Dear Wedding Diplomat: My fiancé and his family want me to wear his great grandmother’s dress—but I hate it

Dear Wedding Diplomat: My fiancé and his family want me to wear his great grandmother’s dress—but I hate it

Dear Wedding Diplomat: Dressed Down (Image: Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane)
 

Dear Wedding Diplomat,
My fiancé’s mother and grandmother are pressuring me to wear his great grandmother’s dress from 1915, which has been worn by three generations of brides. This dress is as frumpy as a Mormon frock, with a chin-skimming neck and long sleeves that button up to the elbows. I can’t imagine walking down the aisle in it. When I suggested trying on new dresses, his mom nearly broke into tears and said I would be destroying a century-long tradition. To make matters worse, my fiancé agrees with her. What should I do?
—Dressed Down, Bayview

You’ll be making dozens of compromises as you plan this wedding. Let your future in-laws meddle with the menu, the centre­pieces, the soundtrack—but not the dress. It’s the one thing that should be all yours. You want to feel radiant on the big day, not like a walking daguerreotype. Tell them you’re very honoured to be joining their line of ladies, but that the dress just isn’t your style. Then, quickly follow up with ways to include it in the ceremony. You could display it in the foyer, along with photos from their weddings. Or, if they don’t mind you cutting up the dress (something tells me they would), you could offer to incorporate some of the fabric into your gown or veil. And if all else fails, you could always wear it for the first dance at the reception. All brides love a costume change.