Special/Signature Issues » Bridal Style

Timeless Designs

more delicate than their more modern counterparts, those that have been properly taken care of can stand the test of time with the help of some minor alterations or creative updates. "With a skilled seamstress, yesterday's smaller dress sizes can be modified to suit today's fuller figures," says Bjostad, who started off in the business more than 35 years ago when she altered her mother's 1940's wedding gown for her own walk down the aisle.

Transforming a vintage gown into a new one is an incredible process that can turn a stunning dress with three-quarter length sleeves into a sexy halter ensemble. Extra material from an original dress can be used as a decorative sash, matching headpiece or accent panel for the finishing touch to this popular old-Hollywood-meets-today's-red-carpet look. Should a dress require extensive repairs or alterations, savvy brides may opt for a reproduction gown. These dresses are created from vintage sewing patterns, pieces of existing gowns, or new designs that replicate their predecessors - or a combination of the three. Vintage fabrics or new materials can be used to construct these gorgeous alternative gowns.

When selecting a vintage wedding gown, keep in mind that it is delicate. Bjostad recommends that a bride plan on wearing her vintage dress for the ceremony and photographs and then change into another outfit that's more suitable for an active reception. If there's a theme, it's important that it is reflected throughout the wedding, from the dress and flowers, to the colors and hairstyles. According to Bjostad, many vintage stores can offer a wealth of information regarding the trends of certain eras and the ways in which they can be skillfully blended into modern day romance.

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