Jun 6, 2010  •  In Asian, Personal, Wedding

The Other Dress I Will Never Wear Again

I loved my wedding dress. It was slightly under budget, easy to alter, and it was the first dress I tried on that made me feel like a bride.

Yes, it was bashed on a public, then-popular wedding blog (which I won’t link to here but if you want to read it, shoot me a message) and when I asked them, nicely, why they felt the need to use an actual picture of me from my wedding day without my consent or even making any attempt to anonymize me, and pointed out that they should have at least credited my photographer, they called me a “whiny-assed needy fucking insecure bride who OBVS won’t stay married for long” and took down the photo…wait, I’m getting off topic.


As much as I loved my dress, I know that I will never wear it again. (And if my weight gain continues on its path, I doubt that I can fit into it again.)

I am sure that I am not the only woman whose wedding dress sits untouched since her wedding day.

But unlike the majority of these women, I have an additional dress I wore on my wedding day that I will most likely never wear again…

My in-laws gifted me with a custom-made qipao (or cheongsam) to wear for our Chinese Tea Ceremony. And while I usually hate wearing skin-tight dresses — nevermind one that made walking difficult — I had to admit that having a dress made to custom-fit your body really made a difference in helping me feel less insecure about baring my silhouette in its entirety.

all photos by Danny Weiss

We had chosen a traditional Chinese wedding fabric for the qipao: red, which is a lucky color and thus the color most associated with weddings, and a dragon & phoenix pattern which symbolize the groom and bride.

The fabric was a thick, luxurious satin and the pattern beautifully embroidered. And while you can’t really tell from far away, the embroidery held little patches of deep purples, blues, and greens (you can see a hint of the different colors in the top right photo of my sleeve) which made the material multi-dimensional.

Today, I read an interesting article about the Chinese qipao that prompted me to dig into the back corner of my closet to admire the dress. But because my qipao is so obviously one that is meant to be worn by a bride on her wedding day, I seriously doubt that I will wear it again.

Have you, or do you plan on wearing your wedding dress again? Do you have any articles of clothing in your closet that hold special memories, but would never wear again?

15 Responses to “The Other Dress I Will Never Wear Again”

  1. I had my wedding dress cleaned and boxed up. I doubt I will ever even look at it again. Sad, because cleaning and boxing it up after my wedding cost me half as much as the dress in the first place. I had a simple and el cheapo NYC wedding. Is there such a thing? Yes, but I would have been a laughingstock on a wedding website, I’m sure. Oh well. I’m happy and I’m not in debt. That was the goal.

    I’m 10 – 15 pounds from getting back into my single-girl leather pants. Oh, I want to look good in them again! I’m working on it!

  2. Awww, so beautiful and classic! Thanks for reminding me about MY custom qipao that is sitting in my closet, untouched, and never to be worn again! I should look at mine….

    See mine here: http://www.weddingbee.com/2007/09/26/our-reception-2/

  3. Same boat as you – I actually did the Trash the Dress photoshoot and ended up donating my dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer. My Chinese qipao – my sister has actually borrowed it (and she had it altered even more – nipped it in the waist since she’s skinnier than me) so at least, my dress has been passed onto better use :) My veil however has been loaned out to two other friends :)

  4. I probably won’t ever wear my dress again, either. It’s also boxed up nicely and in a closet. I don’t mind, really. It’s not that I ever intended to wear it again, and realistically, if we have a girl at some point, she may or may not want to wear it.

    I do, however, have to say how absolutely breathtaking you are in the qipao!

  5. The thing about weddings (and parenting!) is that you can’t please everyone. There’s always going to be someone who thinks zig and someone who thinks zag, and they just can’t even wrap their heads around the other point of view.

    To me, the best weddings are the one that aren’t generic. That is, when people saw it, they knew it was your wedding. It think it is AWESOME that some whiny witches with nothing better to do than a wedding blog (seriously get a life!) bashed you. That means, forget Martha, you did it right.

    I don’t know what I am going to do with my dress yet, so I’m no expert, but I believe an object like that is special and is more than just a dress. That said, if it’s about the money, sell the thing. But if it isn’t about the money, I’d like to think there is a way that you can make something out of that beautiful fabric that you will see and enjoy every day and will bless your family and your marriage.

  6. Geek in Heels:

    @Charlene — your qipao is GORGEOUS! I remember considering a style like that, but backed off thinking I couldn’t pull it off. But you’re more than pulling it off — you’re rocking it!

    @Donna — that’s great that you got multiple uses out of both your dresses. I considered donating my wedding dress, but my mother was vehemently against it (and as a result, is holding the dress hostage at her house because she’s afraid I’ll donate it). As for my qipao, I doubt my sister will want to wear it when she gets married, unless she ends up marrying a Chinese guy as well. Even if I could find someone who might be interested in wearing it, I’m not sure if they would because I’m the shortest of all my friends and family!

    @Ashley — thank you so much for your compliment!

  7. I haven’t even cleaned my wedding dress yet; it’s still in my mom’s closet! As for my qipao, since it’s mauve, I think I could get away with wearing it again, assuming I can lose 10 pounds. LOL. My qua, on the other hand, I thought for sure I was going to sell, but now I’m getting nostalgic and wondering if I should keep it in case I ever have a daughter . . . .

  8. Hi, I landed here and discovered that this blog belongs to a lady who is a computer buff, loves high heels and bags and is currently pregnant… whoa! that could be me right now!

    Your dress is beautiful and you look stunning in the pics… :) and i totally get what you mean by probably never wearing it again! my wedding dress was an elaborate 15 kg indian lehnga that i wore just once after the wedding…. and most of my trousseau is like that… luxurious materials, over the top embroidery and lots and lots of bling… most of the outfits are still unworn and i am waiting for family weddings to be able to sport them!

    speaking of qipaos, i didnt know thats what chinese dresses in this style were called. Thanks. I have two of them. One is a pale gold with dragon and phoenix embroidery in tunic length. i wore this to a party over dark skinnies… boy, did that generate some comments! and if you are wondering why, I am an Indian and I live in India. Nobody wears these here! My other dress is a rich deep blue and ankle length… and I am waiting for another party so that I can wear it!

    was that a long comment or what… :)

  9. My wedding dress is still sitting inside my wedding luggage with the bottom hem covered in mud. I haven’t looked at it since I got married. I keep thinking about getting it cleaned but I know it would cost quite a bit so I haven’t really bothered. I feel a bit bad since I love the dress, but at least I feel like it fulfilled its wedding destiny.

  10. My wedding dress is currently in my in-laws guest bedroom closet, still dirty. It will cost 1/2 of the price of the dress to get it cleaned, and I have no idea what to do with it. It’s at my in-laws because we lived there for three weeks in between moving from California and moving to Wyoming… They don’t know it’s there. I just didn’t want to deal with it. I think I’ll just keep it and let my kids play dress up in it, when I have kids…

    Oh, and I gained 10 pounds during the first year of marriage. We’ve been married for three years (almost) and I’ve lost 5 of those ten pounds so far… I’m hoping to lose another 10 this summer, we’ll see (says the girl eating frozen yogurt).

  11. Jan:

    I am a Hindu and I wore a red dress (sari) for my wedding. And as per tradition, I must wear my wedding dress for other imporant occasions – my mother wore her wedding dress for my wedding. So I felt very justified in spending for my wedding dresses

  12. Liz:

    For what it’s worth (and it might not be much :P) I think you looked beautiful in both your dresses. It’s great that you have great pictures so that you can look back and remember them :) My wedding dress is in my closet, uncleaned. I would like to do another photo shoot in said dress with my husband for our anniversary (uh, if it fits) and then I’ll probably clean it up and store it. I don’t think I can bare giving it away or selling it!

  13. you look stunning in your qipao!! As for the naysayers – you’ve probably heard this many times before – but eff them. i still don’t grasp the concept of people being viciously mean to people they don’t know. I just can’t understand why people spend time doing that.

    I cleaned my dress and want to consign it, I just haven’t found a place in CT that does it yet. I know I’m never going to wear it again, oddly it’s too big for me now, and it’s just taking up valuable closet space. It wasn’t too expensive, and I loved it to bits and pieces but I dunno…I have other artifacts from my wedding that I held onto.

  14. BB:

    Wow… People suck. (And I thought both your dresses were lovely.)

    My dress is hanging in the coat closet, still waiting to be dry-cleaned 11 months after the wedding. I don’t want to get rid of it, but I already can’t fit in it.

  15. LHR:

    what a gorgeous qi pao. and you looks fantastic in it. hooray for custom tailoring too!

    my wedding dress is hanging in my closet. the bottom is completely filthy from a night of dancing with a broken bustle. 3/4 of the entire row of buttons that went down the back are missing and are probably still hanging out at our reception hall somewhere. i originally wanted to do a trash the dress shoot, but i doubt i’m fitting into that thing anymore.

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