A wedding gown is worn only once for most women, and it’s something they will hold onto as a memento in years to come. However, a beautiful new trend has begun where some women are starting to repurpose their old dresses into Angel Gowns.
The wedding dress is an important and sentimental item to most brides. It may be repurposed eventually, in some cases, to be worn again by the following generation. Yet, after serving its purpose on the big day, it often makes its way into a protective box and is stored away.
However, many brides are now turning to a new option to sentimentally repurpose their wedding gowns. Instead of keeping it to remember their special day, they are repurposing them to help show respect to lives that have been lost far too soon. These are Angel Gowns.
Wedding dresses repurposed into Angel Gowns
Some women have chosen to donate their gowns to be made into angel gowns! Rather than storing them away for years inside boxes. 
Like baptismal gowns, angel gowns are created to bestow dignity and consolation upon families who have lost their little ones long before their time.
Scroll through the article to learn more about the magic of angel gowns and the touching stories surrounding each one!
Inspiring way to make use of your wedding dress
In the popular Facebook group, Quilting, a young woman named Justi Bates shared a beautiful message.
Her post was a picture of a little white frock with lace on the front. Lying on top of a box that appeared to contain similar garments inside.
It was one of 17 angel gowns she explained, saying:
“Today, I received my wedding gown back. I sent it off earlier this year to be made into angel gowns for babies that don’t make it home from the hospital, and I’ll be donating them to the NICU at Vanderbilt. 17 little gowns were made from my dress, and as beautiful as they are, I pray they are never needed.“
Angel gowns are created especially for the rather tragically moving purpose of burying newborn infants.
They are specifically intended for stillborn babies or those who came into this world prematurely and were lost very shortly after childbirth.
A newborn infant might not yet have many clothes and are certainly without anything that may ease the parents’ bereavement whilst bringing dignity to their little one.
Around the world, a few services have begun producing angel gowns in light of these heartbreaking times.
Many hospital NICUs (Neonatal Intensive Care Units) have undertaken to offer angel gowns to these grieving parents, rather than allowing them to face the daunting task of purchasing an outfit for their child’s burial.
While offering comfort to the parents, these pretty little frocks also give the occasion a dignified sense of formality.
These tiny gowns can be made out of new material but are most often made out of recycled bridal dresses.
The reasons behind this range from the sentiment attached to a wedding dress to the delicate materials it is fashioned from.
The happy moment that is so closely associated with the wedding gown, for one, may offer the parents and mourners a sense of the happiness imparted onto a child’s life that was cut short. Even before their first birthday or wedding celebration could take place.
Beautiful fabrics for angel gowns
Furthermore, wedding gowns are often created from elegant materials such as lace, silk, or pearls.
The beauty of these materials used in the wedding gown signifies the importance of the special occasion. Yet, it can also lend a sense of ceremony for a little one laid to rest in an angel gown when repurposed.
The delicate materials show just how special and beloved the child is, regardless of being taken long before their time.
Wedding dresses are often large. This means they are created from ample material to allow for all the extras: trains, full skirts, and other expansive design choices.
In the manufacturing of wedding gowns, so much fabric is used that each one can be made into several delicate little angel gowns, as shown by the 17 that Bates’ dress produced.
A special ending
Although the five shown above were all created from the same gown, they have been fashioned into different styles and sizes to become suitable for girls, boys, and infants of various ages.
Most often, a bride’s decision to have her wedding dress transformed into angel gowns is an easy one.
Her gown won’t do anyone much good sitting quietly in a closet after all. It’s also is unlikely to ever be worn again. Unless she plans to pass it down to her own daughter one day.
Through the donation of a wedding gown to a seamstress to create angel gowns, a newlywed bride can feel assured that the memory of her special day will go on and provide comfort to others. Even if she hopes deep down that “they are never needed,” as Bates did.
- “Meet the women who create ‘angel gowns’ for babies that pass away too soon.” Manchester Evening News. Charlotte Beale. March 15, 2017.
- “Woman turns wedding dress into 17 ‘angel gowns’ for babies and inspires thousands.” Kansas City. Lisa Gutierrez. August 15, 2016.