Friday, April 12, 2013

Our Wedding Adveenture: Something Old. . .

Something new, something borrowed, something blue.

I've decided to do a little Friday series about our wedding, leading up to our first anniversary.  Last week I shared with you how I organized my ideas. This week is all about what I wore, but really, it is the story of how I wore my Nana's wedding gown. But let's start at the beginning of the adventure, in my ideas binder, I loved this one gown by Priscilla of Boston.
I knew that I did not want anything strapless, I like to be a bit more modest in church (plus our wedding was on a holy day!) Onto the real story, about a month after we were engaged my Nana fell and broke her hip, while visiting her in rehab a few weeks later I asked her if I could wear her wedding gown, that my Aunt Betsy also wore.  She cried and said yes but stipulated that I had to try on other dresses. Auntie Betsy wasn't sure that it would be in any condition to wear, after a stop at Betsy's, I left with the dress, the matching Juliet cap and two veils.  I got to my parent's and tried on my mom's dress, not so much, my mom is so petite we would have never been able to make it fit!
Nana is also very petite, she says her waist was eighteen inches when they got married!  Auntie Betsy wore the dress when they were married and she so I have a very similar body type and when I put the dress on it pretty much fit.  I got a little teary, so did mom.  I then went home with the dress, three veils (Nana's, Betsy's and Mom's) and the Juliet cap.  A co-worker recommended "The dress lady" who saved her wedding dress. I looked her up the "dress lady" who was actually Sally of Orange Restoration Labs, I emailed her, then brought her the dress.  Hop over to Sally's website and look at the before and afters, she's a miracle worker.  Restoring vintage dresses is her passion! I'll wait. She was very optimistic about it.  I took it home that night, called my mom and Auntie Betsy and we decided to go for it.  The result was nothing short of a miracle and any remaining thoughts of other gowns dissapeared.  Sally was also recommended a gown maker near my parents that she trusted to do the necessary alterations on the vintage gown.  Michael did a great job with the alterations, making a slip with lace trim that matched the trim on the gown and adding a wrist strap for the train.  He removed the sleeves in a way that they could be reattached later if someone else wanted them.  He also swapped Nana's veil off of the headband it was on onto a comb so that it could be tucked under the Juliet cap.
    Nana                                                                    Auntie Betsy

One of many fittings
Once the gown was set I splurged on the shoes which matched the girls' dresses.  My parents gave me the pearl drop earrings to go with my Gramma's antique pearl necklace.  Kris of Just Hair, did a great job with the Juliette cap and achieved exactly what I was going for!

One of the things that made our wedding day so special was that both Nana and Auntie Betsy got a sneak peak of the dress in action!
I did try on that dress from Priscilla of Boston, on a tip to visit my matron of honor.  It was made for someone seven feet tall.  The dress I like the most that day was the most similar to Nana's dress.  I also got a short party dress (from J.Crew seen above), which was a great call.  I can't imagine dancing the night away, worried about spilling red wine on the gown!

Michael was able to tell me all about the dress.  Made during WWII era, they didn't have actual silk for dresses.  They were making parachutes with all the real silk.  This dress was made of Skinner satin, it feels like satin but it is actually made from woodchips.  The largest manufacturer was in Holyoke, MA; right near UMass Amherst (where we went to college)!  Auntie Betsy had material from the train made into panels to expand the waist, by a "little Italian lady in the North End" and wore a big puffy slip.  Also, apparently giant shoulder pads were cool in the 50's and the 80's.  Michael removed the sleeves and the shoulder pads and tailored the dress, he also added some vintage trim in the bottom front and made a slip with the same trim.  I'm not sure if I wore bigger heels or wore the dress longer but it was longer.

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