Something Borrowed: My Mom’s Wedding Dress

It’s been a week since we got married, and my feet have yet to touch the ground. It was only two months ago that we decided we would make our wedding happen this year. And it happened. Our wedding day came and it went, and I’m still dreaming.

A few days before our wedding, I came across a quote that read: “Just because things don’t go according to plan, doesn’t mean it won’t be good“. These words couldn’t have described our wedding story any better.

Pre-COVID, our wedding was meant to be an intimate October wedding in the city with our close family and friends around us. With all the changes that occurred, our wedding became an end-of-summer backyard wedding with family only, and with close friends and family attending virtually. It’s such a different vision from what we originally planned but our new wedding day ended up being so perfect that it taught me to put more faith in change of plans. This experience has taught me – a long time list-making planner – to embrace change because it provides the chance to get creative and realign what’s most important, while still achieving what your heart desires.

The next few blog posts will be wedding-related, which hopefully may come in handy for those who are also planning a virtual wedding.

For this post, I’m here to honour the one item that was the absolute most special thing for me.

My something borrowed. My wedding dress.

Photographer: Daring Wanderer

I didn’t get too far with wedding dress shopping by the time lockdown happened. I managed to try on a handful of bridal styles just before life went on pause, which subsequently made us decide to postpone our wedding altogether. Dress shopping was no longer on my mind.

Then June happened, and life made us question: why wait? Even though we pushed the party to next year, my husband and I still wanted to officially get married in the year 2020. As much as I love planning weddings and having close friends and family with us in celebration, at the end of the day, I just wanted to marry my best friend while our families were still in good health.

So with just two months to plan our mini wedding, the most important item on the checklist was already taken care of. Considering we were doing an intimate backyard wedding, I already had a dress in mind.

My Mom’s wedding dress from 1979. She was my bridal fashion inspiration.

There are many qualities that make this dress a unique and meaningful choice. First of all, it’s beautiful. It’s a dreamy, elegant, and very feminine dress. It’s something that I would hand-pick myself. But it was my Mom who hand-picked this, literally. She was presented with two wedding dress options by her aunt who owned a dress shop and brought back dresses from Paris. One option was a traditional white dress, and the other was a medieval-style dress with a flowy cape and colourful pastel florals. My Mom chose the one with the flowy cape and colourful pastel florals. That’s the other thing I admire about my Mom’s choice and taste: she chose something so different for a wedding dress.

I am still amazed at how incredibly well preserved this dress remained after 41 years. I’m also still amazed that I could fit in it, because my Mom was a tiny little thing back then. Aside from a few minor adjustments (apparently, I’m a lot bustier than she was), this dress fit me perfectly.

And I don’t just mean in size. I mean in everything. Vibe, style and ethereal energy. And the fact that it’s authentically vintage. When my Mom chose her wedding dress back in 1979, it’s almost like she knew she’d have a Virgoan daughter who would delight in flowers in her hair and sheer fabric flowing at her feet. This dress was destined for two weddings.

Photographer: Daring Wanderer

Our guests marvelled at how this dress fit me perfectly. “It’s so you!”, they exclaimed. It is so me. And I’m so my Mom. That’s what makes this dress special and uniquely connected.

After going through photos taken after our wedding, I couldn’t help but notice the similarity between my Mom’s wedding photos and mine.

Photo on the right: Daring Wanderer
Photo on the right: Daring Wanderer
Photo on the right: Daring Wanderer
Photo on the right: Daring Wanderer
Photo on the right: Daring Wanderer

This dress set the tone for our woodland backyard setting. Cedar trees were our backdrop as we shared our vows, and we swayed in between ivy cascading on wooden tree trunks for our first dance. It inspired the little white flowers in my hair and the colours of my whimsical bridal bouquet, designed and arranged by the wonderful Dawn Dust Florals. It’s undeniable that this dress carries magic.

I feel so beyond happy, proud and honoured to have worn my Mother’s vintage wedding dress for my own wedding. I felt beautiful and ethereal. I felt like me. What I enjoyed the most about this experience is that I didn’t even have to stress about finding a dress in the short amount of time we had. The dress was waiting for me. To me, this dress is a symbol of connection, longevity, future, love, beauty and hope.

Thank you, Mom. 💕✨

6 Replies to “Something Borrowed: My Mom’s Wedding Dress”

  1. Oh my goodness, Nahya! I love this. I think every mother dreams of seeing her daughter in her dress one day. The moment I saw you in it, I just thought how unique and how ‘you’ it was! This is a beautiful tribute to your mother and a sentiment she will forever remember and cherish. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much, Dini! 😘 I mean, you aren’t wrong! 😅 It’s funny because the concept of wearing my Mom’s wedding dress sounds so traditional, but what makes it unique to begin with is that the dress was so very different from the traditional white dresses of that time. She was her own trend setter! 😁

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