Emily Mariko, famous for her salmon rice bowls, is getting married — and commenters have opinions on how she’s incorporating her mom’s wedding dress
Most of us love watching a good up-cycling video or sustainability hack on TikTok, but one woman’s plans for her mom’s ’80s-era wedding dress seem to be drawing nothing but backlash.
Emily Mariko, who went viral in 2021 for sharing her popular salmon bowl recipe, now says she plans to repurpose the family heirloom into several small clutches — and a lot of people are loudly begging her not to.
Mariko first shared the idea with her followers last month and has since received more than 2.1 million views on the video.
In it, Mariko explains that her mother’s wedding dress was made out of traditional Japanese kimono fabric. She also said she brought the gown on a trip to New York to have it repurposed by the same person fitting her for her own wedding dress. Not only does she want the tailor to make clutches out of the fabric of her mother’s dress for her entire bridal party, but she also says she wants one made for herself, her mother and her grandmother.
Moments later, Mariko shows off her mom’s dress in all its glory. As she zooms in on the delicate beading and gorgeous fabric, she remarks on how “elegant” and “beautiful” it is. At the same time, she notes that this will be the last night her mom’s dress is “fully intact” before a tailor cuts it up.
In the last few seconds of the video, she tries it on for herself, does a twirl and gets emotional over the significance of it.
“Aww,” she says, as she brings her hands up to her face. “I love it!”
Soon after sharing the clip, it was clear that TikTokers agreed the dress was beautiful. In fact, they found it too beautiful to take apart and loudly protested the idea in the comments section.
“EMILY DONT MAKE THE CLUTCHES — get it tailored!” one person begged.
“Noooo why would you cut that up,” another asked, “it’s so beautiful.”
“I love the idea of repurposing dresses but that is too stunning to make into clutches,” someone else told her. “Make a beautiful robe or a rehearsal dinner dress.”
TikTokers have been sharing their repurposed items for years — and usually to rave reviews. Earlier this year, one woman earned praise for turning her beloved Little Mermaid bedsheets from childhood into whimsical dresses she can actually wear out, while another mom went viral for taking old onesies that her baby outgrew and turning them into functional drool bibs.
It’s not as though people are against upcycling old wedding dresses, either. In fact, it’s become something of a trend now for moms to pass their old ’80s and ’90s wedding dresses on to their daughters, who then use them as rehearsal dresses.
But cutting up an absolutely stunning wedding gown only to turn it into something completely different from its original form? Apparently, that’s where TikTok draws the line.
“That dress should be protected at all costs,” one person wrote on Mariko’s post. “You should just have it fitted and wear it with your wedding wardrobe.”
Others tried to raise some other potential drawbacks.
“Ah yes, let me give parts of my moms wedding dress to people I may not be friends with in 30 years,” one person noted.
There were, however, a few defenders of the lifestyle influencer.
“Let them do with it as they see fit,” one person told fellow commenters. “Repurposing into pieces for everyone is an absolutely beautiful idea!”
“Don’t listen to people,” urged someone else. “It’s better to use something and create something that is useful out of it then letting it literally sit and rot in a closet.”
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