When it’s Time to Go ~ The Tale of One Bride and her ‘Going Away’ Outfit…

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Well good morning and Woohaa! Let's give a very warm welcome to Franky, my Intern, and her very first blog feature for Love My Dress.  Franky considers the notion of a 'going away oufit' for the bride. Over to you Franks…

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The dance floor was positively heaving with bodies as I slipped off to the bathroom with my Mother.  My new husband and his friends were dominating the revelry with their exuberant moves, arms draped over one another’s shoulders and their pint glasses swaying precariously in the air. Older relatives danced more sedately and a gaggle of small children weaved playfully in and out of the tangle of guests.

The corridor that would eventually lead us out of the venue and away from our wedding was peacefully deserted. Garment bag and shoe box in hand; we quietly secreted ourselves in the decidedly unglamorous confines of the disabled toilet. My memories are a little hazy, but I’ve no doubt I expressed my desire for the evening to carry on indefinitely. I could have stayed in the ballroom at Heatherden Hall forever, caught in an unwavering whirlwind of drinking, dancing and conversation.

Sartorially speaking, I’d given a lot of thought to my exit that night. I’d always been a little bit in love with the idea of wearing a proper ‘going away’ outfit…

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Eliza Claire

Traditional going away outfit

Once upon a time, this particular outfit, usually a suit, made up part of the bridal trousseau. Throughout history, young single women prepared for their change in marital status by accumulating a series of outfits for the wedding, honeymoon and early days of married life. The trousseau was traditionally stored in a hope chest {or what my Grandmother would call a ‘bottom drawer’} and also consisted of an array of bridal accessories, jewellery and lingerie, plus bed linen and bath towels for the marital home. Often, the garments in a trousseau were hand sewn by a mother, aunt or grandmother, or even the girl herself, if she was handy with a needle and thread.

The Victorians even created a pre-wedding gathering known as the ‘trousseau tea’ at which the assembled articles were displayed and shown off to visitors…

Traditional going away outfit

At the time when it was customary for newlyweds to leave the wedding reception and embark on their honeymoon right away, a bride would usually change into her travelling clothes before making an exit. Nowadays, it’s much more common for couples to stay to the very end of the party and even leave a short gap {or in our case a large one, 6 months to be precise} before jetting off for some post-wedding sunshine. As a result, the tradition of wearing a ‘going away’ outfit has waned somewhat.

I adore the romance of the notion though. It’s a bit of a throwback to the past, an inoffensive nod to tradition that also provides the opportunity for an extra touch of retro elegance. Besides, it meant I could buy another pair of shoes. What’s not to love?!

While many brides today readily embrace the idea of a second dress for the evening do, I decided to stay true to the origins of the ‘going away’ outfit and began scouring the high street for a perfectly tailored suit to wear as I departed. Here’s a glimpse of the inspiration behind my ensemble… 

Inspriation for your wedding day going away outfit

Image Credits: 1. 1950s skirt suit  2. Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy  3. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier dressed for their Civil Ceremony in 1956  4. Heyday 1940s Wartime Suit  5. Grace Kelly in ‘Rear Window’  6. Audrey Hepburn in ‘Funny Face’  7. 1950s pale blue suit 8. ‘Weekend in the Country’ suit by Puttin’ on the Ritz 

 I found my going-away suit in LK Bennett . I fell in love with the pale grey fabric and the fact I felt like Audrey Hepburn the minute I slipped it on. A smart pair of patent pewter pumps made their way home with me too, and I also acquired a delightful little fifties inspired cocktail hat from Hello Strumpet. I only wish I’d had time to find a pair of vintage dress gloves to complete the outfit, and maybe a sweet little traveling case too.

I enjoyed those quiet moments with my Mother as she helped me out of my wedding dress. It was handy too, I’m not sure my new husband would have been up to the task. The consumption of beer is certainly not conducive to the removal of complicated bridal attire. My Mother packed away my frock while I carefully buttoned my jacket, slipped my stockinged feet into my shoes and reapplied my lippy.

As I strode back into the bar filled with friends and family all drinking and chatting happily, I felt as if a mental shift had taken place alongside the change in apparel. I was still reluctant to leave, but without my wedding dress I already felt like less of a bride and more of a wife, ready to make this first brief journey with my new husband…

Traditional going away outfit

I thoroughly enjoyed making an entrance in my second outfit of the day. All the fun of the first one, but without the pressure of, you know, actually walking down the aisle. The change in attire also seemed to signal to our guests that we were preparing to leave. Much hugging and handshaking ensued. One more dance to Hotel California by The Eagles and my husband and I were soon making our way towards the exit.

