East Bay retirement home residents share love stories of wedding gowns on display

ByJobina Fortson KGO logo
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Retirement home celebrates love by displaying residents' vintage wedding gowns
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Dozens of gowns, with the oldest dating back from 1907, are on display at a Pleasanton retirement home and people can't get enough of the stories behind them.

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- Wedding days can be a blur, but there's usually two things you people remember -- one is the date.

"April 20, 7 or 9... I'm not sure," laughed Jonelyn Weed, a resident at Stoneridge Creek Retirement Community.

RELATED: Pleasanton retirement community celebrates Valentine's Day by displaying residents' vintage wedding gowns

OK, if not the date, then definitely the dress.

"I had a friend with me who said Julie, this is the dress," Julie Nygaard, another resident, said.

Residents at the Stoneridge Creek Retirement Community are taking people back down the aisle with them.

Dozens of gowns, with the oldest dating back from 1907, and photos were donated to celebrate Valentine's Day.

The display is sticking around because people can't seem to get enough of the stories behind the dresses.

In 1958, Sally Twisselmann married her high school sweet heart.

"That's the one she picked," Twisselmann said. "So your mom picked your dress out for you?" ABC7 News reporter Jobina Fortson asked. "She's the one that paid for it," Twisselmann said.

Jonelyn Weed's mother made her gown in 1979.

"She just cut all of those out and then put some color underneath that," Weed said. "It comes up the sleeve and it was all hand done."

A kua was brought from China in 1952 for Cherrie Tom.

"I was married in a white gown," Tom said. "Then there was a tea ceremony for my new family and that's when I wore this."

The second time around was the charm for Nygaard. She got remarried in Chicago during the 1980's.

"It's just such wonderful memories and our lives together have been so special," Nygaard said. "I have the best husband in the whole world."

Each love story fills Shannon Ritchey's heart, but not as much as her own. When she looks at her dress from 1956, she can visualize her life.

"A terrific life," Ritchey said. "Doesn't mean there haven't been some ups and downs, but yeah we're still very much in love with each other."

You can tell. Her husband came downstairs for her big moment on TV.

See more stories related to weddings here.