Bride Wears 127-Year-Old Wedding Dress for Good Luck

wedding gown

Like most women, I've been fantasizing about my ultimate wedding dress ever since I was a little girl (in my case, when I watched my first Disney movie). But Allison Shellito Rinaldi didn't have to think twice about her dream gown. When the 23-year-old got married in June, she chose to wear a 127-year-old wedding dress.

Normally, I'd be all like, What's up with that!? But this particular dress is very, very special. First worn by her great-grandmother in 1884, Allison was the fifth woman in her family to wear the gown on her wedding day.


My first thought: How does such an ancient dress stay so well-preserved and beautiful? Allison's mother told the Today show that all they do is keep it wrapped in linen in the closet. It also helped that Allison changed into a different dress for the reception.

Even better: The ecru silk brocade gown seems to bring good luck to those who wear it, as all of the women in their family have had long, happy marriages, Allison's mom says. Marriage insurance in the form of a dress? I say l'chaim! Why not?!

My mom and I moved last March, and only just recently did we finally find her wedding dress. Preserved ever so delicately in a box, we opened the extensive saran wrap packaging together. For the first time since my parents got married, the dress was back in her hands.

Admittedly, it was beautiful. It has long sleeves and is covered from top to bottom in lace. But I've got to be honest: The design is totally dated. I told Mom that the dress wasn't my style, and I wouldn't want to wear it on my wedding day (years and years from now). I didn't mean to be rude -- she said herself she couldn't envision me wearing it either. My dream dress, a strapless sweetheart style with an empire waist, is essentially the complete opposite of hers. And you know what? That's OK.

Of course, it would be totally neat for me and my mother to start a tradition of our own, like Allison's family has done. Maybe for now, however, we'll think smaller. Like a garter, or a necklace. Everyone needs something borrowed, right?

Take a look-see at Allison's story from Today last week:

Would you wear a 127-year-old wedding dress?


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