I bought my wedding gown this past weekend at Priscilla of Boston’s factory sale. It was my first time looking, and I wasn’t really expecting to find anything. But when I spotted that drop-waist ball gown with a billowing skirt of silk-organza flower petals, it was love at first sight.
Unfortunately, it was love at first extremely expensive sight — which means “gown preservation” for me will involve not a keepsake storage box but likely an auction on eBay, so another thrifty bride can enjoy my dress on her big day.
So, how best to honor the memory of my gown once it has departed? One option would be enlisting Charlestown-based Paper, Gowns & Glory to fashion a one-of-a-kind miniature paper replica that will last for years to come (and definitely take up a lot less space in the closet). “It’s really based on sculptural principles and anatomy and making sure visually they’re balanced and their structure has integrity,” says founder Aimee Empey, who also designs custom cake toppers, bride and groom replications, and table décor for weddings. The possibilities are virtually endless — Empey’s intricate bridal-apparel re-creations have ranged from a Vera Wang gown to an Indian sari to a groom’s kilt. “I really take a long time to figure out the design of the piece before I work on the final structure,” she explains. “Sometimes I even ask clients to photograph themselves in a specific pose and send it back to me. And the rest is all patience.”
Patience. It’s also an important concept when searching for your own (full-size) dream dress, whether you’re charging the doors at the Running of the Brides, sipping champagne at a swanky bridal salon, or simply surfing the Web and waiting for true inspiration to strike.
Gown re-creations and bride and groom replications start at $450; papergownsandglory.com.
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