If you’re a bride in your twenties, chances are your mother wore something very similar to this. Yes, it’s the quintessential eighties wedding gown. And somewhere out there, a loving mother is trying to make her daughter wear it when she walks down the aisle.
But Mom, while this was the top of the pops in 1983, it isn’t anymore. And remember how you didn’t want to wear your mother’s wedding gown that looked like this?
And she didn’t want to wear her mother’s Depression era wedding dress, either.
That’s not to say you can’t or even shouldn’t wear your mother’s gown if you really want to. If it’s on offer and you like it and it fits, well and good! That’s fantastic. If it requires a bit of refitting and retooling and your mother is open to that, well, that’s fine, too.
But do keep this in mind: if you don’t want to wear it, you really don’t have to.
You see, there are some moms out there – wonderful, loving mothers with no agenda beyond Doing What’s Best for their daughters – who need convincing of this fact.
In point of fact, I know just such a family. The mother is a lovely lady, but she honestly thought all three of her daughters ought to wear her wedding gown.
The wedding gown from the late fifties was a really pretty one. It was tea length with a lace overlay and a rather spectacular low, wide neckline paired with a fabulously full skirt. Since the mom in question looked a tidge like a curvier Audrey Hepburn, you can imagine how good that looked, too!
The oldest daughter married at eighteen on a shoestring and a prayer. She was delighted to have a gown at the ready that looked okay on her and didn’t cost any money.
The second daughter took very much after her mother in the looks department. I was at her wedding, and she was absolutely gorgeous in her mother’s dress. In point of fact, I can’t imagine a gown that would have looked better on her. It was as if she and the gown were made for one another… much like the lady and her groom.
But the third daughter… she didn’t want to wear that gown. Oh, she could see it was a very pretty gown. And she was a very lovely woman. It’s just that the third daughter wasn’t shaped like her mother. She wasn’t colored like her mother. She and that gown were polar opposites, and she had no intention of wearing that dress, no matter how much of a family tradition it had become.
At her sister’s wedding reception, she actually danced up to me giddy with relief when her brand new brother-in-law managed to put his entire foot through the lace overlay of the gown. With the ruination of the dress, my friend knew she would be free to pick her own gown.
About two years later, I stood proudly in my very early nineties bridesmaid dress as my good friend took her vows with her new husband… in a dress that was entirely her own.
She looked gorgeous.
And I do hope she remembers her feelings on the subject when it comes time for her now teenage daughter to choose a wedding gown.