Wooing Wednesday

Photographer: Jac’s Photography

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Fashionista Friday

Today’s Blog isn’t about the coolest bridesmaids dresses or the “in” shoes, but simply appreciating what we have.  Clearly I can’t take credit for writing this little story, but I received it via email and I thought it was perfect to share for this time of year.
 
In all the wedding kerfuffles, crazy appointments and expenses of all kinds, this tremendous story brings us back to simple joys in very hard times, reminding us what is truly important.  Be thankful for those in your life and remember this remarkable moment in history.
 
Enjoy the read, and Happy Thanksgiving!
 

Barb Griffin

Fashionista Writer
 
The Wedding Gown That Made History
Helen Zegerman Schwimmer
Posted Dec 31 2008
     Lilly Friedman doesn’t remember the last name of the woman who designed and sewed the wedding gown she wore when she walked down the aisle over 60 years ago.  But the grandmother of seven does recall that when she first told her fiancé Ludwig that she had always dreamed of being married in a white gown he realized he had his work cut out for him. 
 For the tall, lanky 21-year-old who had survived hunger, disease and torture this was a different kind of challenge.  How was he ever going to find such a dress in the Bergen Belsen Displaced Person’s camp where they felt grateful for the clothes on their backs?
 
   Fate would intervene in the guise of a former German pilot who walked into the food distribution center where Ludwig worked, eager to make a trade for his worthless parachute.  In exchange for two pounds of coffee beans and a couple of packs of cigarettes Lilly would have her wedding gown.
 
   For two weeks Miriam the seamstress worked under the curious eyes of her fellow DPs, carefully fashioning the six parachute panels into a simple, long sleeved gown with a rolled collar and a fitted waist that tied in the back with a bow. When the dress was completed she sewed the leftover material into a matching shirt for the groom.
 
   A white wedding gown may have seemed like a frivolous request in the surreal environment of the camps, but for Lilly the dress symbolized the innocent, normal life she and her family had once led before the world descended into madness.  Lilly and her siblings were raised in a Torah observant home in the small town of Zarica, Czechoslovakia where her father was a melamed, respected and well liked by the young yeshiva students he taught in nearby Irsheva. 
   He and his two sons were marked for extermination immediately upon arriving at Auschwitz.  For Lilly and her sisters it was only their first stop on their long journey of persecution, which included Plashof, Neustadt, Gross Rosen and finally Bergen Belsen. 
 
 
 
Lilly Friedman and her parachute dress on display in the Bergen Belsen Museum
 
   Four hundred people marched 15 miles in the snow to the town of Celle on January 27, 1946 to attend Lilly and Ludwig’s wedding.  The town synagogue, damaged and desecrated, had been lovingly renovated by the DPs with the meager materials available to them.  When a Sefer Torah arrived from England they converted an old kitchen cabinet into a makeshift Aron Kodesh. 
    “My sisters and I lost everything – our parents, our two brothers, our homes. The most important thing was to build a new home.”  Six months later, Lilly’s sister Ilona wore the dress when she married Max Traeger.  After that came Cousin Rosie.  How many brides wore Lilly’s dress? “I stopped counting after 17.” With the camps experiencing the highest marriage rate in the world, Lilly’s gown was in great demand.
 
    In 1948 when President Harry Truman finally permitted the 100,000 Jews who had been languishing in DP camps since the end of the war to emigrate, the gown accompanied Lilly across the ocean to America.  Unable to part with her dress, it lay at the bottom of her bedroom closet for the next 50 years, “not even good enough for a garage sale. I was happy when it found such a good home.” 
   Home was the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. When Lily’s niece, a volunteer, told museum officials about her aunt’s dress, they immediately recognized its historical significance and displayed the gown in a specially designed showcase, guaranteed to preserve it for 500 years.
 
   But Lilly Friedman’s dress had one more journey to make. Bergen Belsen, the museum, opened its doors on October 28, 2007.  The German government invited Lilly and her sisters to be their guests for the grand opening. They initially declined, but finally traveled to Hanover the following year with their children, their grandchildren and extended families to view the extraordinary exhibit created for the wedding dress made from a parachute. 
    Lilly’s family, who were all familiar with the stories about the wedding in Celle, were eager to visit the synagogue.  They found the building had been completely renovated and modernized.  But when they pulled aside the handsome curtain they were astounded to find that the Aron Kodesh, made from a kitchen cabinet, had remained untouched as a testament to the profound faith of the survivors.  As Lilly stood on the bimah once again she beckoned to her granddaughter, Jackie, to stand beside her where she was once a kallah.  “It was an emotional trip.  We cried a lot.”
   Two weeks later, the woman who had once stood trembling before the selective eyes of the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele returned home and witnessed the marriage of her granddaughter.
                                                                                                                 
  The three Lax sisters – Lilly, Ilona and Eva, who together survived Auschwitz, a forced labor camp, a death march and Bergen Belsen – have remained close and today live within walking distance of each other in Brooklyn.  As mere teenagers, they managed to outwit and outlive a monstrous killing machine, then went on to marry, have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and were ultimately honored by the country that had earmarked them for extinction.
   As young brides, they had stood underneath the chuppah and recited the blessings that their ancestors had been saying for thousands of years.  In doing so, they chose to honor the legacy of those who had perished by choosing life.
   Helen Zegerman Schwimmer is the author of Like The Stars of The Heavens.  To contact her please visit:  helenschwimmer.com.
 

