthday party & loved it. I had too much fun so there are no photos of me wearing it, but that really doesn’t matter. The memories of re wearing it & seeing it draped over the chair the next day are what matter. I love the idea of the framing & making a top. Makes me wonder whether I could make mine into a skirt. Happy decision making.

  7. Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I’m not brave enough to chop up my dress (although I have no idea what to do with it, it’s hanging in my Mums spare room right now) but I love all of your ideas.

    I framed some of the leftover bits of material from having my dress made, that’s definitely my favourite idea – your dress will look wonderful in a dark wooden frame.

    How about Kibble Palace/Peoples Palace for a cherish the dress shoot? No weather worries!

  8. Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I’m loving all the suggestions so far people! Especially Anna’s!! It’s also making me even more convinced/excited to do it! I suspect I might regret it if I did have a daughter somewhere down the line (love this idea but also might regret wasting it in the attic when I could spend many years gazing at it’s loveliness on the wall/wearing the top.

    • Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Would it be completely wrong to do that to George?

  9. Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I did try on my mum’s dress and it was really lovely to do that, but just wasn’t very me and didn’t fit me (although it’s not horribly out of style, so I could have got away with it!).

    It was quite emotional and strange trying it on, and I’m glad I got to. But then also I’m not wearing it and it’s been waiting for 25 years, so I’m not sure it’s worth it for that moment alone. I’m loving the top idea! I love corseted stuff, you should go for it!

    • Posted October 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      I tried on my Mum’s dress and my Grandma’s both of which are stored in her loft, and both of which are a bit too dated. It was a fun thing to do (I also found it a bit emotional) but not sure if hanging onto a dress for 30 years just so my daughter can try it on is worth it. So I’m not sure what I will do with mine. xox

  10. Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I’m going to give this some serious thought before tomorrow so we can discuss at length!
    But if there’s any hint of an AOW wedding dress fun shoot before my W Day I’m so hiring myself a big princessy frock and joining in!!!

    • Zan
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      hahaha – me to! Def want in on this :)

    • Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink


  11. Zan
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Oh Bex – I love your dress…sigh… (I’m sure I’ve babbled to you before about bea-u-tiful I think it is!). All your ideas sound fab to me and I’m sure you’d pull them all off fabulously! Loving the outdoor shoot idea – maybe go for somewhere in total contrast to your wedding venue? x

  12. Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Love all the ideas Bex – especially framing part of your dress, that’s just all kinds of awesome!

    My wedding photographer will do individual sessions and they give you all the images copyright free as well as being nice to your wallet!! Give me a shout if you want the details.

  13. Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Hey Bex!

    My plan was ALWAYS to get it chopped and dyed navy… except that I knew in my heart of hearts, if I did buy a dress in *that* style it would never be silk or with Swarovski beading on it. I’d want tulle or something…

    Then I bought this

    So then I thought, what about selling it and buying something I would keep forever and letting someone else have the pleasure of it… except that nothing is forever these days (I was thinking a camera,) and Pete quite rightly pointed out was it worth it? (I think he is more attached to the romantic memories of it than I am!) We’re lucky enough not to need the money, we have a ‘family’ Christening gown already and so my dress, 3 and a half years later still hangs on the edge of my wardrobe at home. (At least I have had it cleaned!) ;)

    I think I’m just going to box it and keep it for memories. Sometimes I think we think too hard about what ‘else’ it should be. After all, it was meant to be a wedding dress, why not just treasure it as that?


  14. Vivienne
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    My dress is cleaned and boxed now – I did want to sell it but there is the tiniest stain on the bum which obviously can’t be removed which is a pain! I did have thoughts about using the material for christening outfits (it’s a beautiful taffeta silk) but don’t know if I could bear to see it chopped up, even for something as special as that! For now, it will continue to live under the bed… day I might get it out for another try on….I can hoover in my frock right?

  15. Celestine
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    That is the most beautiful dress I have ever seen. It would be wasted in a cupbard/box/loft.
    I say cut it up and enjoy it every day.

  16. Celestine
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    PS Mine? I bunged it through the washing machine, hung it on the line to dry and now it’s stored in the loft. None too carefully either!

  17. Mrs Jones
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read any of the other posts past Anna’s.. I want an AOW picnic in the woods!

    I’m planning a cherish the dress shoot too (15 months after the wedding I’m still planning it!) and I really want to do something with my horse.. I’m imagining galloping along the beach with my dress billowing behind me like this or something more romantic

    There are a few logistics but it’s something I’d like to do in the spring I think.

    I’m going to keep mine as I do like to put it on every now and then when I’m feeling sad!

  18. Lara Blue
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Wow, your dress is amazing! :) I think your suggestions sound great although I couldn’t do it to my dress (both due to the style and for sentimental reasons, also, I’m pretty rubbish at sewing!). I don’t know what I’m doing with mine yet although I was thinking of donating it back to charity….but I still feel the urge to hang onto it right now. It’s only been a month so I’m allowing myself leeway! :)

  19. Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    My mum kept hers and while i do remember enjoying trying it on as a little kid, no more so than I enjoyed trying on any other of her “fancy dresses”. When she got it out of the attic again a few years ago, we found a few moths had got at it so be careful everyone who is planning on storing theirs!

  20. Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Mine has been in the cupboard for 5 years! Not even touched it since my wedding day. It’s funny because I was actually thinking about selling it yesterday or the day before and then your link popped up in my inbox. I had no idea you were thinking of chopping yours up Becky! Due to recent circumstances, I don’t want to keep mine and I doubt that my daughter will want it either. So I think I will go ahead and sell it. I think all your ideas are great. Are you going to dye the bodice green for your party outfit ;-)

  21. Becca
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    One of the girls I work with sold her JP (some things just keep their value) and is buying a piece of jewellry she can wear everyday. Love that idea.

  22. Kate G
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Love how happy you look in your gorgeous dress Bex!

    Funny this came up today – mine has just been collected for cleaning after being folded up in a sheet under the bed for the last 6 months, and also wondering what to do with it. Especially as I have very mixed emotions about the dress ( I was very uncomfortable onthe day and endured wardrobe malfunctions)! Still, the thought of cutting it up at the moment makes me a bit squirmy, but again the beaded fabric is so beautiful it is a shame to keep it in a box forever. Selling it an buying a special peice of jewellery though is a great idea too. Great ideas ladies!

    Love the idea of everyone getting togehter in their gowns. :)

  23. Laura
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    My dress went from hanging in our hall way for almost a year to hanging my mum’s spare room! I love it and I would love to do a cherish the dress shoot! Couldn’t bring myself to sell it, or to cut it up! But your dress is so decorative, i can imagine it in a beautiful frame! And not to forget those beautiful cushions and 50′s petticote! You have to go with your gut feeling though!!

  24. Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful dress! I love your ideas about making a top and cushions, christening dress etc – just imagine how you’ll feel every time you sit on the cushions or wear the top and how special it will be.

  25. Martha
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I love all the ideas mentioned above…its something people rarely discuss, the whole What do you do with that dress you probably spent £1,000 ish o to wear for like, 5 hours or so…”! Its a shame they get hidden in lofts after all that excitement pre wedding, the oohing and ahhing and pre-wedding dieting! My wedding dresses (yep, plural – whoops) are both black and I had plans to wear oth to the countless balls I would no doubt be invited to in my new life as a married lady – haha! I did wear the shorter black one last week to a Pink Ball for Breast cancer and did lots of twirling in it…but I then investigated selling it to a vintage wedding dress shop. The response? “Sorry, it wouldnt sell in our shop but have you thought about wearing it to a Halloween party as a gothic bride?” Just an idea, people…even a white dress could be “goth’d up” with some outrageous makeup and a few comedy blood stains!!! x

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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