How To: Turn Your Formal Dress into a Wedding Dress

Words by Jackie Grace

1. Learn to Tie Your Laces

You won’t find lace on many formal dresses, but you’ll need some if you want to create your elegant wedding couture! A little trick that I developed is to steal a few doilies from the cake table after mass. After a few weeks your collection will be big enough to start taping onto your dress. Yes, stealing is a little bit sinful—but God has been known to look the other way in the name of marriage.

2. The Long and Short of It

I get it. When you’re young, you think the most important thing is to get men to look at you. That’s why many young women end up with hems so high they occasionally breach the knee. When it comes to making a bridal gown, you may need to find some sheets to attach to your formal dress for extra length. Every good wife knows their body is to be seen by two men and two men only: their husband and the big man upstairs (their father).

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3. Veil as Old as Time

The tradition of the veil at a wedding dates back to the English days of yore. Daughters would be wrapped and presented as a gift to wealthy suitors, who would unwrap them before  a priest and decide whether to take their hand in marriage. Today, we honour that tradition by wearing a little bit of sheer fabric over our face. If you cannot afford a veil on the hospitality wages of a twenty-year-old, consider pilfering a colander or perhaps cutting some eye holes into the spare sheets you used earlier. Be careful with this one though: you don’t want to give off the impression that you are a spooky ghost!

4. Your Pearly Whites

Cream, ivory, eggshell. They’re not just the three main ingredients in a scone, they’re also different names for white! Now, you really should have picked a white formal dress because white indicates purity—and if you’re not pure at your formal you certainly won’t be pure at your wedding. But if you were silly and made a mistake, the simple solution is to just pour bleach on your dress. It’ll be a bright, shining white in no time! Unfortunately you can’t pour bleach on your impure life, but a wedding is the next best thing.