Amy and Jean, center: Jean in a 1962 dress and right: Jean in a replica dress (Image: PA Real Life)
When Jean Short married her husband Jack in 1962, she picked up a dress for less than £ 20 at a local store.
It was so admired that she passed it on to two friends to wear on her own days – but she never saw it again after the second loan.
Granddaughter Amy Copland loved to see the special picture of the dress that Jean still showed 59 years later.
When Amy, 26, had to return to Dundee from the Caribbean during the lockdown, she saw an opportunity to do something special for her grandmother.
Amy works as a cloakroom manager for theater and dance productions on a cruise ship, but as the pandemic spread, all trips have been canceled.
She formed a support bubble with Jean, 79, last summer, but during the final suspension, she decided to recreate the dress she wore on her wedding day 59 years ago.
With just one photo for reference, Amy spent two weeks and just under 100 pounds making the dress before making an emotional reveal at her grandmother’s home on April 7, 2021.
She said, “My grandmother has a wedding photo in her living room and I have always loved her dress. It’s been decades since she last saw it, and while I’m not at work, I decided to recreate it.
Jean in her replica dress (Image: PA Real Life)
Amy’s workplace while recreating the dress (Image: PA Real Life)
Amy and Jean were able to spend more time together during the lockdown (Image: PA Real Life)
“It was quite emotional when I finally introduced it to her in her house. She was overjoyed with it. ‘
Jean tied the knot in plumber Jack Short at St. James’s Church in Dundee on March 3, 1962 when she was 20, followed by a reception at the Masonic Hall in the nearby town of Broughty Ferry.
Unfortunately, Jack, with whom she had four children, died of colon cancer in 1996 at the age of 58.
Amy was only two years old at the time and can’t remember him, but she was always around her grandmother who talked to her about him.
She said: “We’re very close, it’s even our birthday. I always joke with her that I was the best birthday present she ever had.
Amy and Jean were always close (Image: PA Real Life)
Jean hadn’t seen her wedding dress in decades (Image: PA Real Life)
I was working on a cruise ship in the Bahamas when Covid struck.
“I usually sail for months, preparing costumes for dance and music shows that the ships put on.
“But when the first lockdown came in March 2020, I returned to Scotland.
“Since then, my grandmother and I have kept each other healthy.
“It was really difficult not being able to hug her for the first six months of the lockdown, but as the restrictions have eased we have been able to create a support bubble.
“She lives alone, but I’m just a walk away and I’ve usually stayed at her house one night a week.”
After Amy admired the picture of Jean and Jack’s wedding day on the mantelpiece, she passed the idea on to her grandmother and then went to work.
“I’m a huge fan of vintage clothing,” said Amy. “And I’ve always said that if I ever got married I would recreate the dress for myself. But during the lockdown, I decided to continue the project for my grandmother. ‘
The seamstress ordered materials for two weeks and put fabric together to create the dress. She used photos from Jean’s wedding album as a reference.
Jean and Jack later in life (Image: PA Real Life)
Jean’s new dress and the original (Image: PA Real Life)
“She knew I would do it, but I wanted the end result to be a surprise,” Amy continued. “I wanted it to be perfect and I brought it to your house as soon as it was ready.
“She was so happy when she saw it that she kept saying how beautiful it was. When she tried it on, it fitted like a glove. ‘
Jen loves the finished dress and plans to admire it, but says that maybe she could wear it around the house for fun.
Jean and Jack cut the cake on their wedding day (Image: PA Real Life)
Jean in her original dress (Image: PA Real Life)
Remembering the very special man she wore her original dress for, she said, “I first met Jack at a community center dance, and we were engaged within a year of meeting.
“I found my wedding dress at a local store and it was so popular that two of my friends wore it on their wedding days too.
“I never saw it again after the second rental and never thought I could wear it again.
“I’m so proud of Amy. Seeing the replica dress brought back many fond memories.
‘I absolutely love it. Amy is so talented.
“I don’t know what happened to the original dress, but I’m overjoyed that I now have this recreated version as a keepsake.
“It brought back so many happy times.”
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