We are having our own version of this tradition: we shall leave the reception in our vintage car - complete with an old boot and tin cans - just before the end and head to a secret destination (i.e. a hotel) for the wedding night, returning in the morning to have lunch with our families before departing for our honeymoon. I am going to have a going away outfit, which I shall change into on the Saturday evening to leave the reception and shall wear the next day for the brunch.
And yet again, I didn't want to buy anything new for the occasion, so I (well, T really) has been altering a dress which a friend bought in Whistles sale several years ago and never got round to having it altered. So, she very kindly gave it to me (thanks Jo, much appreciated) and T and I have been altering it to fit me. It was a size 14 and I am a size 8 so we have unpicked the band underneath the bust and undone all the seams. T has altered the outside to fit and I am in the process of making the seams in the lining match. We shall then cut some off the sides and re-do the seams and then attach the band again. We have also shortened the dress from a mid-calf length to mini-dress length. It is white, so I can wear it with my wedding shoes and headpiece and cardigan but it is more practical and comfortable than the wedding dress. I can also fit pretty underwear underneath so I have bought some ivory silk frilly knickers to change into as well (as I can only fit flesh coloured seamless ones under the wedding dress).
I should have taken a before picture, but I forgot, but I shall endeavour to take some progress and after photos and post them. And this dress at least is not a secret, as it has been hanging on our bedroom door since Christmas with half it's hem pinned up waiting for a free Saturday for T and I to begin work.
I was also deeply impressed by T's sewing ability. To be perfectly honest I would not have known where to begin with the dress, yet T pinned so quickly I had barely been in the dress a few moments before she was directing which seams to unpick and what needed altering. Literally in four hours we had eaten lunch and afternoon tea (complete with scones) and done the vast majority of the altering process.
(A glimpse of our sitting room. And yes, that is an upside-down Bentwood Chair in the fireplace. It's leg is wobbly and we didn't want a guest to come a-cropper if they tried to sit on it.)