Of all the belongings we own and love, few are more freighted with meaning and memory than a wedding dress.
After all, for many people, a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the day of the ceremony is sacred and joyful.
Its not surprising that most couples are willing to spend big on the perfect wedding gown and preserve it down through the generations, as we saw with this sweet hand-me-down gown!
Of course, sometimes the best thing you can do with a wedding gown is to pass it on to someone whose need is greater.
Whether its a reminder of a painful memory, or its simply time to move on and let the gown make someone elses wedding day special, theres something beautiful about letting a wedding gown fly free.
We can only imagine that was the thought process behind one mans anonymous decision to give his late wifes wedding dress to the charity shop at St. Gemmas Hospice.
With nothing but a small and sweet note to explain his hopes for the lovely frock, this grieving widower’s decision quickly went viral…
The dress arrived at St. Gemmas Hospice in a round of donations in June 2015.
The charity runs 22 secondhand shops, the proceeds of which benefit the center, a provider of hospice and end-of-life care for terminally ill patients.
They collect all sorts of items in donations, from stemware to designer clothes,but the vintage gown of ivory lace immediately stood out for its beauty, and one other small detail…
Pinned to the flounced skirt of the gown was a note from the previousowner that read:
“I wish any lady
who takes this
dress to have a life
with loved one
56 years like I did
happy years I wasa
lucky man to marry
a lady like mine.”
The darling note moved staff, and they decided to set out to find the anonymous donor who hadbestowed the loving energy of his own half-century marriage on the dress’ next owner.
He had clearly loved his wife very much, and it seemed clear from the note that he had lost her recently.
One of the St. Gemma’s staffers modeled the lovely lacy dress, and the organization took to social media looking for the gentleman who had passed on his wife’s gown.
With the pictures quickly going viral on Facebook, the staff at St. Gemma’s managed to find the original owner and thank him for his donation and blessing on the next owner.
He didn’t wish for his name to be made public, but staff discovered that he was an 85-year-old widower who was delighted that his wife’s wedding dress was gaining so much attention.
He told St.Gemma’s, “I am so happy that the dress is going to raise so much money for St Gemma’s. Thanks so much to everyone.”
Indeed, the bridal photos that started out as a way to find the mysterious benefactor became a full-fledged fund-raising opportunity for the hospice center.
With all the media attention the dress was getting thanks to the note, they decided to auction it off on eBay rather than selling at a fixed price in one of the charity shops.
The beautiful pictures of the gown were on the auction website for a few days, until it finally sold for nearly3,000, or a little over $4,000.
The dress is long-sleeved, with a fitted waist, a lace peplum, and a floaty floor-length ball shirt of tulle.
It’s a beautiful creation, which probably dates back to the late 1950s, given the style and the time frame noted in the attached letter.
Classic and elegant, it doesn’t bear a label, so it’s likely that it was custom-made for the donor’s late wife when they were married.
It looks absolutely lovely on the young employee who modeled the dress for social media and we imagine it must have looked just as beautiful on the blushing bride who bought this beautiful gown and donated thousands to such a worthy charity, all in one fell swoop.
We just know that wherever the gown is now, it must be a good luck charm, thanks to all of the love and good fortune woven into its history!
If you had to wipe away a tear reading about this gorgeous dress and the sweet gentleman who donated it, make sure toSHAREwith friends and family who love a happy ending!
Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/st-gemmas-vintage-wedding-gown/