When a woman bought her wedding gown from a department store in 1953, she had no idea that her granddaughter would don the same dress more than six decades later. A young Missouri woman shared the story behind this timeless dress.
Before Julia Cain wore her grandmother’s dress in 2016, her mother, Susan Kay Traver, also used it as her wedding gown more than three decades earlier. Moreover, the three women walked down the aisle holding the same man’s hand.
Cain’s grandfather, Harold, never imagined his daughter and granddaughter would reuse his wife’s stunning white gown. He was more than happy to see Cain turn the heirloom dress into a trendy ensemble.
The Timeless Dress
Phyllis Jo Raymond wore the timeless dress for the first time when she tied the knot with Harold on May 9, 1953. She looked stunning walking down the aisle with him, wearing the white gown she bought from Denver, Colorado.
About thirty years later, Cain’s mother, Traver, decided to wear the same dress on her big day. However, she didn’t want to wear a hoop skirt underneath like her mother and got the jacket altered so it would fit her shoulders.
The third bride who wore the white gown was Cain. “When I first tried on the dress as a teenager, we never thought I would wear it for my wedding,” she told ABC News.
Reusing the Dress
While Cain was still in college, Traver often talked to her about reusing the dress for her wedding. Since Cain had no plans of marrying then, she didn’t think much about her mother’s idea. She considered it only when she got engaged years later.
After multiple visits to the tailor, Cain finally got the dress she had in mind.
When Cain told her mother she wanted to try the dress, Traver brought it to St. Louis, Missouri, from Springfield, Illinois. “This time, the dress did not look flattering, and we started to worry,” Cain recalled.
Trying to Make It Work
Cain said she tried the dress in different ways and even removed the sleeves and deepened the neck, but she and her mother didn’t like how it looked. They had almost given up when they realized what was missing from the gown.
Cain and her mother had no idea that something as small as a sash around the waist could change how the dress looked. “By visually raising the waistline a little bit, the gown transformed into my dream dress!” Cain revealed.
Months of Effort
The young woman knew her grandmother would have praised the idea of reusing the wedding dress, so she decided to go with it and began searching for a tailor.
Cain also got the dress deep-cleaned before she walked down the aisle wearing it. She revealed that her husband-to-be knew she would wear an heirloom dress, but he had no idea how it looked after the transformation. Cain confessed:
“While still cheaper than many new dresses, altering a 60-year-old dress is not inexpensive, and it takes an understandably long time.”
The Final Product
After multiple visits to the tailor, Cain finally got the dress she had in mind. She believed she couldn’t ask for a better wedding dress, and reusing her grandmother’s gown gave her a fantastic story to share with the world.
Once she wore the white gown on her big day and walked down the aisle holding her grandfather’s hand, she felt it was nothing short of a dream. She revealed that Harold was delighted to see her in that dress, adding:
“Not only is it sentimental, but that man loves a discount.”
A Unique Experience
Cain walked down the aisle with her grandfather on March 12, 2016, because her father had passed away decades ago. She revealed Harold came from Colorado to attend her wedding ceremony.
“I’m the first of the grandchildren to get married, so it was an emotional day for everyone,” Cain said. She also advised other brides to use their heirloom gowns because the final product would be unique. However, she did warn them about the tiring process.
Cain first advised other brides to check if their heirloom dresses can bear a deep cleaning and then revamp them. She felt communicating clearly with the tailor is the key to getting one’s dream dress.
Wearing the dress her mother and grandmother wore on their wedding day and walking down the aisle with the same man who accompanied them was a memorable experience for Cain. Share her story with your friends and family, and give us your feedback on Facebook.