History repeated itself for a family on Saturday when a bride tied the knot wearing the same dress her mother and grandmother had worn before her on their big days. And the family tradition didn't stop there - as Sarah Clark, from Cawood, North Yorkshire, married restaurant manager Jonathan Humphreys, 25, on the same date her parents and grandparents had exchanged vows.
Sarah, 25, said she was delighted to be able to wear her grandmother's dress which was amazingly a perfect fit and, despite being from the 1950s, bang on trend.
The lace style dress, which Sarah's grandmother, Dorothy Sampson, 74, had bought for just £30, has been compared to the Duchess of Cambridge's Alexander McQueen-designed wedding dress.
Something old, something new, something borrowed... Sarah wore the same wedding dress as her mother and grandmother when she married Jonathan
Thanks to the 'Kate effect' lace dresses are in fashion again, so Sarah banished her concerns about looking out-of-date when she wore her grandmother's dress for her 2012 wedding.
She said: 'Not many people can say they have their wedding dress from 1959. I was a bit dubious as to whether it would still be a dress and hadn't disintegrated. There's a bit of blue confetti that got stuck and has been there since mum and dad got married - I will consider it my lucky charm.'
The Viennese bow fronted gown was first worn by Dorothy Sampson, 74, in 1959, when she married Sarah's grandfather Peter. She bought the tiered back garment made with Chantilly lace and appliqui work from Anne Corbett on Bond Street in Leeds.
Dorothy said: 'I suppose I must have tried several dresses on, but that was the one I liked the best. It is still in perfect condition now. I kept it for sentimental reasons, locked away in a box in the loft.'
The dress was first resurrected when Sarah's parents Catherine and Anthony tied the knot in 1984.
After their wedding, Catherine returned the dress to the loft in the hope it might one day be used again. When her Sarah announced her engagement she bought it out and was amazed it fit her daughter perfectly.
Sarah said: 'My mum got the dress out of her loft where it had been stored in a brown box inside a bin liner for the last 26 years. I put it on the bed and kept looking at it and kept coming back to it but when I put it on it just felt right.
'I hadn't even tried any other wedding dresses on, but I can't really describe it, it just had a homely feel to it. It would cost thousands of pounds to have one similar made today.'
Thanks to all three women being 5ft 11in and having a similar body shape, the only alterations to the dress over the years have been an addition of 25 meters of netting to stiffen the train when Sarah wore it, and an adjustment of an inch-and-a-half to the bodice in 1984.
Triple celebration: Sarah also tied the knot on the date same as her mother and grandmother - June 9
Sarah said each bride has given the dress their own personal touch. 'We've all worn the dress differently - with the collar up or down and with or without a necklace, we've all put our own spin on it.
'It's looked different on everyone who's put it on. Mum and granny both had the veil towards the top of their heads, but I'm wearing it to the back. It's a bit more modern,' she said.
Sarah hopes the dress will bring her a long and happy marriage like her grandmother and mother have enjoyed before her.
When she married Jonathan at St Michael and All Angels Church in Thornhill, Dewsbury, West Yorks, on Saturday, Dorothy and Peter were celebrating their 53rd anniversary while Catherine and Anthony marked 28 years as man and wife.
Vintage chic: Sarah was delighted the lace dress she inherited is back in fashion since the Duchess of Cambridge wore one to marry Prince William, right
In another remarkable family tradition, their wedding day fell on June 9 - the exact date her parents and grandparents had married.
Sarah explains: 'We were already looking at June for a wedding date anyway when mum rang and said 'just see what day June the 9th falls on.' We found out it was Saturday and thought why not?'
Sarah's mum, a rapid response nurse from Wakefield, West Yorks, had previously picked June 9 for her own wedding day as she thought it would be nice to share the date with her parents' silver wedding anniversary.
'When we were discussing the wedding in 1984, we had no special date in mind. We thought we'd make it a special double occasion. I hope that granddaughters will pick the same day and continue the tradition,' she said.
Sarah also hopes if she has a daughter the tradition can be carried into a fourth generation.
She said: 'I wouldn't force my daughter to wear it, I would give her the choice. But it would be nice if she did.'
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