"Thousands of vintage and heirloom wedding gowns are donated by generous families and individuals to the Making Memories Foundation, making their collection the most complete and largest collection available in the world.
Brenda Chovanak, Director of the Antique Gown Division says, “The fabrics and trims of heirloom wedding gowns are so amazing. Typically, a 48 hour cool water rinse is all that’s required to brighten the patina and completely remove even 60 year-old stains.”
In addition to heirloom wedding gowns, there is a grouping which includes costume styles, such as Southern Belles, angels, fairytale princesses, storybook princesses and others. The gowns available for purchase spans many eras, from the 1950s through the opulent styles of the 1980's. All the gowns in the costume collection were originally purchased by brides and have all the finest designer details. Many with full trains! Sizes available are from 0-12. Fabrics include dreamy chiffon, sheer organza, thick bridal satins and lots of beautiful lace trims. Many were hand-selected to be custom tinted in an array of beautiful colors! There are vivid shades of fun pink, happy violet, golden yellow, giggling apricot, glorious spring green, blush pink and not-so-bashful blue.
Brenda Chovanak, the energetic owner of VintageBridal.NET, is the devoted Director of Making Memories’ Antique Gown Division. Mrs. Chovanak’s unique web-based business specializes in authentic vintage wedding gowns from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. The Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation has been the source of Mrs. Chovanak’s inventory since 2002.
A self-proclaimed, “sentimental sap”, Brenda Chovanak purchased her very first vintage wedding gown from a thrift shop for her own wedding held in Craigmillar Castle in Edinburgh Scotland, May 17, 1997. “It’s a frothy Chantilly lace and tulle confection from the 1950s. The designers of the era had a clear vision of what a princess should look like!”. The gown required lots of restoration work and she has since used that experience to clean and restore over a hundred vintage wedding gowns for other brides.
“I’m always touched by the donated wedding gowns that still have rice stuck in the lace …from a wedding that was held over 50 years ago.”
The Antique Gown Division is currently booking tour locations across the country. To book a Trunk Show and antique wedding gown sale in your town, a donated venue of 3,000 square feet or more is needed. Please contact us at: antiquegowns@MakingMemories.org to find out more.
If you would like more information on how you can purchase a vintage Making Memories wedding gown,
Antique Gown Division
Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation
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