The day after I got engaged I remember looking at my mom in excitement, asking if I could see some of her wedding keepsakes. Since my parents are divorced, I knew this wouldn’t be the easiest request, but she gladly got out a few boxes and we spent hours reliving some pretty special moments in her life.
The biggest box of all was, of course, her dress. It was in pristine condition, not aged or yellowed. It was made of the finest lace and pearl embellishments. It was my mother: beautiful, timeless, and truly breathtaking. It was originally a size 13, bought off the rack and altered to fit my mom’s tiny size 2 frame. She styled this elegant gown with silk dinner gloves and a lace veil. I look at pictures of her and I think to myself, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
MY MOM ON HER WEDDING DAY, JULY 31, 1982
In 1982 my parent’s said “I do” and although they didn’t stand the test of time, the boxes of keepsakes, letters, and special touches were so important to me. So when I asked my mom if I could borrow her dress, she agreed with no questions asked. I didn’t intend to wear it on my wedding day, but I had other plans.
I teamed up with my go-to seamstress and dress guru for the ages, Amy Perry. Based in my hometown of Midway, KY, Amy has made or altered every special-occasion dress I have worn. She is a true talent with a heart of gold. She is also the mother to my very first best friend, Liz Perry. To say she is special to me, would be an understatement. I took her my mom’s dress and explained the vision I had. That vision was met with scissors and months of preparation. Amy worked tirelessly to create a new look for my mom’s dress.
Please check out Amy’s website HERE!
INITIAL STAGES OF REDESIGN AT OUR FIRST MEETING
On August 26, 2016, the eve of my wedding, I walked toward Evan at our rehearsal wearing my mom’s gown. It had a new look to it, but so many elements remained the same. It still had that fine lace and pearl embellishment that I loved. I felt elegant and strong, just like my mom. It was a dream.
OUR REHEARSAL, AUGUST 26, 2016
I wanted to write this post today to show off the amazing work of Amy Perry, and the dress once worn by my incredible mother, Terri McLean. I also wanted to share this story with other brides. Perhaps you want to incorporate your mother’s dress into your wedding – if so, do it! If you have a vision, follow through with it to the very end. This is your moment. Something like this, you and your loved ones will cherish for a lifetime.
HAND STITCHED MOTHER & DAUGHTER WEDDING DATES
The new, little details made this dress even more special than I had imagined. Amy hand stitched both of our wedding dates and initials into the hem of the dress. It was the perfect finishing touch. Below I wanted to share some inspiration I had before meeting with Amy. Because we were able to work with all of the original fabric, I was able to achieve the original design elements I had wished for. Even the open back!
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