What to wear to a Silver Anniversary

Hi everyone! Hope you're all doing really well. This week's post is from a project close to my heart. Usually I don't do personal posts but recently I've gotten a few requests for more blogging about life, in general, so I guess this post will be the first one. Please enjoy it :)

My Mum's 25th Anniversary dress

Recently my parents reached 25 years of marriage (congratulations!), and decided to celebrate. In honour of this once-in-a-marriage occasion I made my Mum's dress for the event.

I've never been to a 25th anniversary party. So the only sort of occasion I could relate it to was a wedding. We debated the etiquette of a white dress, but after trawling through Net-a-Porter for ideas we settled on a pink satin and chiffon layered gown. The chiffon is two-toned, the colours fading from a watered-down pink on the bodice to a maroon-brown towards the hem. My Mum also wanted that asymmetrical hem so popular in dresses today- I'm not sure what the correct description for this is, but I like to call it a peacock hem.

Tacking the bias tape - so awesome!
It was also the first time I've ever worked with bias tape. OMG it is the best invention ever made! Because the dress is made up of two layers- the satin underlayer and the chiffon overlay, and because of the thinness of the fabrics- the bias tape had two purposes; to hold both layers together and hide the stitching. The leftover bias tape was used for the hem of the dress, which made for a really pretty contrast with the dark chiffon.

My Mum helped me so much with this dress! It was the first time I had used such delicate material in a way that could really expose my mistakes, if I got it wrong. All up, this gown took the two of us about three months to finish.

We started off by measuring my Mum and making a block pattern, then made a paper dress to check the proportions. Then we had to revise the block three times. We actually argued in the process... about armholes. And then we had to use the block pattern to make the actual dress pattern with the v-neck and back, and the peacock hem.

We re-did this pattern another three times. When it came to cutting the cloth, I had problems with laddering the chiffon. My Mum (thank God for Mums), pointed out that my pins were too thick. So lesson one: use the thinnest pins possible when working with chiffon! So I had to cut the fabrics again. At this point I went on to baste the chiffon and satin layers together, but the seams were really ugly. Lesson two: use bias tape when working with thin fabrics. My brother, by the way, made these incredible programs!

Well, to make a long story short, Mum wore the dress! Yipee! Here are my parents enjoying themselves at the function centre before the guests arrived. And Dad kept saying how beautiful Mum was, so... goal achieved!

They had a ceremony in the morning- an incredibly sweet renewal of vows. As you can see the chapel had an open wall leading out to a courtyard garden. Which looks great with the sunlight but it was quite chilly, so everyone kept their coats on. My parents had about eighty guests- we don't have any family in Melbourne so everyone was mostly friends and some colleagues from work.

My Dad managed to find some Lindt heart chocolates with 'I heart you' inscribed onto the back, and one of my parent's friends offered the flower arrangements and corsages for all members of the 'bridal party'. 

There was a lot of singing and speeches. Lots of thank you's and I love you's. A bit of tearing up from the women guests. And plenty of teasing and 'wedding games'- one of which was a how-well-do-you-know-each-other game- which both Dad and Mum completed FAILED! Well at least you have the rest of your lives to get to know one another. Dad surprised Mum with a Eurovision song.

I think my parents really enjoyed themselves! And for me at least it was really sweet and even inspiring seeing my parents renew their vows for their silver anniversary. As they said, 'When we first got married, we committed ourselves in faith. We had no idea what our marriage would be like. This time round we choose to renew our vows knowing exactly what we are getting into'.

When my parents first got married their wedding was in Hong Kong. As of such they didn't have that Western tradition of a first dance. A quarter of a century later, and after twenty-four years in Australia, they got their first dance. 

Congratulations Mum and Dad on twenty-five years of marriage! 

Oh yeah... here are some videos :D

My Mum's physiotherapy class of '82 decided spontaneously to sing their class song

One song sung by Robin and Jeremy during our lunch - So Close by Jon McLaughlin


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  2. Your Mom looks amazing in that dress. And congratulations on their silver anniversary....a few years late.


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