Thursday, May 13, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - My Grandmother's Wedding Dress

(Cross-posted at When Hoya Met Saxa)

When I was at home last weekend, I tried on my very first wedding dress, the dress my grandmother wore when she married my grandfather in the 1950s. It's satin with lace, and it was worn by both Grandma and, in the 1980s, my aunt Linda. (The lace isn't original, but was replaced when Linda wore it, and is so yellowed that it would have to be replaced again if I were to wear it.)

I'm going to keep shopping around, doing some of my shopping in relatives' closets and some of it in bridal boutiques. But here's dress #1.

Ben, the rest of this post is not for your eyes.

I learned a couple of things when I tried it on.

The first is that I don't know anything about trying on wedding dresses. When I first tried to put it on, I thought it didn't fit. Apparently it's supposed to go on over your head; you don't step into a wedding dress. My maid of honor being as inexperienced in these matters as I am, we were both clueless. My aunt had to come back (into the piano room, where we try on wedding dresses at Grandma's) and help me into the dress. (It still didn't fit; I'd have to have panels added to the back, if that could be done, to make it fit.)

The second was that it's not all about the dress. A lot of it is about the person wearing the dress. I tried it on and was standing on the step in my grandmother's bathroom. My aunt Cathy said she loved it, my sister Laura was ambivalent, and my mom and grandmother told me it was up to me. Then I stood up straight. It was like a completely different dress, and like a completely different person. It looked WAY better. I could really see myself wearing this dress - if it could be made to fit me, and if I was able to improve my posture over the next year. (I've been trying to stand up straighter anyway, since no one wants to look slouchy in her wedding pictures.)

Without further ado, here are the pictures of me, looking not prepared to be photographed, in my grandmother's bathroom:

My hands are behind my back because I have to hold the back of the dress closed, since it doesn't even come close to zippering. Picture that with fresh, white lace, and fitting somewhat better.

The zipper is covered by dozens of buttons, all up the back. My grandmother started to button them, although only a couple would button, since it's too small. She said she didn't remember it having so many buttons. (I pointed out that her maid of honor, Aunt Tess, probably remembered them!) There was something magical about having my 83-year-old grandmother button me into the dress she'd worn on her wedding day fifty-some-odd years ago. That, more than anything else, made me want to wear this dress.

1 comment:

TCasteel said...

Love the dress. Very nice. A great treasure.