Girls’ Night

My granddaughter was home for a visit a couple weeks ago. When I went over to visit with her, she dropped a bombshell. She is planning to marry next summer. That part I knew. I also knew that she was planning a wedding out of town. What I did not know is that she wants to wear my wedding dress! I wore it fifty-seven years ago.

Her mother wore it thirty years ago and we shortened it for her. When Carly tried it on, we found out that it will need more alterations. The lady who did the alterations thirty years ago no longer lives around here.

Carly, her matron of honor, and her mother came to my house one evening to try on the dress. Once we were in the trying on mode her mother found other dresses for her to try.

We really had a lot of fun as Carly tried on dress after dress. One of the dresses was my high school prom dress. It was a lacy pink material with spaghetti straps. It fit her perfectly. Her mother had also worn that. She wore it to a wedding she attended – minus the crinoline that I had worn with it. It seemed good to see it on a younger model this time.

I wrote an article about my prom – I think for “Grit” magazine – and they used a picture with my date. We were seated in an old surrey – the kid with the fringe on the top. Our theme was musicals. The surrey represented “Oklahoma”.

Next, Carly tried on a dress her mother purchased for a wedding that never happened. It was high style and black. Her mother was to be her brother’s “best woman”. The couple broke up so there was no wedding. The dress was never worn. We told Carly that if she ever needed a very stylish dress to wear to an event this was the one. Believe it or not, it would still be in style.

We still had a gown that her mother had worn for a choir concert. We found the dress at a great price. It turned out that at least four other girls had the same dress. The girls worked it out and each wore a different color ribbon at the waist. That way they were alike, yet different.

We still had the dress that Jill wore when she was the Warren County Fair Queen. She had worn it for another occasion but I am not sure what. I fixed the hem to be one of those that rose in the front to create a new look. That one fit Carly too.

What precious memories she was giving us by trying on these dresses. Alison, her matron of honor, had a great time picturing Carly in the old dresses.

There was another one that Jill had worn for the Dairy Princess pageant in Hershey. Carly tried that on as well. Although that one fit her, it just was not her style.

She also tried on my prom gown from college. That fit her perfectly. I recall the night I wore it. I had an automobile accident a few days earlier and had two black eyes. My first husband was my date. He had to wait at the florist’s because he wanted to bring me blue flowers to match my black and blue eyes. One of my friends had fallen and was on crutches. They called us “Crash” and “Crutch”. Nevertheless, we had a very good time.

Carly then inquired about my veil. I had that, too, although her mother did not wear it.

I dug it out and she tried on the little hat that went with it. I think she will probably do her own veil.

She wants some pictures of her mother and me on our wedding days wearing the dress. I have a wedding album so I had one.

She took a photo of it. Her mother’s picture was a little more difficult to find. I think she found one of those before she left.

What a great night that was for all of us! Memories and more memories abounded.

We laughed, we cried, and we remembered all of the events. Thank you to my granddaughter and her matron of honor for being such good sports.

I look forward to seeing Carly wear the dress next July.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, Pa. Contact her at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.


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