Great bridal style runs in the family.
1. Though some brides save their dresses for decades, thinking they’ll pass the gown on to their daughter, it rarely works out that way.
2. But in this Pittsburgh family, the same wedding dress has been worn by three different brides.
“I had heard stories about this dress as I grew up, so it had taken on an almost magical quality,” Jackie Fiterman, the third bride to wear the dress, told BuzzFeed Life.
3. When Helene Gryzwinski was preparing to marry her sweetheart Chester in 1947, she bought the dress at Kauffman’s department store in Pittsburgh.
“[Post-World War II], materials — including fabrics — became less affected by rationing, and ladies headed for the altar were looking forward to a more indulgent shopping experience than what they would have had during the war,” Helene’s granddaughter Jackie said.
4. When Cindy Kost, Helene’s daughter, was planning her 1975 wedding, she decided to wear her mother’s dress.
When Jackie asked Cindy why she decided to wear the dress, she said it was because it was unique and beautiful and because it fit her budget.
“I felt special!” Cindy told Jackie. “I swear my mother-in-law passed the word down throughout the church before I even walked down the aisle! You could see all the women’s heads turn, then whisper to the ladies around them, as I floated down the aisle. The decision was initially a means to save money; however, it turned out to be the crown jewel of the wedding.”
5. By the time Jackie got engaged in 2009, the dress had become the stuff of family legend.
“Initially, my mom said that she was surprised that I wanted to wear the dress, but she was happy that I did,” Jackie said. “Both my grandma and mom were really proud when I wore it on my wedding day. I remember them smiling at me and at each other when they saw me in the dress before we left for the ceremony.”
“The first time I put it on, I was very excited — and nervous! ” she said. “I was scared that it might not fit… but it did. (Thank goodness!) I only had to make some minor alterations to it, but I kept the lines of the gown the same.”
7. Whether the dress will be worn again remains to be seen.
“I’m an only child and all the cousins on my mom’s side already are married, so the dress has seen the spotlight for this generation,” Jackie said. “If we have a daughter, though, I definitely will keep the dress as an option for her if she’d like to wear it on her wedding day.”