Monday, September 21, 2009

The Teeny Tiny Wedding Dress


My mother's parents were married in 1919. My grandmother met my grandfather when she was sixteen, but her mother refused to allow her to marry him at that point. He joined the service and came back three years later. Their wedding lasted three days. My grandmother always insisted that she had the most beautiful wedding dress. The large photograph of her in her wedding gown with my grandfather seated beside her always hung on the wall in her bedroom.

As each of her granddaughters grew up, she would tell them at a certain point when they were too big for the wedding dress. Eventually, even my skinny little twelve-year old cousin was too big for the dress.

My sisters and I begged my grandmother to show us the dress--even though we could not wear it. When my grandmother brought it out, we were all horrified. It was crumpled and brown and certainly did not look a thing like the one in the photograph.

When my grandmother died, my mother kept the wedding dress. The other day, my father handed the box with the gown in it to me. I took the dress out of the box and gently placed it on the dining room table. It is so incredibly small. It looks like a six-year old child might be able to squeeze into it.

I knew my grandmother as a short, but plump woman. How delicate she must have been when she was younger. Yet, she bore seven children and lived to the age of ninety. So she was actually rather sturdy.

But you would never guess it looking at the dress.

9 comments:

Leann said...

How wonderful to have that kind of legacy to pass on!

Judi Fennell said...

wow! I love that you have the actual dress! And it does seem like people were smaller back then. My great grandmother was tiny!

Pat said...

How wonderful! My Gram was small, too, (under 5 feet) but that never stopped her. I guess we could learn something from then even now.

MarkD60 said...

You should have the dress restored, if possible.

My sister has my grandfathers wedding ring and wears it all the time. On her thumb!

IT-CAREER said...

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How wonderful! My Gram was small, too, (under 5 feet) but that never stopped her. I guess we could learn something from then even now.

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Anonymous said...

over tea Grandma told me that every Sunday Charlie would follow them home from church, lagging behind the Morrows. Grace would also sneak him in through the window, sister told, father nailed 1st floor bedroom windows shut. Grandpa was stationed in Texas during the 1st world war, he had her dress hand made and sent it in the mail to her asking to marry her. Your blog post is lovely!

Penelope Marzec said...

Thanks for more of the story. I knew Grandpa was in Texas since I have photos of him there. However, I did not know he had the dress made and sent it to her. How romantic!

Gay Lewis said...

I love this story. Dress too. People are so much larger these days, even the smaller ones are larger than we used to be. Too much fast food? Is that it? I love the fact your grandfather had the dress made in Texas. I wonder how he guessed her size? And what a lovely way to propose. Good story.

Penelope Marzec said...

Hi Gay,

Glad you enjoyed the story. I know the folks back in the old days worked very hard. I suppose better nutrition may contribute to people being larger nowadays, but I don’t think they work as much. A lot of us sit too much. :-)