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Monica’s Wedding Gown Cleaning in Ohio

Monica’s Wedding Gown Cleaning in Ohio

Bride Monica was thrilled to re-purpose her grandmother’s heirloom ice-blue chantilly lace wedding gown, which combined her “something old” with “something blue” for her sweet wedding last fall.  Read more about this special dress and her wedding day below!

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When was your wedding and where did it take place?

Lance and I got married on November 30th, 2013.  Our ceremony was at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Hicks Memorial Chapel and our reception was down the street at the Union Project, both in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tell us more about your beautiful vintage wedding gown!

My mother knows much more about the dress than I do, so here’s what she told me:

The original dress from 1957 was ice blue chantilly lace lined with ice blue tulle and had an ice blue taffeta under dress. The original was worn with a full crinoline to accentuate the fullness that was popular in the 50’s. I took the dress to Dublin Cleaners for restoration and the lace lined with tulle came out beautifully in the process but the under dress was not as lucky. The heat from hanging in the attic had changed the color of the under dress to a pale, splotchy, greenish yellow, which I am told is not unusual for blue under those circumstances.

Monica wanted to keep the integrity of the original gown but update it to her style so I took the original gown completely apart, shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length, raised the dropped sleeve, took out much of the circle skirt bulk leaving some in the back only, moved the side opening to the back, and found a light weight, light blue satin to make a new under dress. I also raised the dropped waist and added a sash of the light blue satin. The neckline was left as original but the original pearls along the edge had been plastic so I took those off and sewed pearls from my wedding dress (1981) around the neckline.

The photo on the left is of my grandmother wearing the gown on her wedding day; the photo on the right is of me wearing the gown more than 55 years later 🙂

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When did you know that your wedding gown was “the one”?

My grandmother handmade her dress for her wedding in June 1957.  I admired Grandma Lizzie so much, so it seemed silly to spend money on a new wedding dress when something so precious was stored at my parents’ house.  She was quite the seamstress, so I think if she were alive today she would have been so proud of the work my mother did to restore and restyle the dress to fit me!

What is your absolute favorite memory from your wedding day?

There were a number of “stand-out” moments on my wedding day.  There were so many people that I cared deeply for all gathered together to watch me marry the love of my life.  The first thing that comes to mind is my dad’s speech during the reception.  He brought up the fact that my kindergarten teacher had said that I “walked to the beat of my own drum” and then followed that by saying that I had found my drummer in Lance.  It was so touching and sweet–it’s a moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget!

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Why did you want to get your wedding dress cleaned and preserved?

With all the hard work my mother put in to updating the dress for me, my sentimental side just can’t let go of it!  And who knows?  Maybe it’ll last for another wedding for my daughter or another family member!

Why did you decide to get your wedding gown cleaned by a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists?

My mom was very particular in choosing a place to have the dress initially cleaned since it was in such a fragile state and Dublin Cleaners in the Columbus, Ohio area did an amazing job. After the wedding, it was an obvious choice to return to them to have the dress preserved.

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Photographer Credit: Jani Hershberger Photography