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Wedding: Something Old – My Mother’s Veil

by Meghann on April 27, 2012

Wasn’t my mother stunning on her wedding day?


It was 1982 and lace and poof was big. My mom rocked it. She simply glowed.


Fast forward 30 years later… and me? Well… let’s just say it doesn’t have quite the same effect.


Feel free to laugh. My mom did.

Thankfully my mom was never one of those moms who dreamt of her little girls one day getting married in her wedding dress (God bless her). In fact, she never even had it preserved. It’s been sitting in the back of her closet for the last 30 years and has only seen the light of day a total of three times when it was moved from one closet to another during a move. When you think of it that way, the dress held up pretty well!

I also never had any plans of wearing my mom’s wedding dress, but I have always wanted to incorporate a part of the dress in some way on my big day. My original plan was to cut a piece of fabric from my mom’s dress and have it sewn into the bodice of my dress as a form of good luck (my something old), but my sister vetoed that. My mom had no problems with us cutting her dress, but my sister couldn’t bear it (even though she had no plans of wearing the dress herself).

Plan B came about after my little brother got engaged. We were dress shopping with his future wife and a conversation started with what she would wear as a veil on her big day (originally she didn’t want one). One idea led to another and the idea of the three of us (my sister-in-law, my sister, and I) wearing a piece of my mom’s veil on each our wedding days was formed.


My mom was married around the same time as Princess Diana. Long veils were BIG and – as I like to say – my mom had enough veil to clothe an army! There was plenty of tulle to go around and definitely enough to produce three beautiful veils.

My sister-in-law was married first (this past February). She wore the blusher piece of my mom’s veil (the original piece that was worn to cover the face) on her wedding day and looked beautiful. The piece of the veil was perfect.


Kelly will be married in June and will be wearing the top portion of the original veil. I requested the bottom lace for mine. When I was home last weekend my mom measured how much lace would be needed, then cut the veil to sizing.


There are a couple of holes and wear and tear to the tulle and lace, but I think it adds some charm to it. πŸ™‚


Once the veil was cut, my mom sewed it to a pearled hair piece she had picked up at Hobby Lobby, then hand beaded the lace with mini pearls she had also picked up at Hobby Lobby.


A hand beaded lace veil could cost hundreds of dollars! My mom finished mine in a day for a total of $5 in supplies!


Not only that, the veil has special meaning to it. It’s part of the veil my mom wore on her wedding day, it’s part of the veil my sister-in-law wore on her wedding day, and it’s part of the veil my sister will wear on her wedding day. This veil may just be my favorite part of my whole wedding day ensemble and I can’t wait to wear it.


Of course, the white needs to be toned down a bit (we’re going to stain some test swatches in tea before attempting to stain the veil – stay tuned!), but that will come in time. I need to have my dress here first to make sure it matches perfectly.


Having the veil is one more thing I can cross off the list! Woo hoo! Check!

I have a few more elements of my parents’ (and Derek’s parents’) wedding that I plan to incorporate in our wedding in January. The veil is just part I – family is very important important to us and we want to honor them as much as we can on our big day. πŸ™‚

Did you incorporate your mother’s wedding dress into your wedding day?

1 Megan April 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I love this idea!! I tried on my mom’s wedding dress, too, before I bought my own — and she had some poofy sleeves and a lot of lace in there, too πŸ˜‰ (she was married in 1980). I’m not incorporating her dress or veil into my look, but it was a fun thing to do πŸ˜‰
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2 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I LOVE that you are wearing part of her veil, and it’s so pretty! I love the lace around the edge!
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3 Emily April 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I actually borrowed my veil from a friend and had it as my something borrowed…it was perfect! i also cut a piece of lace from my mom’s dress and used it to wrap the stems of my flowers. It was something small, but I LOVED having a part of her dress with me on the day of πŸ™‚

Beautiful veil!

