I have always been overly sentimental. I seem to have inherited this trait from my gran who has a lifetime of precious memories stashed away. Once when I came round to visit, she laughed about how we were always in the spare bedroom digging through her old belongings. I adore the photo albums filled with black and white pictures, boxes of sugared almonds that she's kept from weddings two decades ago, the old tin rocking horse and the suitcases neatly packed with vintage outfits.
Amongst these outfits was my gran's 1963 wedding dress with it's perfect 1950s silhouette. I loved the story of how she fell in love with it in a boutique called Lucy's in the Argyle Arcade and my grandad bought it for her. It's in remarkable condition for being 57 years old. It's so elegant and timeless and with its boat neck and long sleeves, it has an air of Duchess of Sussex about it. I love that my granny could never have known that it would come back into fashion in 2018, the year her eldest grandchild was planning her own wedding.
My granny has four children; my dad and his three younger brothers. When Karl and I got engaged, I thought it might be really special for my gran if she got to see someone she loved wearing her dress, having kept it in such remarkable condition all this time.
I liked the idea of wearing the dress for our whole day but I longed to wear a romantic, tulle ballgown. I even toyed with the idea of having a detachable skirt made to wear over the original dress to transform it into a ballgown, however, no design seemed right. I chose my dream backless ballgown with a train and metres of tulle. Dancing with such a heavy skirt was going to be impractical and you simply can't have a Scottish wedding without Strip the Willow! The obvious solution was to change into my granny's wedding dress.
In the end, my grandmother and I had two very different wedding days. They had an intimate day with only 8 guests. My gran wore her beloved dress to the chapel with a veil and striking hair piece she borrowed from a friend before changing into a cream suit with a pillar box hat with birdcage veil. Following their ceremony they enjoyed a meal in a fancy restaurant and went to the theatre.
There’s something just a little bit magical about stepping into a piece of clothing that has a whole other history of its own. I loved the dress that it was, and the dress it became. A wedding dress symbolises so much about marriage, and I couldn’t imagine anything more special than carrying on the legacy of love that my grandparents have for each other. It now holds two memories… maybe one day it will hold a third.