The headline sounds bad doesn’t it? I mean who puts their wedding dress in the trash? Is she getting divorced? Of course not! That dress had been taking up space under my bed for five years and it mocked me. Honestly it did! You see it had a long train with chiffon hanging down at the front and at the end of of a long day and a few glasses of wine, I heard the sound of ripping fabric. Oops!
The good thing was I had had a minimalist wedding by today’s standards. I didn’t have much money; I organised it in three months and I couldn’t afford to invite hundreds of people. As for the dress – my budget was small and it ruled me out of fancy shops where the cheapest dress was a cool £700.
Initially I was despondent, until I went into Monsoon. There I saw about five dresses I liked and I found the perfect one, in the medieval floaty style I was looking for, for about £200.
After the wedding, the dress went into a storage container under my bed and I got on with my life. Of course I meant to get it cleaned and I really wanted to get it mended, but somehow it never happened. After all I had no sense of urgency. It wasn’t as if I was going to wear it again. (Unless I of course I wore it for my 50th wedding anniversary, but by then I’d be looking like a Great Expectations’ style Miss Havisham.) The truth was, that the longer I left it unwashed and unloved, the worst I felt. It was much easier to pretend it just wasn’t there…
It was only when I decided to purge my clothes, that I finally plucked up the courage to discard it. Luckily, I felt no loss of investment, because it was relatively inexpensive in the first place. Plus, I had never bought into idea that a girl’s wedding day was the happiest day of her life. I’d certainly had happier days since. I had photographs of the dress to remind me and the chances of my daughter wanting to wear it if she got married twenty years later were pretty slim. “Yeah thanks mum, just what I always wanted…”
I also calculated that if I got my wedding dress mended and cleaned, it would cost about £60, if not more – and then what? So into the bin bag it went.
The rubbish is collected once a week, which potentially gave me a window of opportunity to reclaim any dress. Surprisingly however, I didn’t change my mind. I waved it off quite happily in the dustcart.
And actually it was easy. Because I had a happy marriage, I had wedding memories and photographs. And now, I also had space.