Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The search is on for the “perfect” wedding dress April 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:32 AM
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My mom's dress came from the Lorraine Shop in Mankato. You'll see my mom's name, Arlene, written on the box cover.

My mom’s dress came from the Lorraine Shop in Mankato. You’ll see my mom’s name, Arlene, written on the box cover.

I HAD HOPES, when the boxed vintage wedding dresses were stashed into the back of the van for the 120-mile trip from Vesta to Faribault, that one would fit my newly-engaged daughter.

My Aunt Marilyn's bridal gown was shipped from New York to the Lorraine Shop in Mankato for 77 cents in 1961.

My Aunt Marilyn’s bridal gown was shipped from New York to the Lorraine Shop in Mankato for 77 cents in 1961.

She’d asked that I bring them—her grandma’s and her Great Aunt Marilyn’s bridal gowns—back for her to try on.

Aunt Marilyn's dress with the slim waist.

The bodice of Aunt Marilyn’s dress with the slim waist.

But, alas, no matter that my daughter is tiny, she was not slim enough to be buttoned into Marilyn’s 1961 bridal gown. Besides, she thought the skirt too pouffy.

Just like the back of my aunt's dress, my mom's bridal gown closes with a long row of buttons.

Just like the back of my aunt’s dress, my mom’s bridal gown closes with a long row of buttons.

And, although my mother’s 1954 dress was not quite as narrow, the fit was still too snug for comfort on my 27-year-old. But mostly, the bodice lace was itchy and comfort counts on your wedding day.

My parents, Vern and Arlene, on their September 25, 1954, wedding day.

My parents, Vern and Arlene, on their September 25, 1954, wedding day.

So the bride-to-be has moved to Plan B, scheduling an appointment at Andrea’s Vintage Bridal in south Minneapolis. I am delighted with my daughter’s first shopping choice. I can easily envision my girl wearing something from a bygone era. It fits her down-to-earth style and personality.

Several times she’s expressed her desire to find a gown different from the norm and, most definitely, not a strapless one. I’m totally with her on that. At way too many weddings, I’ve watched brides tug at their strapless bodices to keep everything up and in place.

No matter what dress she eventually chooses, I am confident it will be the right choice for her. Not me. Not her sister. But her, my darling precious bride-to-be eldest daughter.

SHARE YOUR WEDDING dress story with us, or tips on how and where to find the “perfect” bridal gown. And, if you have a vintage bridal dress…

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling