Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wedding Gown -- Found!

What was stashed.... now is found!

The wedding gown -- sweetheart neckline, white lace, pearl buttons, and chiffon ruffles -- the one I wore back in 1981 when I married my Best Friend was put away in a pretty white box somewhere in my mom-in-law's house. Who knows where? At the time, we lived in a 14x70 foot mobile home with no room for big, white boxes stuffed with lace. Only the necessities could stay. So somewhere -- who knows where? -- the wedding dress was stored with care. And then another wedding was to be, and the white lace was brought out for another airing, another wearing, another nuptial before God and man in 1987. My sister-in-law borrowed it to wear on her wedding day. I was so delighted and honored that she would want to wear it. It was lovely for me to see it once again in all of it's elegance and grace, lovingly walked down the isle with a beautiful bride, carrying red roses, all buttoned into it.

Again, the wedding gown was carefully stowed away somewhere -- who knows where? -- in my mom-in-law's house. Years and years passed and I never really thought about its whereabouts. What did I need with a pretty box stuffed with white lace and ruffles while raising five children -- 4 boys and a girl -- who mainly needed all my attention and feeding and wiping? The only thing white I had in my house was diapers, and they weren't even very white.

All through the years the wedding gown remained dutifully in it's box stashed away somewhere -- who knows where? -- collecting dust, yellowing, silently waiting for another airing, possibly another wearing.

My daughter, now engaged to be married, asked where it might be. "Well, I'm sure it's in Grandpa's house, but who knows where? Gramma isn't here to tell us where she stashed it, so we'll have to think about this. Where would she have put it?"

My daughter-in-love and I looked under beds, in closets, around boxes and in boxes that *could* be big enough to fit a wedding dress in, but it was nowhere. And then we went upstairs to the attic room. We opened the door and found spider webs and dust and cardboard -- lots of it. We searched old suitcases and more boxes and moved a black trunk and looked inside it. Not there either. A little more moving of this record player, a high chair and a baby crib, and those record albums and another empty cardboard box and then behind a rack of old letterman's jackets and worn-out coats, we found a box. A long, white box with lettering that read "My Wedding." Ah ha! We had found it! It was all wrapped in plastic, sealed on the edges with mailing tape and so I thought it was fairly well preserved. We grabbed a few other things as well before turning out the light -- an ornate, gold mirror, a 1957 calendar with horse and rider, the creche I had made back in 1981 -- and we left the attic behind, closed the door on the dust and carried our treasures home to my house.

The plastic was removed, the tape was slit open with Hubs' pocket knife and the box was opened to reveal the wedding gown. Beautifully packed with stuffing in the sleeves and bodice so it looked just like someone was proudly wearing it. Yes, it was yellowed. Yes, it was stained here and there, but it was still beautiful. Also in the box was a veil and gloves, not mine. They had a 1950's look about them and so I figured that they might have been my mom-in-love's. I was so glad she tucked them in. These might be worthy of another wearing too! Now to show my daughter and see if the gown might fit and find out whether or not she will like the style. I'm not harboring any preconceived notions that she will want to wear it. After all, it is old. I mean, old in the sense that it's 1980's old. It's old enough to be out-of-date, but not old enough to be vintage-chic. There is a difference, you know!

Picture: The Wedding Trousseau Artist: Harrison Fisher at


  1. Aw Jody,

    This is such a sweet and tender post! LK and I smiled our way through it. And then she reminded me that your wedding dress looked very much like mine, hat and all! The same era, I suppose!

    Enjoy this wonderful time you and yours are in!


  2. *sniff* *sniff* - I really think there should be a "tissue warning" on posts like these. *sniff* I hope it fits...

  3. What a lovely, lovely story about your wedding dress and I hope it all works so she can wear it.

    When my daughter got married two years ago, I pulled out my dress from my wedding to her father (we're since divorced and I'm remarried), along with my veil, etc. I was quite tiny back then and my daughter is much taller than I am. So, I cut it up (yes, probably a sacrilege) and made her garter, ring-beare's pillow, and some other things out of the dress and lace. I made a pretty card to accompany my offerings and wrote that I wanted her to have something from her parents' wedding as even though we divorced later, she was made from our love and we had not divorced her. I'm glad I did this.

  4. Lovely post, Jody! I too have my dress packed away in a big white box for my girls to consider wearing at some point. I would love to see a picture of your dress. Mine was worn in 1990 and so of course a bit out of date too!
    Happy memories!
    ~Lisa L

  5. SC,
    If you were married in the '80s then you may have had a similar gown, and yes, I had the big picture hat which I know she will never wear. We didn't even find it!

    Sorry you had no tissue warning, but thank you for your teary sentiments. Even if the gown fits, I will not be injured if she doesn't choose it for her wedding day.

    What a loving gesture to sew your wedding lace into pillow and things for your daughter's wedding. I've considered that too.

    Lisa L,
    I'll try to get a picture of the gown with DD's body in it. I hope to see her this weekend.


  6. Oh, I hope that it all works out, and this will be THE DRESS. It's a lovely thought, and that counts for a lot, I think. Just having found the dress, and seeing the care that your mom-in-love took to include the veil and gloves....all the's a little bit like she's there sharing in the preparations and happiness.

  7. Wonderful memories Jody.
    And if she wears it, more memories will live on for another generation.
    Hoping the dress fits, what a wonderful site it will be to see your DD walk down the isle in your wedding dress...I always cry at wedding and this would be a flood for me..

  8. Well, now I shall be waiting to hear if your daughter decides to wear it. Either way, the search for it is a lovely story!
    Take care,

  9. Such a beautiful post. Congratulations to your daughter. Now that most of our friends are reaching their 25th anniversary we're noticing just how similar all our wedding gowns looked :-}


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