"I even found one dress which much have been from a previous generation, but it just couldn't have been worn." However, the one Granny Marie Waterston wore in the 1930s was in superb condition and perfect for Rachel's special day. Image copyright Derek Christie Photography Image caption Marie Waterston in the 1930s (L) and Rachel Cohen in 2009 (R) "I had never been the type of person to dream of a big white dress, so when I found it, packed away all neat and tidy in a box, I had the idea to wear it," she said. "I had to cut the sleeves off as she had such tiny hands, but otherwise it was the same." Having her grandmother's dress meant a lot to Rachel when she married in 2009. "My mother died when I was young and I looked after my grandmother when she was old, so we had a close relationship," said Rachel. "It was special to have her dress there, even when she couldn't be." 'Piece of history' While those three brides opted for the personal touch with their dresses, they join growing numbers of people choosing vintage items more generally. Louise Croft, ethical fashion blogger at PaupertoPrincess.com - who will be wearing a 1940s gown for her wedding later this year - said going vintage had many benefits, from following fashion cycles to stopping garments ending up in landfills. She said the growth of online sharing had also led to brides wanting to stand out even more, and going down the classic route often means the dress is one of a kind. "It feels like giving a precious piece of history a moment in the limelight rather than it being in a museum or attic," added Louise. "Of course, you always wonder what tales and secrets it holds and if it's from a family member then you are lucky enough to also have all these answers." Image copyright Thinkstock Image caption Some brides choose to customise a handed down dress Kat Williams, editor of Rock 'n Roll Bride, said although dresses have been passed down for many years, a lot more people were putting their own touches to them.
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