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There are so many ways to layer family, history, tradition, and heirlooms into a wedding, and we love all of them! In the sartorial arena, we’ve featured hundreds of brides who wore a family veil (including me!), donned family jewelry (yep, I did that, too), or carried a passed-down handkerchief, but relatively few who actually wore a family wedding gown. When we heard the story of Alla’s gown, then, which was touched by not just two but four generations, we knew we had to share it with y’all!

From Alla, the bride: I have always wanted to wear my mother’s wedding dress, because it holds so much family history and beauty. The dress was handmade by my great-grandmother, Alla Youngblood, for whom I am named. She made every piece of lace, and every thread was hand sewn by her. My grandmother, her daughter, was the first one to wear the dress in 1957. She passed away nine years ago, and I knew that wearing the dress on my wedding day would bring back so many memories of her.

When I first tried the dress on, it fit like a glove — there were only a few alterations that needed to be made, but the dress was not changed. My mother also wore the dress for her wedding, and she also did not make any alterations — amazing! Due to the dress’s age, some of the lace was ripped. My mother, who loves to sew, used original lace from other parts of the dress to fix the holes.

My sister and matron of honor suggested adding a sash to the dress that she wore on her wedding day in 2012. My veil had previously been worn by my sister and mother — it was handmade by my grandmother in 1984.

We wanted the dress to play a huge role in our wedding day. To do this, we included the story of the dress in our program to share with guests at our wedding ceremony.

When I was walking down the aisle to be married to Jake, I felt so many different emotions. My grandmother was there with me, my mother was reminded of her wedding day, and my sister was represented, as well. I felt like I was making history, and it was such a humbling experience. Sharing the dress made my wedding day more special than I could have ever imagined.

Beautiful! Here’s to many more generations passing down this special dress! Ladies, I’d love to hear: did you wear any family heirlooms, or even a family gown, on your wedding day?

All photos by Candace Nelson, who is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
7 Comments
  1. avatar mary reply

    That dress is so lovely. I wore my mom’s wedding dress. I pretty much always knew I wanted to wear it and I was really lucky that it didn’t need any alterations! I just had a specially cleaned by a trusted tailor. I got my veil on a school trip to France (on a whim while I was engaged) so I’m saving it for any family members who want to wear it in the future.

  2. avatar Katie Corzo reply

    What a beautiful story! My necklace and earrings belonged to my great grandmother. My bouquet was wrapped i with a handkerchief and brooch that belonged to my great aunt. Also, I carried my paternal grandmother’s bible that she used in her wedding and my aunt carried in hers, along with a pink peony from a bush that belonged to my maternal grandmother. I wrapped my christening handkerchief around the bible and flower. And we toasted with the same silver goblets that my parents used at their reception almost 44 years ago.

  3. avatar Kelsey reply

    Beautiful! I love her dress as well as her Bridesmaids dresses. Very classy look.

  4. avatar Victoria reply

    That is a very beautiful sentiment. I love how the bride included the story of the dress in her wedding program.

  5. avatar FocusVogue South Africa reply

    Stunning pictures! Her wedding dress is so beautiful.

  6. avatar Kate reply

    What a beautiful dress! I also wore a dress that had previously been worn by my grandmother (1956) and my mother (1984). Though I likely would have chosen a different style if I had bought a new wedding dress, the family dress was so much more meaningful to me. I loved having that history of strong marriages – my grandparents were married for over 50 years and my parents celebrated their 30th anniversary just two days after my wedding – with me as I walked down the aisle!

  7. avatar Kate reply

    What a beautiful dress! I also wore a dress that had previously been worn by my grandmother (1956) and my mother (1984). Though I likely would have chosen a different style had I bought a new dress, the family dress was so much more meaningful to me. I loved having that history of strong marriages – my grandparents were married for over 50 years and my parents celebrated their 30th anniversary just two days after my wedding – with me as I walked down the aisle!

