Incorporate heirlooms into your big day

Adding a family heirloom into your wedding day signifies an appreciation for the past and hope for the future.

Adding a family heirloom into your wedding day signifies an appreciation for the past and hope for the future.

“Incorporating an heirloom piece into a wedding, whether it be with the fashion or the décor, is an act of carrying on or starting a family tradition,” said Maya Holihan, founder and CEO of EWedded, a resale marketplace for the wedding industry. “It’s a recognition of seasoned love and life and bonds it to the start of new love and life. It represents the preservation and passing on of fond memories, a legacy and perhaps family values.”

Refashioning elements of a relative’s gown or incorporating an heirloom feature into a bride’s gown is trending up, she said.

Use careful thought and planning when adding an heirloom and try these tips:
• Redesign a vintage veil for a more modern look.

• Deconstruct the fabric from an heirloom gown and blend with new fabric to achieve an original look.

• Use fabric from an heirloom gown to make a jacket, bolero or shawl for the bride.

• Sew pieces of family heirloom gowns to the inside of a new gown. Create a patchwork look in the shape of a heart.

• Sew or pin a special brooch or locket with family photos into the skirt of a gown or inside a groom’s jacket.

• Sew in a family monogram or crest.

• Wear heirloom jewelry.

• Leave the reception in a family member’s vintage car or boat.

• Use heirloom pieces like vintage cameras or picture frames for wedding day décor.

• Exchanging vows on family land is another way to celebrate a family’s journey and roots.

• If making alterations, seek out a skilled seamstress. “You will then have an heirloom garment to pass down to a future daughter or another woman in your family,” said the Happily Altered After podcast host and author.

—Melissa Erickson | More Content Now