By Martha Cliff for MailOnline
- Connie Bell got wed in same dress her grandmother Margaret White wore
- Gown was a perfect fit on Connie, 21, and needed no alterations
- Granny showed Connie the outfit to cheer her up and she fell in love with it
A bride ditched her expensive wedding dress on her big day after falling in love with her grandmother’s 50-year-old floral lace number.
Connie Bell, 21, nee Pickup, decided to keep her £1,000 ‘simple’ gown in reserve when she walked down the aisle with electrician Sam Bell, instead opting for the vintage number Margaret White, 71, wore on her wedding day in 1966.
Connie, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, fell in love with the floral lace number loved by her grandmother, who showed her the gown to cheer her up when her original wedding venue was cancelled.
The floral-sleeved dress, which cost £50 at the time, needed no physical alterations – apart from a dry clean which cost £70 – after spending decades in a loft.
But encased in the delicate lace were pieces of confetti which had lasted half-a-century.
Connie, who married electrician Sam Bell, decided to keep them in after she ‘completely fell in love’ with the gown, worn by Margaret when she exchanged nuptials with her husband Michael 50 years ago on Saturday.
Connie’s mum Jo White, 47, said: ‘We were all talking about Connie’s wedding which was the hot topic of conversation and my mum Margaret said she had been sorting some old things out and came across her own dress.
‘I think Connie was a little curious by it, but she loved it and just fell in love with it as soon as she put it on. I think it was the whole sentiment of it.
‘The dress cost £50 when my mum bought it 50 years ago – but it cost £70 to get it dry cleaned two weeks before Connie’s wedding.
‘We had not time to do the alterations – we had two weeks so there was just no time.’
Describing how her daughter looked in the lace number, mother-of-two Jo said: ‘Connie looked beautiful, absolutely stunning. It was so special and it was grandma’s dress.
‘It looked very trendy even now because the lace sleeves are really in trend now – the other one was just a simple dress but had cost me £1,000.
‘Fashion always comes around again and Connie looked beautiful in it.’
Jo added that the original dress she had bought for her daughter did not go to waste.
She continued: ‘She did actually wear the dress I bought and swapped over at 9pm after she had it on for the ceremony and pictures.
‘If I’d have known mum (Margaret) was going to whip out her wedding dress for Connie to fall in love with – I wouldn’t have bothered with the expensive dress. Just wish mum had told us sooner.’
Despite the gown last being worn the same year the England football team won the World Cup, the dress also fitted in with Connie’s vintage floral wedding theme.
Connie, who married Sam, 24, at The Crown Hotel in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, on November 14, 2015, said: ‘It didn’t even come into my mind about wearing it.
‘Two weeks before my wedding The Balmoral in Harrogate got cancelled – she wanted to cheer me up.
‘After securing my grandma’s dress – it then spurred me on to find a venue two weeks before the big day and we managed to find another hotel. It must have been fate.’
Speaking about the reception of her wedding dress, Connie, a educational building supervisor, said: ‘There were actual tears when I tried it on – but a lot of people were surprised and shocked that it was my grandma’s dress and was 50 years old.
‘I really wanted to wear it from the moment I tried it on – there was no going back.
‘It still had confetti from the day the dress was worn in 1966 so I just had to keep that on there. The dress has a rose around the belt and had some confetti in it.
‘At first I was worried that the dress wouldn’t fit because my grandma was tiny when she was younger – I couldn’t believe it when it was the perfect fit.’
In true similar style the newlyweds enjoyed a honeymoon in London – which was the same destination for Connie and Michael 50 years earlier.
Speaking about her relationship with her grandmother, Connie added: ‘She is best friend. I also walked down the isle to a few Elvis Presley tracks because she goes mad for the King.
‘She (Margaret) has had a big impact on my life. A lot of her mannerisms are the same as mine, she doesn’t like butter – so I don’t have butter. There’s a lot of things like that.
‘The wedding was all about my grandma in the end – people do say we are partner’s in crime.’
Connie celebrated with her grandmother and family on Saturday (March 26) for Margaret and Michael’s golden wedding anniversary.