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Any time I spot wedding details inspired by the great state of Texas, it never fails to make me smile! Even though Julia and David’s love story started in Minnesota where they grew up, they chose to invite their loved ones to their new home city of Dallas for their wedding. From the Lone Star State flag pin Julia attached to her bouquet to the tables named after roads in Texas, it’s clear that these Northern cuties have embraced their Southern locale wholeheartedly. Kristyn Hall of Event Elements helped them pull every sweet detail together so that Julia and David could focus on saying the vows they wrote, enjoying their abundant dessert table, and soaking in every one of their first moments as husband and wife!

Thanks so much to Elisabeth Carol for sharing this lovely day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! I borrowed diamond earrings from one of my bridesmaids; they were a gift from her parents on her wedding day. My something new was my wedding dress and shoes. For something blue, I had a navy blue ribbon that matched David’s suit tied around my bouquet. Lastly, my mother surprised me with my something olds on our wedding day: a handkerchief that was handmade by my great-grandmother.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? From David: I’ll go ahead and answer this one. We did a first look mostly for my benefit. I come from a family (mostly on my mother’s side) of emotional people, and I knew that seeing my beautiful wife-to-be for the first time would be a joyous and emotional moment for me. Not that I’m afraid of shedding a tear in front of our family and friends, but I didn’t want to make everyone sit out in the Texas heat for too long while I tried to get myself back together.Our photographer, Elisabeth Carol, set me up on the front porch and had Julia come up from behind to surprise me. It was a good thing we did a first look–Julia was absolutely stunning and I’ll cherish that moment forever.

We both thought it was important to express our love for each other in our own words, and ended up writing both separate vows and joint vows. Our personal vows were more of a story of what our love means to us. In our joint vows, we thought carefully about the things we wanted to promise to each other and what we wanted our marriage to become. Our favorite line was, “I promise to take you as my only love from this day forward and to join you on our journey of adventure and wonder. I promise to challenge you and myself to every day become a better person and spouse.”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was having my grandfather, Larry, marry us. It was so special to hear my grandfather say the words “I now pronounce you husband and wife.” We will never forgot that special part of the day!

I have a serious sweet tooth and couldn’t decide on just one cake, so we went with a whole dessert table. It featured five different cakes and a variety of bite-sized desserts–everything was so delicious and beautiful. I almost didn’t want anyone to eat them!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. David and I met and became very close friends during high school in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We never dated in high school, but we remained in touch when we both went away to college–David to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and I to Boston University in Boston. David and I continued to spend time together as friends over the summer back in Minneapolis until one magical night at David’s family summer cottage, when he finally worked up the courage to kiss me. We have been together ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! A few days before Christmas, I was sitting on the couch in my pajamas when David went downstairs to get my Christmas present. David can be pretty last-minute when it comes to buying gifts, so I thought he was joking when he said he already had a gift for me. When he came upstairs, he was hiding something behind his back, and then he got down on one knee and proposed to me in our living room. We ended up keeping our engagement a secret for a few days, as we were heading home to Minnesota to be with our families for Christmas, and we wanted to tell everyone in person at once. We enlisted the help of David’s brother-in-law to gather everyone together, and when we arrived in Minnesota after a 14-hour drive through the night, we shared our news and celebrated with our families!
When did y’all get married? April 18, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My parents live in Minnesota, so my mom came to Dallas for a weekend of wedding dress shopping. I knew exactly what style I wanted: lace, straps, and something somewhat modest. We shopped at a few stores, but I kept going back to the same beautiful Mori Lee dress–one of the first I had tried on. After sleeping on it, we went back the next day and tried it on again. That time, my mom and I both knew it was the perfect dress for the wedding.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For our recessional, we chose “The Jurassic Park Theme Song.” This song selection was really just for the fun of it–the song and movie are a little inside joke between David and I. It was a special moment for us and definitely intrigued our guests quite a bit. We got a lot of, “Was that the Jurassic Park theme song?” during the reception.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Julia: After the ceremony, David and I were able to spend time just the two of us. It was so special to have those first few moments as husband and wife together to celebrate our love, our marriage, and our future. From David: By far the first look. A close second would be having everyone that means the most to us together for one fun night.

