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Today is where I veer off my “grandma’s siblings” schedule. Instead, I’m sharing some photos of the wedding of one of my dad’s siblings. Uncle Frank married Aunt Dolly at 10AM on 12 April 1958 in Bellwood, Illinois, at St. Simeon Church (501 Bellwood Avenue). Bellwood is a Chicago suburb. At that time, Bellwood had a lot of residents of  Italian, Serbian, and Polish ethnicity. Today it is about 70% African-American. Aunt Dolly’s family had originally immigrated from Poland.

My paternal grandmother made Dolly’s wedding gown, as well as accessories to go with the dress. My grandmother was the head fitter of the 28 Shop (couture) at Marshall Field’s flagship store. She dressed many celebrities and other prominent Chicago people. In this photo, my grandmother Marie is helping Dolly dress on the special day.

Uncle Frank passed away in the fall of 2019, about a year and a half after Aunt Dolly’s passing. They left behind one son, my cousin Dave. Dave’s family is not sentimental and not interested in hanging onto the family heirlooms. So Dave sent them to me. These packages he sent included the wedding dress itself. This is a photo of the detail of the seed pearls at the neckline.

Grandma also made the veil. The crown is the part of the veil that I received.

The garter is just one of several wedding accessories that came to me. This one was store-bought.

Although it wasn’t part of my family’s tradition, in Aunt Dolly’s Polish family, the dollar dance was an important feature of a wedding. My grandmother made this symbolic representation of a money dance apron for the wedding. It’s not only beautiful, but meant to be a fertility boost with pink and blue ribbons and little baby dolls sprinkled all over it. If you click on the photo, you can enlarge it to see the little dolls.

Dave also sent me a huge wedding album, as well as the wedding shower album. I’ve scanned all the photos and will be sending them to Dave for his family. Here is the happy couple. The bride is wearing the apron!

I’ll leave you with one last photo. Groomsman (my father), bridesmaid (my mother), and the flower girl (me), only 2 3/4 years old. Our dresses were blue. My most enduring memory of that wedding is the interminable time we spent waiting through the ceremony for them to get hitched. There was a full mass, and I was supposed to be kneeling the whole time with the bridesmaids. Aunt Dolly’s mother wasn’t too happy that I was so antsy and didn’t want to kneel. The photo was taken before the wedding, but that expression on my face is as if I knew what I was in for.

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