When Amy Buchan Kavelaras found her grandmother’s old wedding dress in the attic, she immediately wanted her grandma to try it on. The older woman, named Ruth, was skeptical at first, but she decided to humor Amy by seeing if the gown still fit. And the results were so surprising that grandma Ruth has now become something of an internet sensation.
But neither Amy nor Ruth anticipated the response that they’d receive after posting a picture of the moment online. The women were just having fun and Ruth had tried on the wedding dress on the spur of the moment. Nonetheless, such dresses often hold significant meaning in a married woman’s life.
The dress is, of course, a beautiful and essential part of a ceremony that unites two people into a loving partnership. And many women cherish their gowns and even pass them down through the family. Ruth’s wedding dress was a symbol of her long marriage to her husband, which lasted for 43 years.
“My grandma Ruth stayed married to my grandpa Jack his entire life, until he died in 2000,” Amy wrote on Facebook when she posted the photo of her grandmother wearing the dress. Jack and Ruth were married back in 1953. Ruth loved her husband dearly and was devastated when he passed away. “She misses him every day,” Amy added. “They had a love that spanned the ages.”
While the love between Ruth and Jack might never fade, she has had to go on without her husband for the past 18 years. And although she managed to stay independent for many years, the family eventually decided to move her into an assisted living facility.
While Amy was helping her grandmother to pack up her house before moving into the care facility, they found Ruth’s wedding dress stored away in the attic. It had been more than six decades since she’d last worn the dress, in fact. And while Ruth might have looked a little different, the dress seemed unchanged.
Amy asked her grandmother to try it on, so Ruth put on her wedding dress and modeled it for her granddaughter. “Sixty-three years later, she tried it on and it still fits!” Amy explained in the photo’s caption. But the fact that the dress still fitted wasn’t the most notable feature of the image.
In the image, Ruth stands proudly in a white dress and veil, holding a photo of herself as a young bride wearing the dress on her wedding day. It’s a beautiful contrast, but perhaps the most striking feature is what’s being reflected off of the glass of the photo frame.
The reflection shows part of the side profile of Ruth’s daughter, who’s taking the photo. So, this touching image brings together three generations of women and a 63-year-old wedding dress – and it has unsurprisingly found many fans.
The photo of Ruth was featured on the Facebook page Love What Matters and liked by over 26,000 people. Thousands more have shared the image or commented on it. “I love that Love What Matters chose to feature this pic and my Grammy’s love story on their page!” Amy wrote on Twitter. “She is an inspiration to all of us…”
The internet seems to agree that Ruth’s story is inspiring, as can be seen by the positive and congratulatory comments beneath the photo. For instance, Facebook user Becca Sawatzky wrote “Absolutely timeless. I hope for a love story like that with my hubby!”
Deborah Caputo commented, “Blessings for that loving commitment. What a wonderful memory to wear that dress again. May your family celebrate you!” While many users praised Ruth’s committed marriage or expressed a desire for a fairy-tale-like love, some focused more on the dress itself.
“I’ve been married 18 years, and there’s no way I’ll ever be able to fit into my dress again, so that alone is pretty impressive!” Elizabeth McEwan admitted. And Aleta Suzanne added, “Grandma Ruth, you looked beautiful in 1953 and just as beautiful today! That dress is gorgeous! And you are stunning in it!”
The comments on Ruth’s photograph have been received by her granddaughter, Amy, who was responsible for posting the image on Facebook. But after a blog featured Ruth’s story, Amy tweeted, “I told my Grammy that her love story was going ‘viral’ but at 91 she didn’t quite know what that meant…”
Ruth seems to be doing well at her ripe age of 91. In fact, the grandmother celebrated her last birthday decked out as a princess. The family threw Ruth a surprise birthday party at her new home and provided the nonagenarian with full Cinderella gear.
And the princess theme wasn’t randomly chosen by Amy. In addition to working as a flight attendant at JetBlue, she runs her own business called Amy’s Princess Parties. It sees her dress up as various famous fictional princess for children’s parties.
Amy’s Princess Parties was born when a friend asked Amy if she would dress up as Cinderella for her daughter’s birthday. “That was the start of something that has become a major passion in my life,” Amy later wrote on Facebook. Over the course of two years, she has grown the hobby into a real business with multiple employees and nine different princess offerings.
Amy posted the photo of her grandmother dressed as Cinderella on Facebook with a captioned tribute to her mom’s mother. “Happy 90th birthday to my beautiful ‘Princess Grammy!’” Amy wrote. “This ‘Queen’ is the real deal inside and out and I love her with all my heart.”‘
It seems that Ruth has instilled good values in her granddaughter, as Amy was recently selected to be a JetBlue “BLUEHERO” of the week after impressing passengers on a flight. And Amy has also found true love just like her grandmother did so many years ago. She and her husband recently celebrated their three-year wedding anniversary.
“Marriage is so beautiful,” Amy wrote on Facebook in honor of the occasion. “We are truly better together!” The young woman also encouraged others to not lose hope of finding the same happiness. While describing the photo of her grandmother in her wedding dress, Amy wrote, “People should know this kind of love is real and is worth waiting for.”