The Wedding Dress

20 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 

On May 30, 1937, my parents married. Daddy was 44½ years old, mother was 24 years old. Daddy was six months younger than his mother-in-law. I remember mother telling me once that, after she and daddy had been dating a while, she showed Granny a picture of daddy, and Granny’s response was, “Why he’s a OLD MAN!” However, that didn’t deter my parents from marrying. Thank goodness!! And Granny came to love daddy as her son-in-law. They got along quite well.

I honestly don’t remember whether or not Granny made mother’s wedding dress. I know that Granny was a great seamstress, as was mother. Perhaps it was a joint effort. I do know that it had big, puffy sleeves and a straight skirt. She looked very elegant in it. What later surprised me, was that the skirt was full enough to allow a hoop or many crinolines under it. It may have looked straight on mother, but it was very full skirt!

J  mom

 

Mother’s sister, my Aunt Jessie, took the dress after the wedding, layered it with white tissue paper, and kept it in a cedar chest. It rested there all the years between mother and dad’s wedding and mine.

When my wedding was approaching, I told mother that I would like to wear her wedding dress – with a few alterations. I really didn’t like those big, puffy sleeves. Really made my skinny arms look even skinnier. There was a lady in our church who was a professional seamstress, and we engaged her to “remake” the dress. She removed the sleeves, essentially making it a sleeveless dress. I say essentially, because mother and I shopped around and found some gorgeous Belgian lace. She made a complete dress out of it to fit over mother’s dress. It had the long sleeves, and even a bit of a train in the back. I thought it was beautiful!

j

 

 

It was while the dress was being “remade” that we discovered how full the skirt was. In my day, the “in thing” was hoop skirts or lots of crinolines. As I look back, I realize how elegant the straight skirt looked, but I wanted that full skirt – and that’s what I got!

 

But I guess the important thing is that I was able to wear my mother’s wedding dress. It always held a special place in my heart. And I think I was able to honor both my parents by wearing that special dress.

 

4 Responses to “The Wedding Dress”

  1. elysesalpeter July 21, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Such a beautiful dress! You can see how much you loved it!

    Like

  2. divoran09 July 21, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    I didn’t know all that about the dress. I do know you looked lovely in it because I was there, and so was your neice — in my tummy. Lovely wedding, great reception, excellent blog. Love ya sis.

    Like

    • ludyja July 21, 2014 at 9:21 am #

      I had actually forgotten that Charlene was there, as well! Thanks for the reminder. And I love you, too! What a great sister you have been to me.

      Like

  3. Old Things R New July 20, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    Judy, I went to the blog to comment on your post and to my horror it wasn’t there!! I hit a three instead of a two so it was in queue for July 30!! I enjoyed this story so much. The transformation of the dress is incredible and the bond you shared with your mother is priceless.

    Like

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