There is so much sentiment behind today’s bridal portrait session. When Melissa Miksch Photography came across her mother’s wedding gown, she knew she wanted to give it a second life by turning something old into something new through a styled portrait session brought to life through the help of Love Blooms Event Design and Olive and Opal. Not only are the images such a beautiful tribute to Melissa’s sweet mama, but it’s the story behind the heirloom gown that pulled on our heart strings. See how Melissa honored her mother’s heirloom wedding gown that she will surely treasure for years to come, long after she passes it down to a friend who owns a vintage rental company.
From Melissa Miksch Photography…In 1973, my mom and dad got married. My mom was 20, and my grandma wanted a big party of her own to show off to family and friends. That left little room for my mom to have an opinion that mattered. Despite her favorite color being red, she wound up with a color scheme straight from a 1970s kitchen – yellows, oranges, and a touch of avocado green. (Ah, the 70s…) The bridesmaids were delightfully awful in heavy floor length florals, and the gents dashing in their pale yellow tuxes. For the most part, my mom just went along with it all. But then there was her dress. It had beautiful fitted lace sleeves, a pretty boat neck empire bodice, and just a hint of ruffles. She loved it. In her words “It was the dress of my dreams!” It was one of only a few photos from her wedding that she included in her personal scrapbook. The rest stayed in the formal album. Fast forward to this summer – 2017. My mom passed away several years ago, and as I’m digging through things in my garage that had been passed down to me, I find the dress. It has seen better days, but I wonder if it can be saved. So, I crossed my fingers and tossed it in the washing machine with some OxyClean to soak. And it was like magic. Every stain? Gone. Yellowing from age? Gone. Unfortunately, my mother was a very petite woman. A good 8 inches taller than her, I could never fit in the dress (it was too small for me by age 12) and my sister has the same problem. My daughter seems to be following in my footsteps, and at 4 years old already looks to be 7. So I made the decision to give it a second life by passing it along to a friend who rents out vintage dresses and other wedding items. But first, I wanted to do something to honor my mom’s memory. In comes Caity from Love Blooms. I’d asked her if she could design some flowers for me and after chatting we discovered she might just be the right size for the dress. By some magic stroke of luck, the dress fit her like a glove. Not only that, but her hair is the same color and length that my mom’s was back in 1973. A plan hatches. Her favorite red flowers. Her jewelry. Red lipstick. A chance for her dress to shine surrounded by some of her favorite things. I’m pretty sure if my mom was still around, she would have loved it. And for me, it was just a lovely way to feel connected to a dress that represents so much to me before passing it along to be part of some new amazing wedding day memories.