Before her September wedding, bride Jordyn Cleverly wanted to take a first-look photo alongside her grandmother, Penny Jensen. Little did Jensen know, she was in for a beautiful moment as the 23-year-old bride surprised her grandmother by wearing her 1960s wedding gown: an off-the-shoulder A-line dress with a lace bodice.
The bride and wedding photographer Kourtney Peterson came up with the plan in the days ahead of the nuptials, knowing how much it would mean to her grandmother. Both Cleverly and Peterson opted for a first look so the moment wouldn't overwhelm Jensen, who is widowed. The girls slipped away from the rehearsal dinner to get the bride dressed, and Peterson then persuaded Jensen to leave the dining room. When she saw her granddaughter standing in her own wedding gown, needless to say she was shocked.
“Everyone was crying. My camera was dripping in my tears. It was so sweet," Peterson told the Idaho Statesman.
Following her wedding in 1962, Jensen held on to her gown until just a few years ago when she called her son, the bride's father, and told him she was going to donate the dress unless one of his daughters wanted it. “She said, ‘Even if they want to cut it up and make a pillow, that’s OK,’ ” Cleverly told the Statesman. “She didn’t know that [Dad] retrieved it and we hung it in the closet."
“After my engagement I started dress shopping. I was looking for something antique. I had always envisioned a Victorian-style dress. I had my grandmother’s dress in the back of my mind but I didn’t think it was wearable,” she continued. “I couldn’t even find a dry cleaner that would touch it. After trying on 30 dresses, I pushed my wedding out a year so I could find the right one. I was so discouraged."
Remembering her grandmother's dress, Cleverly decided to give it a try. Fortunately, the bride found Kandee Harris, a custom seamstress in Caldwell, who said she could work with the aging lace and tulle overlay. The dress was a perfect fit for the bride's small frame. “She said the lace might blow out, but it held up pretty well,” Cleverly revealed.
A special moment, indeed.