Here’s one option for your wedding dress that until recently was not even thought of. For most of us, we only know of the 3 things that the majority of brides will do with their wedding dress after their big day. 1) Be a badass and barhop in it, 2) Trash it in the best way possible, or (most common) 3) Let it collect dust in your closet never to be seen again.
Let’s face it, there’s no way you can actually wear your dress whenever you want to, but Gabrielle Bratton (Gabe for short), a 28 year old San Francisco-and Raleigh-based jewelry designer, makes intricate custom jewelry by coating pieces of fabric from old wedding dresses in precious metal. The pieces only use a small swatch of fabrics so you can still preserve your dress. Or you can plan ahead and save some material from your dress alterations.
Customers can get their dress turned into earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, cufflinks or hair accessories as a keepsake after the big day. You can even use a loved one’s dress to make a meaningful, commemorative piece, like a ring made from one customer’s late mother’s engagement ring and wedding dress.
Gabe began making and selling jewelry her sophomore year of high school. She went on to study jewelry and metalwork at the University of Georgia. “Really the only time I could sit still was if I was making something with my hands,” Bratton said. Bratton loves knowing her work may become an heirloom that family members wear at their weddings for generations. “When you think about the amount of time and thought and care that people put into what they wear on their weddings day, and what they’re going to pass down and what they’re going to pass down and what they’re going to look at in pictures forever. It’s just really cool that someone would trust you to make what they wear that day.” Bratton said.
If you’re interested in getting a wedding dress made into jewelry, here how to contact Bratton. Pieces range from $75 to $3,500, depending on materials.