Bride weds in great-great-grandmother’s 127-year-old dress

Nadine Bells
Good News
August 5, 2011

Allison Rinaldi's "something old" at her wedding was also her mother's "something old." And her grandmother's.

Allison, 23, walked down the aisle this June wearing her great-great-grandmother's wedding dress.

Three generations before her donned the historic dress, which is still in gorgeous condition after 127 years.

Allison's paternal great-great-grandmother, Nellie Campbell, first wore the flower-patterned tone-on-tone ecru silk brocade dress at her at-home wedding in 1884.

"It always surprised me to find out Nellie had chosen such a grand dress for a wedding at her home. We don't know much about the day apart from that it was on December 30, 1884, and no more than around 12 people attended. But she really must have felt like a princess to have worn such a dress in her own front room," Allison said.

The dress skipped a generation, with the next wearer Nellie's grandson's wife, Jean Shellito, in 1941. Jean's daughter wore it in 1975. Allison's mother, Mimi, wore it in 1982.

"I always knew I wanted to wear the dress," Allison, a graphic designer, told The Daily Mail.

"I even tried it on when I was a little girl. Not only did I think it was beautiful but I loved the sense of history which came along with it too, and I am such a family kind of girl it meant a lot for me to carry on the tradition."

Careful not to get food or drink on the family heirloom, Allison changed into a cocktail dress for the reception. She says that if she has a little girl, she hopes the dress tradition continues.

(Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images)