Skip To Content

Our Blog

How to find the perfect vintage wedding gown

April 9, 2019

Avatar photo

There is a sweet article that makes the Facebook rounds every now and then about four women in the same family who each wore the same heirloom dress on their wedding day. The buttery silk gown was made entirely by hand by the family matriarch, great-grandmother Maria, before her own wedding in 1932. Since then, the striking dress has been worn by two of Maria’s granddaughters and most recently in 2017 by her great-granddaughter Pilar. To bring such a strong family connection and deep history into your wedding day is an absolutely priceless experience.

Four photos of each woman wearing the family wedding gown
Huffington Post

Whether you have a family gown waiting in the wings or not, if you simply adore classic silhouettes, one-of-a-kind details, and unusual fabrics, a vintage gown is a truly unique way to bring some old-school magic to your own special day.

There are many ways to go about it, of course, but here are a few tips on how to source vintage bridal wear:

Check the attic

Okay, not literally the attic in every case, but definitely ask around and see if family or even close family friends have a dress you may like. You never know whether your mom, grandmother, aunt, or even future in-laws might have a classic gown they’d love to pass down to you.

Around town

Toronto is home to quite a few bridal boutiques that carry vintage and even antique gowns. Most of these places also stock vintage bridal accessories like veils, jewelry, and headpieces to help you get your vintage look just right.


Two great places to scour for vintage dresses and gowns are Etsy and eBay! Type “vintage wedding” into the search box and scroll through page after page of exciting finds.

Have one made (or make it yourself)

If you’re having trouble finding your dream vintage dress, why not hunt around for vintage wedding gown patterns instead? You’ll get the silhouette you’re looking for and can create it in a perfect custom fit.

Outside the box

Your ideal vintage wedding gown might not be a wedding gown at all! Consignment stores, vintage boutiques, and even thrift stores might have a cream boho sundress, tea-length tulle skirt, or lace cocktail dress tucked away in a secret corner somewhere. It’s like a treasure hunt and the possibilities are endless!

No matter where you find your vintage dress, chances are pretty high that it will need some love and care before the big day. This is where Parkers comes into play. As proud members of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, we are uniquely qualified to restore your vintage gown to its full glory.

Fitting adjustments and other alterations are almost a given with any wedding dress, especially one that used to belong to someone else. And of course, not all vintage style details translate well to modern day tastes. You might want to unpuff a sleeve here and there, ditch a layer of crinoline, shorten a hem, or chill out a bit on any excessive beading to get every detail looking absolutely perfect.

In a vintage gown, you could also be dealing with snags or small holes that need fixing, delicate beading that needs to be secured, or intricate lace details that need repairing. Vintage dresses can also come with vintage stains that weren’t cleaned properly back in the day, so make sure you get those checked out in preparation for your wedding day. These small details will be worth it to walk down the aisle in a unique dress with its own history you get to be a part of.

It’s so inspiring to see vintage dresses in action, knowing how many of them came with a personal story. Daydream along with us over a few of our favourites:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Love My Dress™️ (wedding blog) (@lovemydress) on


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Arli Quinn Van Gorder (@arliquinnphotography) on


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jeanize Cilliers Photography (@jeanizecilliersphotography) on


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sam ???? (@thecuriouslifeofsam) on


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Frisson Photographic (@frissonphotographic) on


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @mikalakitty on


Of course, once your wedding day is behind you, Parkers Custom Clothing Care is ready and waiting to clean and preserve your wedding dress for you. We will pack it safely in a wedding chest with acid free paper that can be opened whenever you choose, so that your bridal gown can be treasured for generations to come.


Skip The Hassle

Of Dropping Off and Picking Up Your Clothes

With Parkers free pickup and delivery service, you can enjoy the convenience of dry cleaning at your fingertips. Simply schedule your pickup online or by phone, and we’ll handle the rest.

Book Now