4 Gretchen @ Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! April 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I LOVE this. It makes it so, so special. I wish I could do something similar when my big day (eventually… one day… please…) comes… but my tiny Asian mom was also a tiny Asian bride, and thus there’s really no usable parts of her (multiple) wedding dresses that I’d be able to repurpose and wear… unless it was like a swatch of fabric used as lining or something. I love that all three of you girls are able to share in this together — but still in totally unique ways!
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5 Jessica April 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm

My sister and I did the same thing (gotta love those 80’s loooong veils!) with my Mom’s veil! I hope if I have a daughter someday, she’ll do the same thing πŸ™‚

6 Margo April 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm

First of all, that veil is stunning!! Even better that it’s got such a special history! My parents eloped, so my mom didn’t have anything from her day for me to borrow. My grandfather gave my grandmother a diamond pin on their wedding day, so I put that on my bouquet as my something borrowed.

7 Grace @ Grace Dishes April 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I love the idea of all three of you using a piece of your mom’s veil! I smiled seeing you in her outfit. It’s strange how things could be pulled off in the past and not in the present.

Gorgeous and super sweet.
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8 sweeter salt April 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I actually wore my mom’s veil (picture here: It worked out perfectly! The color matched my dress, and I loved the style. It was basically a wide headband with a mid-length veil with lace. Loved it. I took it off for the reception and wore a feathered hair piece. I was all about the headware πŸ™‚
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9 Sonia the Mexigarian April 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I had thought about wearing my mom’s dress, but it was vetoed because all the changes (hello sleeves and picnic table material) I wanted to do to it and Dad said “don’t you dare change that dress!!” Okay Dad. Anyways, I always knew I wanted to wear my mom’s veil. My Aunt Charlie made it for her for her wedding and my aunt had recently passed before our wedding so it was/is extra special to me. I wore the beautiful piece all night long. I know most brides tend to take the veil off after the ceremony and most pictures, but I loved mine and I looked damn good in it πŸ™‚
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10 Hillary April 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I actually plan to do something similar on my wedding day!

Quick question: have you thought about what you’ll do if/when your other brother gets married? Is there any more veil to go around for his future wife? Just curious!

11 Meghann April 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

There is still some veil left in case a 4th veil is needed. πŸ™‚

12 Dana April 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Reading your posts about the wedding make me wish I:
1. Had more siblings
2. My parents had a wedding that I could look back on (they only had a reception)
I think it’s very cool that you have so much tradition and support throughout this process. What a blessing! I can’t wait to read more about your process and eventually your big day.
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13 Col April 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Absolutely love your veil!
My big sister was married in the summer and her dress had a tint of pink. She always wanted me to wear her dress at my wedding. I got married at Christmas time two years after she passed away. Needless to say, pink was not a Christmas colour but my bouquet was wrapped in a piece of her dress so I was holding her throughout the ceremony.

14 Britton April 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I did!!! I actually wore my mom’s veil!!! The only thing I did to it was take it off the cap that it was on and add a comb so that it would stay in. It was a beautiful veil and perfect for the ceremy! I took it off and went without at the reception. It was so neat to have something that my mom wore in her wedding that I could wear in mine! Your mom’s is perfect and I love how all three of you have been able to incorporate it!!
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15 Molly P @ Molly on the Run April 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Oh my gosh how pretty! I didn’t include anything but now I wish I had done something like this!
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16 Stephanie April 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I love your veil! It is absolutely gorgeous πŸ™‚

17 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep April 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

It’s gorgeous!
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18 allison @ thesundayflog April 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm

MEG!! omg i love this!! this is honestly the sweetest thing in the world. you look stunning in that veil. i have no idea where my mom’s veil is (she was married before my dad, and that wedding gown was used as a halloween costume haha), but i would love to do something like this
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19 Anne @strawberryjampackedlife April 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm

That is beautiful! A friend of mine wore her mother’s veil and it was very similar. My something borrowed was my grandmother’s pin, which is made up of hers and my grandfather’s wedding rings. My whole family was crying when they saw it on me walking down the aisle. The something borrowed is supposed to be from a successful marriage. I think that I achieved it.
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20 Beth @ 990 Square April 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I really love this!

I didn’t encorporate anything from my parent’s wedding into mine because my parents went through a very long and very nasty divorce when I was in high school and there was still (and let’s be honest, there still is) some sore spots about it, so it didn’t feel right. I know my parents marriage still led to me, but yeah. My sister is getting married this fall and she has my granmother’s engagement ring. Now THAT makes me jealous!
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21 Raffi Darrow April 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I think if you cut the sleeves and neck off your moms dress, it has great potential to turn into a new dress!

22 meghan April 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm

My mom had a cathedral length mantilla veil, I took the lace off and cleaned it, sewed it to new tulle and attached it to a comb. I loved the sentiment and I cost me $15! I have it saved away for my cousins since their mom wore tje veil too.
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23 Krissy @ Shiawase Life April 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I love how y’all were able to share this wonderful piece of history and really make it your own πŸ™‚
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24 Rebecca April 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm

This is such a sweet idea! I wish I had thought of it before my wedding, but I’ll file it away for my little sisters! I also had a giant veil for my wedding a couple years ago, and I was completely obsessed with it- maybe someday I’ll have a little girl who wants to use it for her wedding!

25 Nanci April 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I love this!!! What a wonderful way to add a touch of your parent’s wedding in to all of yours. Very special. πŸ™‚

26 Lindsey @ ChickFlickChic April 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

What a great idea! I love that you are incorporating family tradition into the wedding. My parents eloped and my mom wore a purple paisley mini-dress (it was the 70s!) I wish I had a veil to reuse! : )

27 Emily N April 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm

My mother’s dress is very similar to that, from 1979. She also never had it preserved, and it fit me perfectly (when I got it out to try it on – I didn’t wear it, just wanted to see!)

The veil idea is neat. I just wore a birdcage veil but my something old was a star sapphire ring that my dad gave to my mom on their first dating Christmas.
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28 Cait's Plate April 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Aw what a cute idea!!
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29 Angela April 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm

What a beautiful veil and family tradition!

I really wanted to wear my mom’s veil for my upcoming wedding, but while she did get her dress preserved, but she doesn’t have the veil anymore. πŸ™

I did purchase a veil though and I love to wear it around the house. Of course, not when my fiance is there. πŸ™‚

30 Christina April 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Your mom did rock that look πŸ™‚ I love looking back at old pictures!

I think it is so awesome that the three of you were able to incorporate her veil and have something extra to connect you all!

I didn’t have a piece of my mom’s dress but the style she wore inspired my choice. They married in 1970 and her dress came to her knees.. I always loved the way they looked in their photos. Very classy and Jackie-Oish.
It worked out too that we both were married by Justices of the Peace.
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31 Kris @ Trying To Tri April 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I wore my mom’s veil too. The headpiece had been crushed in storage, so I replaced it with a more up to date one (she was married in 1966, I was married in 1994), but I wore the whole veil, and the colour matched my dress perfectly!
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32 Sara April 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm

It’s crazy how much our weddings have in common! First navy bridesmaids and dresses and now wearing our mother’s veils! I’m going the same thing and am so excited about it. Hers was crazy long too, I’m trimming it up to make it a bit more modern.

33 Lisa April 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm

My mom wore my grandmother’s dress when she got married, and although it’s pretty, thank GOD I am significantly taller than both of them – it will never work. I will somehow incorporate it into my ensemble though.

34 christine @ BookishlyB April 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Nope! My mom’s dress was burned down a fire that tore through their house when she was pregnant with me. I think for that reason (the traumatic idea of something destroying a wedding dress), I won’t LET my future daughters or daughter-in-law wear mine or use it. I don’t get sentimentally attached to objects, usually, but this is one thing that’s staying in one peice.
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35 Christen April 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm

I tea stained my veil. It worked perfectly! The veil I purchased was bright white and my dress was an off-white. I did a few tests using the same batch of tea and leaving different pieces in longer and also tried a stronger batch of tea, time seemed to make the greater impact. Good luck!

36 Meghann April 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Thanks for the words of encouragement, Christen!

37 katie April 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm

This tradition just totally warmed my heart! I will tell you a million times, you have a beautiful and amazing family! Family is the best thing you can ever have, without family you have nothing!