I still didn’t want the day to end. As we stepped out into the cold night air beautiful pale gold and lilac petals rained over us from all directions. My suit was covered in confetti. It travelled inside my jacket. It settled on the silk of my hat. It felt quite magical…

Traditional going away outfit

We kissed once more for the camera and climbed into the car. I have a clear mental image of my husband’s hand entwined with mine, resting gently on the pale grey fabric of my skirt. The tiny diamonds on my wedding ring sparkled delicately in the near darkness of the vehicle’s interior.

‘I’m your wife,’ I said…

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So, if you have to go {and you really DO have to go}, you may as well do it in style, and perhaps even in an outfit intended solely for that purpose.

Oh, and if you do go to all that effort, be sure to book your photographer to the very end of the night. The photos of me in my suit, clutching the arm of my new husband, as friends and family pelted us with confetti, are among my favourites from the whole day..


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Oh Franky, I love you, you demure, glamorous, gorgeous lady!

I'd like to invite you to show Franky some love for her first post {she was a little nervous I know, though she had absolutely no need to be!}. 

What are your thoughts on idea of having a traditional going away outfit, or a going away outfit at all for that matter?  Are you planning on investing in one? Has his post changed your perception in any way?

You can see Franky's wedding feature on Love My Dress here, and visit Franky's own blog here. Franky is also on Twitter and can be contacted by email.

Lots of Thursday morning love,


63 thoughts on “When it’s Time to Go ~ The Tale of One Bride and her ‘Going Away’ Outfit…

  1. Ahhh…a really provocative and beautifully written piece, Franky! I remember looking at your wedding photos and thinking ‘wow, she has an actual going away outfit’, so it’s nice to hear the story behind it!
    It’s not something that has even occurred to me if I’m honest. You’ll be hard pushed to get me off the dance floor before anyone else, and we’ll only be ‘going’ as far as the local hotel (to pass out), but it truly is a lovely, romantic nod to the past and ‘suited’ (see what I did there) you perfectly I think! X

  2. A first post to be very proud of 🙂 I remember seeing a fair few jaws drop when you walked in in your going away outfit…almost as stunning as your wedding dress. Even if you didn’t want to uphold any past traditions, who in their right mind wouldn’t want an excuse to buy more shoes??! xxx

  3. Thank you Sama. Such kind words of encouragement.
    I totally understand what you’re saying about styaing to the bitter end. I really didn’t want to leave! But you know, we only left 10mins before our guests and I’m actually glad that I didn’t have to see the ballroom empty of people or hear the music stop or see the lights go on. We got to leave when the atmosphere was still bubbling with excitement.

  4. Thank you, what a compliment! I had an image of Carrie in her vintage suit saved in my inspiration folder. I definitely think an outfit like mine or the others pictured above could work equally well for a civil ceremony.

  5. A beautiful post, dripping with elegance! I also love the tradition of a going away outfit, but it wasn’t until my sister mentioned it on a shopping trip last year that I started seriously thinkng about it. Perhaps it was something we remembered from attending weddings as little bridesmaids? I won’t be able to change on the night of our wedding but I’ve scored a killer suit for our departure from hotel to honeymoon the next day. Definitely an outfit Audrey would be proud of 🙂 Hx

  6. Well done… Beautifully written. Love the idea of a trousseau and a going away outfit. It also has the added bonus of being something you’ll actually wear in the future. Personally I am making one for when I move in with my boyfriend (if we ever find somewhere to live) and I’m collecting bits of friperie for then. There’s something amazing about having a little stash of pretty things stored up for the future.

  7. What a lovely post, I had no idea about the reasons behind the going away outfit, and I love the idea of the new clothes for married life/honeymoon. I’m trying to figure out my timings of the day now to work out if I can have a going away outfit, I’m sure I can shoehorn it in somewhere!

