Micaelah’s Vintage Dress Preservation in Massachusetts
Bride Micaelah decided to wear her grandmother’s vintage wedding gown from 1944 on her big day. Read more about her awesome heirloom gown and her wedding in our Q&A below!
When was your wedding and where did it take place?
We got married on December 30th, 2012 at Port City Music Hall in Portland, Maine.
Tell us more about your beautiful vintage wedding gown!
My gown was my grandmother’s, which she wore on her wedding day in 1944. It was then worn by her daughter (my aunt) on her wedding day in 1980. My grandmother purchased her gown in 1944 at Stearns of Boston. My grandfather found out he had leave for the war (he was a staff sargeant in the 316th troop carrier group which was attached to the 82nd airborne in WWII) and so he called my grandmother and said, “Let’s get married next week while I have leave.” So my grandmother had a week to plan her wedding!
Her mother came up from New Jersey & they went to Stearns (which was the place to go in those days) and bought this dress. It was the first one she saw, and they also got a bridesmaid dress for her sister. She reserved the public house in Sturbridge, got a cake, some flowers and pulled off the wedding. She and my grandfather were married for 58 years (until he passed away in 2002).
When did you know that your wedding dress was “the one”?
There was this portrait that my grandmother had in her living room– it was of her on her wedding day wearing that fabulous dress. She looked absolutely stunning in it and it was a photo that I’ve admired for as long as I can remember. When it was time for me to go try on wedding dresses, they all left me uninspired. None were able to capture what I felt when I saw that photo of my grandmother. So I decided to speak to both my aunt and grandma, who were more than happy to pass the gown along to me. I tried it on and was so happy when it fit!
What is your absolute favorite memory from your wedding day?
My favorite memory is all the dancing we did all night long! Dancing with my dad, dancing with my friends–but my most favorite memory was dancing to the last 2 songs of the night. My venue had a stage, so my girlfriends and I were the last ones left at the end of the night. We all sang along to “The Weight” by The Band. I know it sounds cheesy, but it was so special, organic and awesome–it was a great send off to an amazing night.
Why did you want to get your gown cleaned and preserved?
My gown hadn’t been preserved when my aunt wore it, so I knew I had to do something to preserve its beauty. I have no idea if it’ll ever be worn again, but it’s beautiful and has so much history attached to it. Even though the gown is almost 70 years old, it’s still in great condition but still needed extra care. I knew it would be in good hands with Elton at Dependable Cleaners.
Why did you decide to get your gown cleaned by a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists?
My gown was an antique and really important to me. I did A LOT of research–I even spoke to material archivists and museums. Every single person told me to make sure I found someone who was a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists to properly care for my gown. This advice led me to Dependable Cleaners and once I met Elton, I knew my dress was in expert hands! He was incredible, walked me through my options and treated my dress as if his own grandmother had worn it.
Photographer Credit: Chris Silva