Abigail Kingston of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania will get married soon. When she does, she'll wear a precious dress that has been passed down in her family since 1895. She will be the 11th woman in the family to wear it, thanks to careful restoration work.
Traditionally, the mother of the bride keeps the dress until another woman is ready to wear it. Kingston first saw it at a family wedding when she was 5. She immediately fell in love with the dress and knew that she had to carry on the tradition. Lehigh Valley Live quotes the mother of the current bride:
"It is a magical wedding dress because she is the 11th bride to wear it," Leslie Kingston said. "Who would think anything would last that long?"
The dress has not been meticulously preserved. Over its lifetime, it has only been dry-cleaned once. Worn by brides of all shapes and sizes, lace was used to patch up wear and tear. Sometimes it was used as an unfortunate embellishment.
"Each bride could do what they wanted to do it," Abigail Kingston said.
The Kingstons knew they wanted to restore the dress to its original design worn by bride No. 1 Mary Lowry Warren when she walked down the aisle Dec. 11, 1895, in Buffalo, New York. Warren is the bride's great-great-grandmother.
"We wanted to make it the way it was," Leslie Kingston said.
-via Nag on the Lake