From Mothers to Daughters

Once a long, treasured tradition was the passing down of the wedding dress from mother to daughter. It held almost a sacred place in the hearts of mothers and, for some daughters, it was almost a rite of passage to be given her mother’s lace to wear on her special day. Those days had seemed to pass us by, as daughters wanted the latest design and fashion to wear, with huge price tags; but today, vintage seems to be making a come back. Of course, designers are making new gowns which appear vintage, but why not bring back the tradition of passing down the gown instead of passing it to the thrift shop?

Being sentimental, I wanted to wear my mother’s gown; and oddly enough, she didn’t really want me to wear it. She really wanted me to have my own gown. I told her that enough money was being spent already and that I had always admired her photograph in the gown and I wanted to wear it. I did, however, want to make a few changes to make it my own, but it would still, essentially, be the same gown. She relented and let me have it.

I spent $250.00, which was a ton of money for a graduate student with a part-time job making just a tad above minimum wage in 1991, to make the changes to the gown and veil, but it came out perfect. I loved it. I still do, even though, I am long since divorced from that husband. Of course, I still have the dress and I have a daughter. I don’t know if she, too, will want to wear the dress. That is such a long time away, but I know deep down that I would love it if she would. It’s a tradition. It’s an honor to your mother and father’s marriage, and showing that you, too, want to carry that same respect for marriage forward into your own marriage and home.

Did you wear your mother’s gown? If you did, what did that mean to you? Have you had a daughter who wanted to wear your wedding gown? Did you have a wedding gown that was passed down for many generations? How was that accomplished? I would so love to hear those kinds of stories. Will you save your gown for your granddaughters and great-granddaughters?

Genealogy isn’t just the search for our past ancestors. It is also about looking forward and preparing our present for those in the future, so that they will not have to look as hard as we have had to do. Determine what your priorities are for them and make goals about what you want to preserve from the just passed and present for their genealogy research.

Have a great week.

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