Passing Down the Dress


Kareena Kapoor, Indian actress

Princess Kate is currently sporting the enchanting blue sapphire ring worn by her late MIL, Princess Diana, and Bollywood starlet, Kareena “Bebo” Kapoor, is wearing her future MIL’s wedding dress when she ties the knot today. Despite being revered as a style icon, the film star and clothing designer has decided to honor the ancient Pataudi traditions by dressing in the royal clothing and jewelry that Sharmila Tagore, the famous Indian actress, wore on her wedding day in 1969. The dress, which has undergone an extensive four-month restoration by 12 master craftsmen, was originally worn by her grandmother-in-law in 1939.

As a young girl, I loved pulling out my Mom’s wedding gown from her wooden hope chest. I spent hours dreaming about handsome princes and majestic castles as I twirled around the bedroom. Although I chose to have my own wedding gown custom made, many modern brides are turning to vintage wedding dresses as a way to stand out for their unique style and personality. While most are opting to purchase vintage-inspired gowns from modern designers, a growing minority are scouring consignment shops and their grandmothers attics for the perfect dress.

The Zgorski women featured in “1 Wedding Dress, 3 Generations of Brides” are a shining example of how you can turn a dress into “a symbol of a family’s enduring love and bond over time,” notes radio host Michel Martin in a June 18, 2012, story that aired on NPR. During the past 60 years, seven women have donned the same dress on their wedding day, transforming it with hoops, puffy sleeves and lace to suit their personalities and current trends.

To find a family dress that inspires you, drop by Grandma’s house to spend a few hours perusing the dusty family photo albums. You just might unearth the wedding dress that finally captures your heart.

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