For most brides, the “something borrowed” is something small. A piece of jewelry, a pair of shoes, perhaps a pretty barrette. But for one bride in Pennsylvania, the dress itself will be borrowed. And the story is incredibly moving.
Abby Kingston will marry her fiance on October 17 in a brand new dress of her choosing, but later, for the reception, she will change into a dress that has been in her family for 120 years that has been worn by 11 women in her family since her great grandmother first wore it in 1895.
It was a lot of work to restore the dress once Kingston finally tracked it down in an aunt’s closet. The dress had yellowed with age and didn’t quite fit right, but after 200 hours of restoration, the dress has been restored to its former glory. And how.
I think of my own wedding dress, boxed up and “preserved” at my family’s lake house, waiting (hopefully) for my daughters to wear it some day. Will they? Maybe. Maybe not. Brides love to pick out their own wedding dresses. Which is why Kingston’s idea is so lovely. I know that on my wedding day, I loved wearing my mother’s restored veil, but also having a dress to call my own. My mother’s dress was pretty, but had yellowed and was a 60’s style dress. I wanted something modern, that befit a woman getting married in 2003.
Let’s hope my daughters don’t feel this way. Just kidding. OK, not kidding. In all seriousness, there really is something lovely about a dress that so many people in happy marriages have worn. It’s like getting the blessing of all those generations past. It’s especially poignant when so many people have left this world.
Besides, it’s just practical. One of the tragedies of wedding dresses is their fate to only be worn once. This eliminates that issue and breathes new life into the gown again and again. It’s beautiful.
Kingston is showing respect and love for the dress as well as respect and love for her family. This bodes well for her marriage. May every bride be as luck as she.