My parents, Bill and Nina, were blessed with four daughters and one son. I have no doubt that with the birth of each daughter my parents were wondering how are we going to pay for all these weddings? Of course what parent wouldn't wonder about such things as their children grew up.
My Mom, Nina, over the years made most of our clothes from childhood on into our early adult years. She is a very accomplished seamstress and for a few years even did alterations for others. She made us Raggedy Ann dolls, clothes for our Barbie dolls & baby dolls, purses, school uniforms, prom dresses for my sisters and cummerbunds for their dates to match.
However, the most important dress that she made for me and my sisters and my sister in law was our wedding dresses. Our dresses were beautiful and the latest style. If we couldn't find the exact pattern with everything we wanted then she would take elements from other patterns to make the dress of our dreams.
The first dress she made was for my sister Patty. Patty married in 1984 and her dress was absolutely gorgeous. She had a wonderful sweeping train, a very detailed bodice which took many hours of sewing little pearls to pieces of lace. Mom also made the bridesmaids dresses too. Of course when you have three other sisters who are going to be in your wedding why not! Our bridesmaid dresses were in light rainbow pastel colors and off the shoulder. We carried baskets of summer flowers and wreaths of baby's breath in our hair.
In the photo above I have shown each of us in gorgeous wedding gowns with our Dad and thought only right that I should add a picture of my Mom being walked down the aisle by her father too (the large picture). The column on the right from top to bottom are myself, Patty, Kathy Susie and my sister in law Carolyn all wearing our dresses made by Mom. The three bottom pictures from left to right our the bridesmaid dresses we wore for Patty's wedding, Kathy's wedding and my wedding.
I had married quickly in March of 1980 and wore a simple white dress I bought at Sears. My marriage ended in divorce not long after that. However, when I remarried in July 1987 my Mom made my dress. Since it was my second wedding I didn't really want the long white dress and train. I wanted something tea or ballet length. I wanted white but not all white so the skirt of my dress was over-layed with pink roses and a scalloped hemline. It was just perfect for me and it was absolutely gorgeous. Instead of the traditional veil I wore a simple white hat with pieces of the over-lay that were hand stitched with pearls. My Mom also made my bridesmaids dresses in a light pink. It didn't end there either. I was married on the 4th of July. So my bridesmaids and I changed into dresses of red, white and blue for the reception.
When my sister Kathy married it was in February 1991, my Mom made another spectacular dress. Kathy's dress was ivory with beautiful v-neckline. Her dress had long sleeves and the hemline was done in lace. As she had done with Patty and myself she also made the bridesmaids dresses. Our bridesmaids dresses were of red velvet and instead of carrying traditional flowers we carried mufflers with beautiful pink lilies.
When my brother Billy proposed to his wife Carolyn, they asked if Mom would also make her wedding dress. Of course my Mom agreed but she did not make the bridesmaids dresses because of the size of bridal party. They were married in November 1995. Carolyn's dress like the other three Mom had previously made was gorgeous. Carolyn's dress had a very lovely lace bodice with long sleeves that were very detailed.
The last wedding dress Mom would make was for my youngest sister, Susie in 1999. Susie has never been a "girly girl" so I wasn't sure what her style would be. Mom and Susie found just the right style and again my Mom created another gorgeous wedding dress. Because of the size of the bridal party my Mom opted not to make the bridesmaid dresses. Susie's dress was simple with short lace sleeves. The train and hemline of her dress was also lace. There was another smaller dress Mom made for Susie's wedding. It was for our niece Kaitlyn who served as the flower girl. Her dress was made from the same materials used for Susie's dress.
Thank you Mom for giving me the most gorgeous wedding dress! I love you!