Friday, April 12, 2024

Memories: My Wedding Dress

"This is more than just a wedding dress.
It is the embodiment of a dream come true."

No great clouds of tulle, no long train, crinoline, or trailing veil. Marrying at age 41, I no longer desired the kind of dress I dreamed about as a girl. I wanted something simple with just a hint of twirl and flounce. Trying on several gowns, I knew when I saw it in the mirror. This was the one, it felt just right. A dress in off-white cream, an ankle-length full skirt, the bodice and sleeves in lace—a silhouette of soft romance.

Somewhere I read that classic wedding dresses are designed to stand the test of time, meaning you'll never cringe when looking back at your wedding portraits. I'm glad to say that I still love the simplicity of my wedding dress, and I smile when I see the photos.

Months before there was a thought of a wedding, I saw a photo in the February 1998 issue of Victoria magazine (see below). If I was ever going to be a bride, this was the bouquet I wanted to carry. At that time, there was not even a hint in the air of a wedding—I wasn't even going out with the fellow. But nevertheless at the mature age of 41, a girl will have her dreams, and I dreamed of carrying this bouquet down the aisle to my waiting heart mate, whoever he might be (we had our fingers crossed).

"Love is the flower
you've got to let grow."

"Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life,
love gives us a fairy tale."

Since that day more than 25 years ago, the dress has been hanging in the closet. And every so often when I'll be looking for something else, I'll see it and take it out. A rush of emotion-filled memories flood in.

There has been the long tradition of keeping one's wedding dress with the idea of handing it down to someone in the next generation. Hopefully a daughter or even a granddaughter. For me, there is no one to pass it down to—my nieces have their own moms' things, if anything is to be passed down. So I wonder why I keep it tucked up in the cupboard when perhaps someone else out there could wear it on her special day and enjoy its loveliness.

That day when I was in the clearing out mood, I slipped the shoulder ribbons from the fabric hanger with the intention to fold the dress into a nice box and take it to a second hand shop. I couldn't. I could fold away some of my old formal dresses I once wore as I knew I'd never wear them again. But this gown? I'll never wear it again either. Neither Rick or I are the truly 'romantic' types where we'd renew our vows or dress up in our wedding clothes for a milestone anniversary photo. I think he might gently roll his eyes if I suggested it. But then again he might not.

There is one little memory of my dress on our wedding day that still sparkles like diamonds in a ring. It was the end of the day. The party was over, the guests were gone. Rick and I were getting into the car to drive to our hotel. He opened the door for me, and as I got in, he took my swirly skirt and gently tucked it around my feet, making sure the hem was safely in. The glint of his new wedding band against the creamy skirt made my heart skip a beat. I was the bride, he was my bridegroom. And I was about to go away into my new life with this man I loved. It's a moment I have never forgotten.

Back in the closet I hung my wedding dress. It doesn't take up much room. Maybe I'll be ready to pass it along another time. But not today.

Wishing you a beautiful Spring weekend,


  1. So touching, Brenda. I have my wedding outfit from 43 years ago and could never send it to a charity shop. It's such a significant part of you and your life. Also yours is a very beautiful dress.

  2. Tears pricked my eyes reading this. I’m so glad you didn’t give the dress away. It is such a pretty dress, with an elegance that is so… you! Gentle, whimsical, good sense and dainty blended together. To have waited all those years and finally found the man for your heart, it seems to me the dress had waited for you too, Brenda. Thus, its home is with you.

  3. Brenda,
    How beautiful!
    Your gown is lovely and your bouquet more lovely than the Victoria one! I think you should keep your dress. It's special, and your memories of it are wonderful.

    Deanna Rabe

  4. Such a lovely post, Brenda. Your dress is beautiful and certainly stands the test of time. I feel that way about mine, too, I could never give it away. It's a rather plain late 70s era dress and I'm still pleased with it when I look at wedding photos. Your post came at an interesting time. I have our youngest's dress here, too, and when she was here just this week, we pulled them both out. Her little girls were in awe at her lace covered dress with a jewelled belt and little Iris said, "Nana, yours isn't very fancy." No, it's not, but it is still a treasure.
    I love the little memory you hold close of getting into the car. And your creamy bouquet is lovely. Sigh.

  5. What a handsome picture the two of you make and what precious images you've painted for us with this post, Brenda. I'm still smiling at your wonderful descriptions. Your dress is beautiful, and I imagine someday in the future, whether you know the bride or not, some woman will love wearing that dress on her wedding day. Thank you for sharing your beautiful writing and lovely thoughts.

  6. Charlene Leyland12 April 2024 at 19:14

    It was such a beautiful wedding Brenda. Love your wedding picture. My dress got ruined while living in Fruitvale but it was not a dress that I felt my daughter or granddaughter would wear. So happy that you & Rick found each other & you are part of our big, wonderful family. ❤️

  7. Oh Brenda, how beautiful! You, the dress and the memories you shared! I agree wit Caitlynn. Tears pricked my eyes too<3 I'm so glad you found the love of your life!!

  8. Okay, please pass the Kleenex. This post definitely made me cry. Oh, Brenda, you were a beautiful bride. Everything looked lovely-----the gown, the flowers, your dazzling smile.... loved reading about that special day in your life. How awesome that you and Rick are each other's "forever loves." I have always loved your writing and positive spirit. This post, however, was extra special. Thanks for sharing. Hugs. Susan

  9. Oh my goodness. This whole post made my heart skip a beat! Thank you so much for sharing these precious memories of a beautiful dress (it was perfect!) for a most beautiful day!

  10. Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful responses to this little post. It means so much to me. I come to see that for many of us our wedding dresses are one of those important touchstones in our lives. It was so good to hear from each of you. Heart hugs.

  11. Your beautiful wedding dress is timeless, Brenda!

  12. I loved reading this story and seeing your wedding picture. I'm glad you didn't give your dress away yet. <3

  13. Absolutely lovely! I'm so glad we have photos to help us remember these precious times.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo