You've probably heard a well-meaning, overly optimistic bride tell you that you can wear a bridesmaid dress again, but an actual wedding dress? One sentimental bride made good on that and wore her dress again—50 years later!
This summer, as Margaret and Larry Dickenson's 50th anniversary approached, their daughter Tonya threw them a lavish party on the shore of Lake Champlain in Vermont, with no details spared.
Guests gathered for a tented reception and were treated to not just all of the gilt-rimmed crystal and decor befitting a golden anniversary, but also a special appearance by the happy couple.
Halfway through the party, Margaret and Larry entered hand in hand, catching most people in attendance by surprise as Margaret was wearing the lace-trimmed wedding dress she herself designed, made, and wore 50 years before.
"Among many highlights throughout the afternoon and evening, that moment was far and away the most delightful one!" said one guest. "To witness the joy and love on both [their] faces—Larry beaming at his beautiful bride—gave us all a sense of what it must have been like to be there in 1967 and confirmed that [their] love has grown even stronger over the years."
While all wedding dresses are undoubtedly full of memories, Margaret’s also travelled far and wide to make it to this occasion, 50 years after she first tied the knot. After the Dickensons were married in Ontario on September 2, 1967, their careers took them all around the world, with his posts as a Canadian diplomat transferring them everywhere from Vienna to Moscow to Jakarta. With each move, Margaret's carefully preserved dress and veil came along too, though she never peeked at them. "When we returned to Ottawa for good, I thoughtfully tucked these treasured boxes safely away, knowing that I would never part with them but unaware that one day they would bring smiles to so many people’s faces," she says.
As their big anniversary approached, Margaret says, "I tried on the dress spontaneously one evening when our elder daughter, Tonya, was visiting. She and Larry were so excited and insisted that I had to wear it for our 50th wedding celebration."
It was just one of many details that recalled their wedding so many years before. Their original cake topper was on display, and the couple also invited back the pastor who had married them, the best man, a bridesmaid, a flower girl, and several other guests. Dinner tables were named for all of the cities the Dickensons had lived in. As a final touch, on display by the entrance were congratulatory certificates signed by prominent Canadian officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
And this party wasn't all about recalling the past. Larry and Margaret looked to the future as well, with their children and grandchildren included at every turn. Margaret took a spin on the dance floor with her grandson, and everyone hammed it up in a glittery photo booth.
But all was made sweeter with Margaret's wedding dress bridging old and new. Says Margaret of her beloved dress,"It was truly a work of love and a treat to wear it a second time."