  8. Frankie you have such a beautiful way of writing – I loved reading about your wedding on your own blog and love the fact you’re over on LMD now!
    I didn’t go on honeymoon until a week after the wedding so didn’t really get a chance to wear a going away outfit, but I think it’s brilliant to have something to look forward to when the day is almost over. Although to be honest, I’m not sure i would’ve given up a single minute of wearing my wedding dress…

  9. Just beautiful – both the outfit and the post!
    Sometimes with weddings, the classic ideas really are the best.

  10. What a great piece – beautifully written, though of course I expected no less. And what a great topic, something that I hadn’t really given much thought to before but would definitely encourage brides to now 🙂
    Welcome Franky, I look forward to lots more of the same! xx

  11. Wow, such an inspiring post! You look so beautifully elegant and timeless in your going away outfit! I can understand why you love the photos so much.
    I love the idea of a going away outfit, and my gran keeps asking me if I have one planned! It’s such a lovely tradition but I just don’t think I will want to take off my wedding dress a moment before I absolutely have to.
    We are going on our honeymoon the day after our wedding and I am planning a brand new outfit to wear to travel in. Unfortunately it won’t be able to be as glam as yours as il be boarding a 10 hour flight it in it.
    But still feel my first day as a wife deserves a whole new outfit and I know my husband to be is planning to wear something new too.
    Massive congratulations on your first post and can’t wait to read more from you xxx

  12. What a lovely first post Franky, you looked sensational, so worth all the effort you went to to create the perfect look – stunning! Beautifully written too, I felt like I was transported to your wedding day, so looking forward to more of your posts you glamorous gal 🙂 xx

  13. Franky, this is a lovely post and a really good read! We’re having a vintage wedding and I know exactly what my going away outfit would have looked like! However, as part of the deal where we get married the hotel have given us the honeymoon suite for 2 nights – its so generous but I am upset about not getting the traditional style going away! I’m wondering if I can wear my outfit to breakfast even though I’m not actually going anywhere!!! Or if I should wear it for the day we leave the hotel to go on minimoon xx

  14. I hadn’t even thought about it until now! I so wish I had! I love the pencil skirt and box jacket look, it’s so completely elegant.
    Franky, I hope you inspire a few readers to stay glamorous and gorgeous and opt for the same, you beautiful lady you 😉
    And indeed, Audrey would be proud 🙂

  15. I love the idea of a going away outfit. At most weddings these days, the couple stay in the hotel and so it seems a bit silly having one; great you had the chance to have one. I love thinking about old weddings where the wedding and meal was over at a respectable time (sometime during the day) and the bride wears a smart outfit. The outfit you chose was absolutely perfect for the occasion. Well done.

  16. Franky this is a brilliant blog post!
    My wedding is in December and a going away outfit hadn’t even crossed my mind… until now!
    I love the sentiment behind it – the moments with your mother and feeling like a wife more than a bride.
    Thank you for the inspiration! xx

  17. You’re a beautiful writer, a real joy to read. I love the idea of a going away outfit but I’ll be hanging onto the bitter end, and staying at the venue that night.
    As we’re having a celebration the following night (milking every bit of the celebrations). I am planning on wearing a fab outfit that night. So far I have picked up a little beaded 1930’s bag at an antique fair for it.
    Well done on the post again. Look forward to reading more.

  18. I remember reading the post of Frankie’s wedding and thinking how impossibly glamorous and elegant she was. I do think the going away outfit is just super-chic.
    I think I’m going to struggle enough to find a wedding dress – I might implode with the pressure of finding two outfits that look good on me! But if I looked like Frankie I would SO do it.

  19. I think you’re spot on abut memories from weddings I attended as a child. I can vividly remember being stood in a room full of women as the bride {my Mother’s step-sister} slipped out of her dress and into a {very 80s!!} going away outfit!
    So glad you have an outfit for your departure from the hotel. Great way to start your honeymoon 🙂

  20. Now there’s a challenge, I better get researching!
    Thank you for your kind words Fiona. I totally agree about squirelling things away for the future. One of the things I loved about planning our weddding was admiring our little stash of weddingness every now and then. Built the anticipation even more! xxx

  21. Oh don’t be sad! I’m sure leaving your wedding in your frock is equally as magical really.
    It’s lovely to think what I’ve written here might inspire some brides to wear a ‘going away’ outfit too 🙂

  22. Gosh Vicky, what a kind comment. thank you so much, I’m thrilled you enjoyed reading 🙂
    I hear you on the not wanting to remove your dress any sooner than you really, really have to. Having said that, I was actually quite glad of the opportunity to freshen up!