How beautiful that tradition is and thanks for sharing too!! <3
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38 BroccoliHut April 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Love this! Such a nice way to incorporate “something old.” My mom never really even liked her own wedding dress (her dad picked it out), and didn’t expect any of us to wear it. We did really love her veil though! Unfortunately, when it came time for us girls to get married, it was too delicate to be worn; it was a family heirloom dating back many decades. So instead, my sister had a replica veil made by a local seamstress, and that’s what I’ll wear for my wedding. It’s similar to your mother’s with lace edging and VERY long. I am so excited to see how it looks with my dress!
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39 Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life April 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm

This is a great idea! My mom cut some of her lace from her wedding dress and let me wrap my bouquet in her lace! I felt bad about cutting her dress, but she totally encouraged it and reminded me that she would never wear it again. I know it meant so much to her and it meant just as much to me too!
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40 Lesley Zinn April 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

My mom passed away 15 years ago so it was VERY important that part of her be with me on my day. Her and my dad were married in 1968 and her dress, lets just say there wasn’t much I could do with it (not to mention she borrowed it from a friend- i was able to track that friend down via facebook and she still had it but i just didn’t feel right asking if i could cut it up and whole- it wouldnt have worked, or fit). So I actually finished a needlepoint my mom had started and never finish and made a pillow out of it that sat on a chair during the ceremony. I also had a cloth hankie if hers.

41 Annie April 28, 2012 at 11:53 am

I wasn’t able to incorporate anything from my mom’s wedding dress (which she borrowed from her cousin). However, my crafty aunt made a garter out of a swath from my grandmother’s dress. The garter became my something old and something blue. This meant quite a lot to me, as there is a picture of me at 5 years old wearing my grandmother’s gown. As she was unable to attend the wedding, it still felt like part of her was there.

42 Army Amy* April 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Y’all got skills! How special! I love this idea! On my wedding day, I wore a bracelet that all the women in my mom’s family have worn. It was originally my great-grandma’s, my grandma has worn it, my mom and all her sisters, my cousins, and now me! My brother is getting married in September, and his fiance is going to wear it as well. I love me a good tradition!*
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43 Mary @ food and fun on the run April 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm

The veil is gorgeous! I love that all 3 of you have/are going to use it as well. Such an awesome story!!
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44 Kristen @ the concrete runner April 29, 2012 at 10:45 am

I didn’t even try on my mom’s dress before my wedding. Nor did I even think about incorporating it. But we ended up making a christening dress out of it when we had MacKenna baptized. It made her baptism that much more meaningful.
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45 Meredith April 30, 2012 at 8:38 am

While I didn’t have anything from my mom’s dress, she did surprise me and have my bouquet wrapped in the handkerchief my paternal grandmother carried on her wedding day and lace from my maternal grandmother’s wedding dress. It was such a special surprise and two years later that bouquet is dried and a great decoration in our home with so much meaning!

46 Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life April 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm

We did the same thing with my mom’s veil – we cut it and turned it into one for me!
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47 Kim May 2, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Your mum is sooo beautiful! And the viel looks amaaaazing! Just stunning πŸ™‚

48 Erica May 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm

awwwwwwww! That is so darn special. I absolutely love this. Your wedding day is going to be just incredible

49 Jayson Lecuyer January 10, 2013 at 9:19 am

Beautiful!!! I love those old photographs. Nice job with the veil.



50 brittany D. December 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm

When i got married,I wore my moms confirmation veil with my gown! We are catholic and when mom was confirmed at 16,her parish required the full all white outfits for the girls.they had to wear poofy floor length dresses with the veil,gloves,tights,mary janes,etc.Her confirmation dress was too small for me,but her veil fit me perfect!For my traditional ‘something blue”,since my gown was very poofy and full,i wore a disposable bridal diaper with pastel blue ‘plastic panties’ over it.

51 Elizabeth July 30, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I’m going to use my mom’s veil as well! It’s an 80’s vintage beauty, (not quite as fancy as your mom’s! wow, is that gorgeous lace!) with delicate lace trim and little white “balls” scattered in a polka-dot pattern. I have to wait until January to find out exactly what will need to be done to get it to match my ivory ballgown dress.

I’m glad you mentioned about staining! I was wondering how I could get the veil from white to ivory! There will have to be quite a process, as there is both the long chapel length part and the short over-the-face piece, both of which I want to use, but have the long part detachable. I’m not sure about the polka-dot pattern either, but again, will have to wait for my dress to come in before anything can really go forward.

Your veil looks absolutely gorgeous!

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