Something Old

15 Mar

Letterbalm Wedding VeilDear LetterBalm: I’m getting married next year, and my mother is very involved in the preparations. She has a tendency to try to control things, and I’ve always had to be diplomatic to keep her in line. She’s been pressuring me to wear her mother’s wedding gown and veil. I’ve kept quiet so far, but in a word, they are hideous, and the dress doesn’t fit me. She’s adamant that they not be cut or altered. It’s time for me to look for a dress – and she would be paying for it if I pick a new one. Help!

–Frozen in a Sepia Photograph

You’ll have to use all your diplomatic skills to look the way you want on your wedding day. Can you enlist your grandmother to help win your mother over to the idea of a new dress? Can you suggest variations on the theme: the old gown/new veil for the ceremony and a new dress for the reception; a new dress/old veil for the ceremony and reception? Are you willing to buy a less expensive dress but pay for it yourself? Ms. L.B. recommends you pick what compromise works best for you and sit down with your mom. Remember, she’s emotionally invested in this, so stay cool:

Mom, let’s talk about my wedding dress. You’ve asked me to wear grandma’s gown and veil, and I’m thrilled to do it. But there are some problems, as you know. The dress is much too big, and the veil is yellowed. But I think I’ve found a solution. I’d like to start my own tradition, incorporating grandma’s veil with a new dress. We can hire a specialist to restore the veil, and we can find a new headpiece that works with it. I think this is a lovely way to honor two important women in my family, don’t you? I’d love to have you come dress shopping with me, and we’ll bring the veil, too.

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