I've watched my little girl grow into a beautiful young woman. She's only in her first year at university, so I've warned her she can't get married yet. Before she left for school we went on our annual school shopping spree, and she mentioned how much weighed. I immediately remembered that was about my mom weight when she got married. Like any normal parent, when we got home I made her try on her wedding dress....I mean my mom's wedding dress.
Christmas Day 2007 First time Anna tried it on
My mom always talked about how beautiful her wedding gown was and how much she loved it because of how it made her feel. She described it as elegant and timeless. Of course I believed her until I was about 14 or 15 and started to form my own opinions about fashion. One day I challenged her on her claims of it's beauty and we were off to Grandma Young's house where it was stored. The room had sapphire blue blue carpet and the most glorious floral love seat with big blue cabbage roses. In the corner was a glass front china cabinet with my great grandma's various china patterns. Dominating the corner was a big oak rocking chair with a red velvet cushion. It's large scale always made me think it was a throne, so of course I loved sitting in it.
The dress hung on a large nail fastened at the very top of the closet so the baby blue garment bag didn't get crumpled. Mom and grandma carefully lowered the bag and began to unzip it. Yards of silk paduasoy came out of it. I would catch shimmers of sequins and pearls outlining lace peonies and dogwood. Mom laid it across the love seat, spread it out so I could see it all. It was exactly as she had described it: gorgeous! They told me stories of wedding plans, alterations the night before because mom lost more weight, catering meetings, and dress shopping with her soon-to-be mother in law. One of my favorites was her account of ordering her wedding flowers. She had a client who owned a flower shop. She told mom "I want a bride to tell me her colors, her wedding date and let me choose everything." Being the perfect bride, she let her do it. She ended up with a cascading bouquet of pale pink camellia and sweet pea. Of course I thought it should be double the size, but it was perfect for her. Another memory she shared was going into the celestial room of the Salt Lake LDS Temple before the wedding ceremony. On the center table of the room was a massive spray of pale pink roses. It complimented her pink and mint green color scheme perfectly. Although there were many weddings that day, she said "it made me feel like mine was the only one the mattered, and they had been set there just for me."
Mom & Dad Mom & Her Mom and Dad The Dutiful Bridesmaids
That day, upon hearing mom and grandma tell those stories...their giggles as they reminisced about that very special day in my mom's life...the dress came to symbolize everything that my mom was: a timeless classic, beautiful in every generation. It is her influence that makes me want to live my life with style and FLAIR.
Happy Birthday Mom. December 21, 1941 - May 25, 2008