Katrine Kilroy, 29, of Ontario, Canada, said despite being adopted, her grandmother’s wedding gown fit her like a glove. She was honored to wear the vintage 1955 dress in her engagement photos to her fiance, Stephen Pedreira.
“My nana taught me how to cook, knit, paint my nails and put on makeup. She is one of the most special people in my life. She couldn’t believe this was even her dress because when she gave it to me, it was so old and yellow that it was almost the color of a penny (good dry cleaning goes a long way)!
My nana adopted three children, one of which was my mother, whom also adopted me. Both my mother and my nana were unable to have their own children. My mother and I had to move away from our family when I was 4-years-old, but I spent every holiday and all summer with my nana and poppa.
My nana taught me so much. She is so beautiful. I have always admired her, and her wardrobe. I was constantly playing dress-up with her clothes and jewelry.
I remember the summer I turned 20 she showed me her wedding dress. It couldn’t have fit me more perfectly. She promised me she would save it for me if I ever got married.
Years passed, and my nana got sick. She sold our childhood home as it was just too much for her to keep up with alone after my poppa passed. Somehow while moving, her wedding dress was accidentally sent to Goodwill. Weeks later she noticed it was missing and searched everywhere, thankfully finding it on the rack at the secondhand store. She had to buy it back for $18 dollars.
I am not wearing it for my wedding because when she gave it to me, it was very, very yellow. We weren’t sure if it could be cleaned due to the fragile material. I went to visit her after I had gotten engaged and took the dress home with me. I decided to try to clean it and if it worked, I would wear it for my engagement photos. If I knew it would have looked brand new I would have worn it for my wedding instead!
My mother could not believe how perfectly the dress fit me since our genetics are all so different. She was very emotional about it. My nana fought breast cancer when she was younger and my mother recently fought Stage 3 breast cancer. She is still recovering, so it was really special for my mother to see me wearing it. We weren’t sure at one point if my mom was going to make it to my wedding at all. Thankfully she is here and recovering, and my nana, along with the rest of my family, will be able to make the trip here to see me get married.”
The bride’s nana, Elaine Kilroy, 84, said she feels “so grateful and happy that she would want it.”
“When I saw the pictures of she and Stephen with her in my dress and he looking dapper in his blue suit, it made me so proud. It fit her perfectly. Reminded me of my special day.
I hope they are as happy as we were back then.
I also wore it on our 50th anniversary. It fit really then well too!”
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