Something Borrowed: My Mom’s Wedding Dress

Photography by Daring Wanderer

Where do I even begin with this post?

A Bride’s wedding dress is the most prized and celebrated garment during her wedding experience. And for someone like me who loves fashion and who loves dresses, a very high level of excitement was reserved for my wedding dress.

However, my wedding dress wasn’t something that I slipped on and “Said Yes” to at a luxurious bridal boutique. It wasn’t part of a latest collection or something I fell in love with on Pinterest.

It was a dress I fell in love with when I was 4 years old.

And I don’t mean that symbolically or generically. I mean that the dress I wore for my wedding was the dress I’ve swooned over since I was a child.

It was my Mom’s wedding dress from 1979. It was my “Something Borrowed”.

Before COVID, I didn’t get too far with wedding dress shopping by the time lockdown happened. Like many around the world, we postponed our wedding, and dress shopping was no longer on my mind.

That is until we eventually changed our minds, and decided to still get married this year. We adapted our wedding vision from a Fall wedding in the city to an intimate family-only backyard wedding at the end of Summer. This meant the vision for my wedding dress changed, but luckily I didn’t have to go that far.

With just two months to plan our mini backyard wedding, I already had a dress in mind.

Photography by Daring Wanderer

The most remarkable thing about this dress is how incredibly well-preserved it remained after 41 years. This dress was neatly stored away in a closet in Lebanon. By pure chance, my Mom brought this back when they went for a visit last year.

Similarly to The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants, I’m also amazed (and relieved!) that I fit in it, because my Mom was much smaller than me. Aside from a few minor adjustments, this dress fit me perfectly.

I love that my wedding dress, besides it holding very unique and meaningful sentiments, is authentically vintage, and is just simply so beautiful. It’s dreamy, elegant, feminine, whimsical and ethereal. Our photographer said I looked like a forest fairy.

Photography by Daring Wanderer

This dress is something that I would have hand-picked myself. But it was my Mom who hand-picked this, quite literally. She was presented with two wedding dress options by her aunt who owned a dress shop in Lebanon and used to bring back dresses from Paris. One option was a traditional white dress, and the other was a medieval-style dress with a flowing cape and colourful pastel florals.

My Mom chose the dress with the flowing cape and colourful pastel florals.

Photography by Daring Wanderer

That’s what I admired the most about my Mom’s dress back when I was a child: she chose something that was so different for a wedding dress. All of the Mom’s back then had big, pouffy white dresses, yet my Mom stood out in delicate shades of pinks, purples and greens.

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.

Photography by Daring Wanderer

This dress set the tone for our woodland theme. Cedar trees were our backdrop as we shared our vows, and ivy leaves cascaded down wooden tree trunks as we swayed between them during our first dance.

Photography by Daring Wanderer

This dress, and my Mom’s bridal style in general, inspired the little white flowers in my hair and the pastel colours of my whimsical bridal bouquet.

Photography by Daring Wanderer

There’s undeniable magic in this dress.

Our guests marvelled at how this goddess-like this dress was, and how it 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.

Photography by Daring Wanderer
Photography by Daring Wanderer
Photography by Daring Wanderer

Finally, after going through photos, I couldn’t help but notice some striking similarity between my Mom’s wedding photos and mine. Some were truly like stepping back in time, twice.

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

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.

Photography by Daring Wanderer

What I enjoyed the most about this experience was 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, family, beauty and hope.

Photo on the right by Daring Wanderer
Photography by Daring Wanderer
Photography by Daring Wanderer

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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