Sunday, October 20, 2013

Family Heirloom

My Grandma Shirley and Grandpa Curtis were married September 20, 1948 in Logan, Utah.

Grandma wore a beautiful long-sleeved ivory satin gown and a mother-of-pearl tiara with her mid-length veil.
On February 16, 2002, I wore my grandmother's dress when Jeff and I were married in the Raleigh, NC LDS Temple.  My mom replaced the veil with a longer one and made some minor modifications to the dress.  (I made some major modifications to my body.  Grandma was some kind of skinny.)  I was so honored to wear Grandma's wedding dress and to have both Grandma and Grandpa with us in the temple that day.
As soon as the reception that night was over, Grandma Shirley took the dress back to her home in Pocatello, Idaho.  A few years later, Grandma gave the dress to my cousin, Dannel, to wear for her wedding.  Dannel didn't end up wearing it and she graciously agreed to let me keep it.  My mom sent it to me last month and it was the first time I'd seen it since my wedding day.
A couple of weeks ago, I borrowed my friend Kari-Lynn's camera and took Chloe to my friend Jen's beautiful historic home for a very special photo shoot.  I told Chloe there was a special surprise in the box.
When I told her what was inside, she couldn't wait to open it.
For years Chloe has looked at my wedding pictures and referred to this dress as my "princess dress."  She was thrilled when I told her she could try it on. 
 Jen took the camera while I helped Chloe into the petticoat and dress.
When we let her look in the mirror, she couldn't stop smiling and giggling.
I took her to the balcony for some portraits.
It reminded me of the balcony at Peace College where my sister, Katy, had taken my bridal portraits nearly 12 years earlier.
Chloe loved seeing pictures of her mother and great-grandmother in the same wedding dress. 
I loved that there was a lovely chaise in Jen's daughter's bedroom.
After a while it got a little warm outside, so Chloe took off the dress and played around in the veil.
This was a very special afternoon for both of us and I'm so grateful to the kind women who made it possible.  I recognize that this wedding dress is a family heirloom and as such, it has special meaning not just to me, but to many others.  So if any of my siblings or cousins are interested in sharing it with their children, I'd be more than happy to do this all over again.

8 Wisecracks:

Jess said...

How sweet! I locked my dress away in a sealed box and swore it would never see the light of day again, all in the name of "protecting it." But seeing the joy on Chloe's face makes me think that there may be a reason to bust it out to show my girls.

Also, your smile reminds me of the smile Grandma was using in her wedding picture. You're definitely related. :P

Melanie said...


Nicole said...

Wow. I wasn't prepared to cry, but this (the words and the photos) were too beautiful. You did the dress and that amazing tiara/veil justice.

kenzie said...

I'm so glad she let you have it! Good times, good memories. Chloe looks just like you in it.

Patti said...

What Nicole said. Even having seen a few pictures of Chloe in the veil and dress (which brought tears to the eyes then) seeing the progression of discovery, and the matching photos from your wedding...well...*sniff* I go again.

Chelsea Dyreng said...

Wow, Melissa. This is such a wonderful, magical post. Chloe will remember this forever. Sometimes I worry about sharing heirlooms with my kids because I am afraid of damaging the heirloom. But if I wait until they are old enough to be "responsible" then the magic is gone. I think you did a great job of making this an important event for her--not just a dress up time--but something more meaningful. You are a magical mother.

melissa said...

Thanks, all.

Chelsea, I totally understand. I have a box full of special things from Chloe's namesake that she is not allowed to have until she's responsible. I'm sure that will be a special photo shoot, too. :)

Brad and Tiff said...

This post made me cry! So beautiful!