Photo courtsey Naomi Sutton Reddish
Naomi Sutton Reddish came up with a clever way to keep Grandma Shirley's wedding dress in her September wedding — without actually wearing it. She decided to have heirloom clutches made for herself and her sisters, who were her bridesmaids.
Reddish called Christen Barber of Love Elaine, a Richmond-based Etsy store. Barber created five purses, one for the bride and four for the bridesmaids. Each had a different design and embellishment. Barber made the bride's clutch with a metal clasp. "I took the material from the satin pleated part of the skirt, which added a design element," she says. "I used plain satin from the train for the other clutches."
The top of the bride's clutch was decorated with a burnt-orange, pleated silk ruffle, plus a flower detailed with pearls and pieces of the gown's silk and satin. "I also added a printed description on the inside lining," Barber says. It read as follows: "Made with love from the satin of Grandma Shirley Sutton's wedding dress worn on May 17, 1952, when she married Grandpa Howard Trible Sutton. Made especially for your wedding on September 17, 2011, to Tim Reddish."
On her wedding day, Reddish's purse held a small photo of her grandparents' wedding portrait.
The rest of the dress is being used to make clutches for Reddish's female cousins and the spouses of her male cousins. "It's a way to keep [my grandmother's] memory alive."