Photographer: Elisabeth Carol Photography / Planner: Kristyn Hall of Event Elements / Ceremony Venue: Texas Discovery Gardens / Reception Venue and Catering: The Belo Mansion / Florist: Raquel Lovern of RLove Floral Designs / Dessert Baker: Emily Allen of Cakewalk Bake Shop / Lighting: Brian Prescott of Simply Music / Band: Astounding Sounds / Calligraphy: Polished Pen Calligraphy / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bride’s Gown: Mori Lee / Hair and Makeup: Tracy Melton Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jim Hjelm / Menswear: Tommy Hilfiger

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Hannah reply

    So funny, I just photographed a different wedding where they walked out to Jurassic Park as well! It works surprisingly well! :) Beautiful wedding and best wishes for your life together!

  2. avatar Elisabeth Carol reply

    Love!! Thanks SO much for the feature! <3

  3. avatar Tracy Melton Dallas Hair Styling & Makeup Artistry | Julia’s Wedding Day reply

    […] might have seen me share that our bride Julia’s wedding day was featured on Southern Weddings Website not too long ago (on my social media – if you don’t follow along you totally […]

  4. avatar Deidre reply

    Hi! Doyou know by chance where they got the gold face for the centerpiece?

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One of my favorite questions in our print real wedding interview is “What three words best describe your wedding day?” Some of these words are often physical descriptions, like beautiful or colorful, but many are a little more abstract–intimate, romantic, timeless, and so on. Regardless, it’s so much fun to see what couples choose, and it gives us wonderful insight into what they felt on that special day! The same question can (and should!) be posed before the wedding as well–it can help narrow down a feel and style, and guide countless decisions. One unexpected decision it can help with? Choosing wedding bands!

Before going ring shopping, sit down with your fiancé and identify a few words that you hope will describe your wedding. Whether you then choose to match your wedding band to your engagement ring, select coordinating “his and hers” rings, or go with options that are totally different, your wedding band will represent your union, and the lifelong journey you are embarking on as a couple. When choosing a ring that will hold up and look amazing all the days of your life, we love platinum for its durability and low maintenance (since it’s naturally white, it won’t require re-dipping or plating). We’ve included some beautiful platinum options below that fit a variety of styles!

Artistic: (like Caitlan + BJ by Jen Dillender) An unconventional bridal look, like an ombré sequin wedding dress, calls for an unconventional ring–the geometric shapes in this Cathy Waterman style are edgy, yet elegant. This band would look lovely paired with an Art Deco-era engagement ring, but would also be just as striking on its own.

Classic: (like Lauren + Casey by Whitebox Photo) If you’re a traditional bride who gets giddy about lace gowns, ballroom celebrations, and tall white cakes, chances are, a ring that will look just as timeless 50 years from now is the right fit for you. The pavé diamonds in this Blue Nile ring make it extra special!

Glamorous: (like Andrea + Erick by Kristin Sweeting) No amount of sparkle is too much for the glamorous bride! A wedding band with both diamonds and sapphires, like this one from Tiffany & Co., is unique and show-stopping.

Modern: (like Cara + Jerrit by Ryan Price) The modern bride isn’t afraid to try something different–whether that be including unexpected flowers in her bouquet, or wearing a wedding band made of champagne diamonds, like this one by Ritani.

What words would you choose to describe your wedding? Does your wedding ring fit those same descriptions? We’d love to hear!

This post is brought to you by Platinum Guild International – thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Matthew reply

    Platinum rings are very popular right now and you can see why, it has such a gorgeous shine and colour!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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