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Budget savvy brides rejoice!

David’s Bridal Wedding Dress Picks from www.stylemepretty.com

I just saw this on weddingbells blog and I had to share. I know when I was getting married I found the perfect dress, for the price my parents could afford. unfortunately it was from David’s Bridal and I didn’t have time for a road trip.  So I am so happy to announce David Bridal is coming to Canada. They will be opening  two  stores in March 2011, Mississauga and Scarborough. It will be so nice to have a budget-savvy bridal retailer near by.

Weddningbells also mention Vera Wang will be designing an affordable collection exclusively for David’s Bridal. So stay tuned:)

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Two Maids of Honour

 

Some brides might have picked who their maid of honour would be when they were ten, some find  it more difficult to choose one friend to be her honour attendant. Having  two close friends  sharing  this role is an excellent solution. It shouldn’t complicate matters, since the basic responsibilities of any member of the wedding party are the same: to offer assistance throughout her engagement and on her wedding day and be there to support her.  As many of us know planning a wedding can be stressful at time.

At the ceremony, the dual honour attendants can walk down the aisle either together or one in front of the other; they should stand side by side next to the bride during the ceremony. As well each maid of honour can be assigned different responsibilities, such as straightening the train and veil, holding the bouquet, handing the bride the grooms ring, and signing the marriage licence as a witness. Ohh and don’t forget to make sure both maids of honour are listed as such in the wedding program.

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Fab Find- Powder Blue Wedding

When I saw this powered blue dress I feel in love. Not too sure If I would have worn blue on my wedding day, but I like the idea now seven years after my wedding. Which I would totally do different if  I was planning it now. Funny how that happens!

Keria Knightley looks absolutely beautiful in this wedding dress and  powered blue cardigan. What a great idea to wear a cardigan later in the evening. It’s looks great and with the flower embellishment, it’s not your simple plain jane cardigan that you would wear everyday. So now you can have your outdoor wedding and keep a little warm on the cooler nights.

I’m still trying to find the designer. So I will keep you posted.

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Fashionista Friday

Those who know me, know,  that not only do I love to shop for clothes but I’m also an avid fashion and trend researcher.  I LOVE discovering unique pieces and fun new websites, and I have an eye for it. Now I find myself researching wedding information for interesting options for you, our readers and future brides.  It’s a road I have not yet ventured…so you’ll have to be patient with me.  Some of my discoveries aren’t going to be phenomenal…but I think this one is!

I came across this great website ( http://www.twobirdsbridesmaids.com ), which conveniently  backs up my first article.  No one likes to invest a lot of money in a bridesmaid dress that you’re only going to wear once.  Founder and designer Ariene Goldman, states she was “frustrated with spending too much money on a dress she’ll never wear again”.  So she designed a dress that can be worn 15 different ways.

The website is very user friendly and pleasing to the eye.  It illustrates and provides picture instructions on a few ways to ‘wrap’ the dress to your desired style.   She cleverly names each style as the “Elizabeth”, “Caroline” or “Annie”s.  

Styles such as one shoulder, kimono style, halter, cap sleeves, and strapless are just a few of the options.  This eliminates the stress of finding that right fit for all your bridesmaids who are very different women.  Real women come in all shapes and sizes and this dress gives each bridesmaid the option of wearing the garment in a way that most flatters her body.

The dress simply comes in two sizes (A) 0-14 and (B) 16-24. The nylon/jersey/spandex material allows for a comfortable fit that is not clingy, but falls nicely against the body.   They come in various hemlines and three collections.  Classic, Rosette or Two Toned.

There are 20 different colors, ranging in shades such as black, peacock blue, slate and dusty rose (which to me, looks a bit peachy).  Custom colors are available.  The Two Toned collection can be used with any two colors available.  They are located in the States but ship to Canada, unless of course you want to take your girls on a weekend to New York.  (Have a weekend in New York).

Best of all, the dress is practical and sexy.  Yes –  two words we don’t often use together…but I think this time its warranted.

Personally I love the dress.  It would definitely be a huge possibility for my bridesmaids….only thing is…I’m still searching for my groom!

Happy Shopping!

Barb Griffin

Fashionista Writer

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Wooing Wednesday

 The Photo Studio has some awesome photographers and when I saw this picture I just has to share it with you. I love rustic weddings there is just something about them. Maybe because I love old barns and rusted old trucks.

Photographer: The Photo Studio

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