  23. I’m so thrilled you found the post inspiring Katie!
    You know, I’ve heard that if you turn up at the airport looking all fancy pants you’re far more likely to get an upgrade to first class. You can always have some comfy gear stashed in your carry on. Any excuse for a bit of glamour… 😉

  24. What a great feature!
    Franky, you have totally inspired me:)
    My husband-to-be and I, 435 day’s and counting!, have also decided to postpone our honeymoon and shall be staying the night with our guests, but my lovely mother inlaw, has kindly offered to look after our little girl so we can have some “newlywed time” and we will be going away from the venue the morning after the wedding.
    And by jove, I to shall be wearing something a little fabulous for the occasion.
    Thankyou Franky

  25. I love the tradition of the going away outfit and your description and Eliza’s wonderful images of your sartorial shift from bride to wife is utterly delightful. Consider yourself the new style ambassador for a ‘going away outfit’ revival. Hurrah!

  26. I think its fairly clear we all want a Going Away Outfit, and definitely need some inspiration on where to squeeze it in. I too adore the idea but will be staying in the on site rooms with most of my guests, a short stumble from the dance floor.
    I’m thinking of specifically booking a later honeymoon flight and holding a lunch beforehand to showcase a fabulously elegant outfit (with comfy PJs for the plane) so that I can get this in!!
    Great post lovely lady – looking forward to more!

  27. Kate, I regularly do a 12 hour flight, always in a glam dress and before we take off I nip to the loo to change into a comfy track suit and “bed socks” it’s such a tradition even my fiance has started to change on board! Also, if I ask with a smile the flight attendant usually hangs my dress so I can look just as glam when I arrive.
    And Franky…whether I’m looking at my sisters photos of your wedding, reading The Wedding Reporters account, and now reading your new blog, they all create such intense emotion within me. I think you’re fab! xxx

  28. Oh Eliza you are lovely 🙂 I am so glad you were there to share the evening with us and capture these beautiful pictures. They mean so much to us. xxx

  29. Thanks so much Molly, so please you enjoyed reading. Your antique beaded bag sounds wonderful. I’ve no doubt you’ll create a stunning outfit from such an elegant starting point 🙂 xxx

  30. Oh I promise I’m not really any of those things, I’m just good at pretending 😉 But thank you for the compliment! Have fun hunting for that dress xxx

  31. You are very welcome Emma, I’m thrilled you’ve been inspired to wear a fabulous outfit!!
    And YAY for in-laws and newlywed time! We were lucky enough to have the whole morning to ourselves while the children were off having fun elsewhere.

  32. You make glamour look so easy! I love Jess’s comment above – an alternative way of showing off a fab outfit. Brilliant first post, Franky. I had no doubt – knew it would be beautiful xx

  33. You looked beautiful and the way you write lady, I was there with you, inspirational and evocative…as Love my dress should be and always is! Look forward to more ladies….may have to get a going away outfit for first night away from the baby as didn’t do it and wish I had…no excuse for romance and glamour now the wedding is over and the marriage has begun!xx

  34. I love your outfit Franky! And how did your hair stay so immaculate?! You look straight out the salon….. So I love a going away outfit, and have mine planned already…..inspired by the pictures of my own Mum in hers back in 1969….

  35. “I was there with you, inspirational and evocative, as Love MY Dress should be and always is!”
    That’s brilliant! Really made me smile 😉 Thank you Sarah 😉

  36. I am IN LOVE with the going away outfit inspiration board!! Just SO much fun! 🙂 I left our wedding in my wedding dress. Looking back, it would’ve been so neat to do something like this…I ADORE your blog! 🙂

  37. Oh Polly, I can’t wait to see! You know I’m right up there, number one {hello Jose!} in the ‘bloggers who want to blog your wedding’ list….right?!? ;)))
    xXxXx 😉

  38. Such a beautifully written post and great to find out about the history of the bridal trousseau. Franky you looked effortlessly chic in your retro fabulous going away suit. I love how you described feeling like less of a bride and more like a wife. Beautiful. So pleased you and Annabel have joined forces ~ a dream team if ever there was one! xx

  39. Franky,
    What a fabulous first post,i dident want it to end.
    thanks so much for bringing your glamour and romance,and beautiful writing into our lives.
    Dawn xxxx

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