Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays: 11 Brides and 120 Years Later

A number of brides dwell on what their 'something old' could be. A grandmother's brooch, a mother's pearls, a great aunt's lace gloves--sometimes the options can be overwhelming! For bride Abigail Curtis, however, this was never an issue. In the ultimate use of 'something old', Abigail decided she would try to be the 11th bride in her family to wear her great-great-grandmother's wedding dress from 1895. A 120-year old dress!

Abigail knew she wanted to incorporate a special family heirloom or two into her wedding ensemble for good luck and sentimentality. But she never thought it would be possible to restore her great-great-grandmother Mary Lowry Warren's wedding dress. Abigail was only eight-years-old when she first saw the dress. During piano lessons, her eyes wandered above the piano to the photographs of the 10 other brides in her family—including her mom, Leslie Woodruff Kingston—posing like royalty in the very same Victorian gown.

So when Abigail was proposed to by her ever-so-romantic then fiancĂ© Jason, and wedding planning was underway, there was no doubt in her mind, she needed to track down that infamous dress! Leslie's great aunt had it tucked away in Vermont and sent it to Pennsylvania in two boxes (one for the skirt and one for the bodice). Abigail admits her first glimpse of the dress wasn't exactly magical. The garment had undergone its fair share of alternations. Even still, Abigail hoped to return the dress to its original state—as close to her great-great-grandmother's dress as possible.

Abigail and Leslie connected with designer Deborah LoPresti of Easton, Pennsylvania, a master in high-end couture and experienced with vintage gowns. After 200 hours of wedding dress surgery, LoPresti and her team managed a miracle! They removed extra trimmings, purged the fragile silk and lace of over a century's worth of champagne spills and dance floor wear and tear, found the exact materials to match the original, and worked until it was good as new. How amazing is that?

Trying on the dress was a surreal experience for Abigail. But due to the delicate condition of the dress, Kingston decided to wear it for the cocktail hour only, but it was more than enough to feel the magic of the dress and show off the stunning family treasure to her guests. As a special touch, photos of the 10 other brides decorated the walls at her wedding too. Of all the family wedding traditions we've seen and heard, this one might be the most special ever! Check out all of the brides wearing this stunning gown!

Mary Lowry Warren wedding dress 1895

Mary Lowry Warren, December 11, 1895

Jane Woodruff Kearns wedding dress from 1946

Jane Woodruff Kearns, February 20, 1946

Virginia Woodruff MacConnell wedding dress from 1948
Virginia Woodruff MacConnell, October 13, 1948

Sara Seiler Ogden wedding dress from 1960

Sara Seiler Odgen, June 15, 1960

Laird MacConnell Hensler wedding dress from 1976
Laird MacConnell Hensler, October 16, 1976

Leslie Kingston wedding dress from 1977
Leslie Kingston, August 6, 1977
Janet Kearns Daigle wedding dress from 1982
Janet Kearns Daigle, October 30, 1982
Jane Ogden Houston wedding dress from 1986
Jane Ogden Houston, June 2, 1986

Virginia Kearns Stinnett wedding dress from 1989
Virginia Kearns Stinnett, August 26, 1989
Ann Ogden Hausslien wedding dress from 1991

Ann Ogden Hausslien, July 4, 1991
Abigail Kingston Curtis wedding dress in color from 2015
Abigail Kingston Curtis, October 17, 2015
We hope this tradition carries on a little longer with maybe a 12th, 13th and 14th bride wearing this gown! A special thanks to Abigail for sharing the beautiful devour-the-detail-worthy moment with the world. Cheers to many years of happiness with Jason!

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