Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Wedding dresses.

How many of you have been married?  How many of you ever wore your dress again?  Why is it that we, as a society, insist on continuing to spend thousands of dollars (well, maybe not thousands in every case, but at least hundreds) on dresses that we will only wear once.  Worse yet, we keep them indefinitely for a purpose that I can't even fathom, taking up space that many of us don't have.  My mum still has her wedding dress and I wore it to my high school graduation (the girls all had to wear white, so that worked out well, and I just happened to be the exact same size as my mum), but really, other than very random instances like that, how many of us will ever use our wedding dresses again?

Still, when we're getting married, generally there are some things that are expected of us, i.e. that we will be beautiful or handsome, depending on our sex.  Men have this all figured out.  They rent their tuxedos.  Women, however, still feel compelled to spend all that money on a dress they'll never wear again.  I must admit, I also expected that this was an imperative, and I "bought" a brand new wedding dress (quotation marks used because I've paid for it and it hasn't arrived yet, so who knows if I'm actually going to receive it).  I'm getting married at the end of June and haven't seen the dress yet in real life.  Now that I'm a bit worried that it isn't going to arrive, I've had to figure out what I will do if it doesn't get here in time to have it altered, or if it simply doesn't arrive.

The best part about this rather unfortunate situation is that by sheer coincidence, I was at the Sustainable Living Expo and came across a booth for Pure Magnolia, which is a bridal shop which takes old wedding dresses and reuses the fabric to make new ones.  They have vegan silk dresses, cotton dresses, and everything in between.  They will also make you an entirely unique dress incorporating different aspects of a number of dresses in their store, if you would like.  Their prices are fairly competitive, being about $1200 for a long dress and $450 for a short dress.  If you want a completely custom dress, regardless of the complexity, the cost tops out at $3000. 

The fact that the dresses are reused is not, in itself, enough to suck me in, because I still don't particularly want to pay $1200 for a dress that I'm going to wear only once.  However... they rent.  Yes, you read that right.  They rent dresses.  They tailor them to fit you perfectly and they have them cleaned at an eco-friendly dry cleaner upon return.  All this for about $300.  Now THAT is worth paying money for.  I've made arrangements with the owner, Patty, to rent a dress in the event that mine doesn't arrive, so that at least I have a back-up option.  She has told me that it will take about 14 days for her to alter the dress, and my appointment is Saturday, June 11th. By then I should have a pretty good idea about what is going on with my other dress, but to be honest, I wish I had known about this option earlier, and I would have just rented a dress in the first place.  I have told Patty that if, in fact, my dress does come in, I am going to give it to her after the wedding, so at least it can be reused by others.  Either way, I'm looking forward to the wedding and whatever dress I will be wearing!

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