For my entire life, I can't remember being sentimental about objects. Even my most prized designer shoes and bags have been re-sold or trashed when I could no longer use them. At my core, I'm about efficiency and while I certainly love nice things, I'm all about cost per wear & keeping things organized.
When I was younger, my mother and I used to go through our clothes, toys and games and put them into bags for charity. Sometimes if they were ancient, we'd put them into trash bags and set them on the sidewalk only to find my father burrowing through them and saying "THIS FISHER PRICE TELESCOPE FROM 1975 STILL WORKS!" Clearly, I got this trait of giving to others and cleaning shop from my Mama.
So when it came to my wedding dress, it never even occurred to me that it would be something I held onto for years to come. All of my sisters had sold their wedding dresses, and let's be real, I own a company that rents bridal accessories. It only seemed fair that I'd exercise my sustainable practices when it came to my wedding gown!
There was ONE sentimental heart string that really did get to me. Hayley Paige who designed my gowns is one of my great friends. You can read about how I said "Yes to the Dress" with her in a previous post, but we took one of her existing gowns (Rae) and added a touch of blue since I had visions of ombre blue. The dress was "one-of-a-kind" and she bustled it for me on my own wedding day. Was this something I could really sell to someone else?
After much deliberation, the dress went up on Pre Owned Wedding Dresses. I figured, I might as well put it up there, and if it doesn't sell, then it's meant to stay mine. But I did bristle at the idea of having my wedding gown take up prime real estate in my Brooklyn closet. My father had banned all of us from "storing" anything at their house anymore.
The dress was up for about 2-3 months with only a few inquiries that went no where. I was comfortable with the idea that perhaps a blue wedding gown wasn't meant for most, and my heirloom would stay in my closet. But then, I received an email from a woman named Alinka.
Alinka absolutely loved the dress and she thought it was a dream! We began a text conversation back and forth and she decided to purchase the gown! I had some hesitation as I packed my gorgeous gown into a garment bag for Alinka, but something inside of me felt right about letting this dress have a new life.
If I had kept it, what joy would I have gotten out of it? Would I put it on in the future and sit on the couch? Would it be a test to see if it still fits for years to come? (And probably would put me into some deep depression when it doesn't...) Would I let my future children play with it?
The way that dress made me FEEL on that day was inexplicable. Putting it on again on any other day would never give me the same joy. I look at our wedding pictures and I remember the way that dress floated when I danced and the tears that flowed during our ceremony. If someone ELSE could feel that joy, it would make the dress even more special than it already was.
So I shipped up the dress and prayed that Alinka was going to love it as much as I did. What happened next, I could have never expected. I received the text below:
All of my fears of hoping the dress found the "right home" disappeared. Alinka's leaf comment put me over the edge into tears. The dress had even more special meaning to her & her future husband as well.
After a few months, Alinka kept me posted and sent me pictures of her wearing the dress on HER wedding day!
She was obviously a STUNNING bride and we continue to chat to this day. She loved her gown so much and loved that it was a dress that had such special meaning to both of us.
I'm not sure of Alinka's thoughts on selling the dress again, but I love the idea of women sharing something so special on to each other and making memories across states.
It's exactly the mission that Happily Ever Borrowed drives home every day. It's not about the ownership of the item. It's about how it makes you feel, and about letting that item be loved by multiple people over and over in dozens of memorable moments. It's truly about sharing the love! <3