Saturday, November 20, 2010


I find it ironic that I actually have more of a post today than I did yesterday. I chose "sloppy Saturday" as a category so that I wouldn't have to think so hard on the weekend, but yesterday I thought and thought and came up with nothing, and today's post just fell into my lap...

For all of you married women out there, I'd love to have my curiosity satisfied on something: Do you still have your wedding dress? I have mine, hanging in a closet. I made it myself, of cotton dotted-swiss, and it's not in bad condition if you don't count the dead elastic in the sleeve cuffs and that one spot where a small child got at it with a magic marker. I wanted to keep it for sentimental reasons, but I simply washed and ironed it and hung it in an old dry-cleaner bag.

This came up because I was talking to a somewhat younger friend tonight, and she mentioned that she opened the box
in which the the cleaners "preserved" hers (satin and lace) and discovered that the plastic combs from her veil had leached color onto the sleeves. We couldn't decide if this was a tragedy, or just the nature of things..

I do know that it's not necessary to have a well-preserved dress to have a good marriage. But I wonder if it says anything about a family to know that if necessary I could produce four generations of wedding dresses -- my grandmother's (1911), my mother's (1948), mine (1981), and either Arwen's (2002) or Branwen's (2005). And I don't expect that any of these will have gone missing by the time Camilla or Lauren get married.

So does having five generations of wedding dresses make us stable? Or odd? Or quirky? Or just pack-rats? Opinions, please!


Patti Money said...

I still have mine (got married in 2001); my mom had it preserved at the dry cleaner. She had done the same with hers in 1969, in case I wanted to wear it (I didn't; the style didn't suit me). I saved mine for the same reason, but who knows if my daughter will wear it? I vote for being "stable and blessed". Future brides in your family will have the option to choose from a variety of heirloom dresses or get a new one.

Charlotte said...

I still have mine too. I was married in 1996. I don't have a daughter, but I am still glad that I have it. One never knows if a niece may want it one day. My mom opened hers for the first time when I got engaged (from 1965) and it was a little yellowed, but still beautiful. Sadly, I was not the same size as my mom was when she got married! I was able to wear her veil though. It is a family heirloom (mantilla lace veil). My mom wore it, several aunts and me and my sister. I guess I am a bit of a sentimental pack rat at heart! I, like Patti, like "stable and blessed".

Sarah in Ottawa said...

I have mine as well. We were married in 2004, and it's at my parents' house (it moved with them when they retired).

That said, we don't have any of the dresses in my maternal line. Well - my Nonna may have saved my Mom's (1972). But my Nonna's (1948) was not terribly nice due to a dearth of fabric in post-WWII Italy. And my Bisnonna's dress (from 1919) also suffered due to a material shortage in post WWI Italy. None of them came over when my Mom and grandparents immigrated, especially since they had to come by plane during the Suez Canal crisis in 1956.

Christina said...

Although I have never been married I have my mother's wedding dress and my grandmother's wedding suit. I just can't bear to throw them away. I am planning on giving my mom's dress to my neice so she can be the new care taker of it.

Celeste said...

This reminds me that I never saw my mother's dress, which she had made for herself. She's gone now, so I've turned up a mystery.

I sold my dress. We lived in Idaho and there was a place that rented wedding gowns to brides for Mormon weddings. The dresses were only used for the receptions, and the thinking was that it was more frugal to pay a rental fee than to buy one just for the day. It's a cultural way of thinking that I've never experienced back in the midwest.

Lindsay said...

Wow. I'm impressed that you made your own dress! Have you ever posted pictures of it? Did you make Arwen's & Branwen's as well?

It seems like fewer people keep them these days, or maybe it's just that people are talking about it less, but I find the topic interesting. I can't really add anything since I'm not married, I like reading everyone else's thoughts!