Honoring An Heirloom: The Generation Gown

“Hold still, just one more moment. We’re almost done.”

Laura Marie Dansby Tudor of Beaufort, South Carolina, held pins in her mouth, pursing her lips in steadied concentration while draping the panels of a carefully cut dress pattern on her daughter Carole. The wedding reception would be held on June 27, 1964 at the Historic Anchorage hotel, and Carole’s dress would need the proper length to navigate the stairs.

This dress pattern, and the resulting bridal gown would soon become one of the most significant family heirlooms, spanning three generations of women.

Something Old & Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Carole was married on June 27, 1964 at the historic Anchorage Hotel. There, Carole wore the beautiful gown, handcrafted by her mother, as she married her high school sweetheart, Charles Bruce Whitney, Jr.

Thirty-five years later, Carole was thrilled when her youngest daughter Laura decided to try on the same handmade wedding dress on a visit to Jefferson City, TN in 1999. Laura immediately fell in love with the warm, creme-white color of the aged fabric, and it fit her like a glove — except in the arms.

A talented seamstress searched high and low for some similar lace and carefully dyed it, steeping the lace with tea until it matched the original fabric perfectly. The seamstress then expanded the delicate organza sleeves, carefully adding lace down each arm and repairing any signs of wear the gown had gathered over time. Several tiny rips in the bodice and skirt were skillfully hidden, and Carole watched as her wedding dress stepped into its second life, preserved and restored by her daughter’s love story. The gown was now absolutely perfect  for Laura to wear as she wed Warren Heath Hoagland on July 17, 1999.

To mark the wedding dress’ second chapter, the seamstress also added a ribbon, embroidered with both wedding dates, to the inside of the gown along the hem of the skirt. This new, small detail would mean so much for the future of this wedding dress.

Little did the flower girl, Whitney, know that she would someday wear her grandmother’s gown as well!

Celebrating A Love Story That Spans 3 Generations

On October 17, 2021, Whitney was able to slip her arms into the altered gown 58 years after its creation. The hand sewn ribbon along the hem now holds three wedding dates enclosed by two white doves.

Whitney married Hunter wearing the gown that spanned three generations in her family. Created by her great grandmother, worn by her grandmother, and worn again by her aunt, Whitney chose to continue this beautiful family tradition by wearing the gown for her wedding this past October.

I am so honored to have witnessed such a special love story, and was absolutely thrilled to receive the request from Shannon, Whitney’s mother, to create two replicas of this very special gown, one for Whitney and one for her Aunt Laura.

I am humbled and honored to play a small roll in preserving such a meaningful family tradition and love story. How amazing that this gown, created in 1964, has now become a work of art and inspired another pair of heirloom pieces in its likeness, set in stone to continue this beautiful story across future generations of this family.

Start Your StoneWear Design

A wedding dress replica from StoneWear Ceramics celebrates the love you share, which makes it one of the best, personalized wedding anniversary gifts you can give. If you’re looking to do something special and one-of-a-kind, use our Order Form to start your StoneWear design! Once we receive your request, we’ll send you an estimate and discuss the details of bringing your custom piece to life.

Order your Stonewear Sculpture
generation gown-wedding dress-family heirloom-stonewear ceramics

By the Sea: Coastal Weddings & Celebrations on the Shore

“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”

Sarah Kay
Sarah Kay

The Heart & The Horizon

I have the wonderful opportunity to live by the ocean. The beautiful blue waters, sunrises, and sunsets are offer never-ending creative inspiration. However, coastal weddings are also wonderful events that I feel lucky enough to see, and they regularly inspire my work. The natural scenery always provides a stunning color palette, with something special and unique to each individual event.

It’s so lovely to see the bride, her wedding gown flowing in the open air with the deep blue of the ocean as her backdrop. The neutral sands provide the perfect canvas for the colorful florals and fabrics that frame her pathway to forever.

In addition to celebrating the personal style of the bride, wedding gown designs for seaside nuptials also accommodate the weather and environment. These airy, flowing dresses may appear to feature simpler designs than their ballgown sister silhouettes, but the additions of woven lace, relaxed embroidery, and elegant, effortless, flowy tiers are perfect for a radiant sun drenched wedding day.

Captivating Coastal Celebrations

All pedestrians stop in their tracks when they view the bride in her seaside gown with sweeping train, open back, cap sleeves, in almond or ivory hues. Whether the bride showcases elegant, modern style with sleek, column silhouettes, or shines in an equally breathtaking, classic A-line that catches the ocean breeze, these scenic celebrations are stunning and emotionally moving for all passerby’s.

The Beauty of The Golden Hour

The beach also provides the perfect lighting for photographing my sculptures. The Golden Hour in photography, about an hour before sunset, creates the perfect, natural light, casting a brilliant golden glow across the shore. I love rushing out onto the sand to catch the moment before the sun sets to enjoy the glow of the sun before it disappears beneath the waves for the evening.   

Here are just a few of my favorite commissioned gowns and ceramic dress sculptures that I was able to photograph within the sun’s rays before sending them off to their brides. I just love how the sun highlights the sculptural form, and  enhances the intricate details of lace, beading, rhinestones, and pearls – just as in the coastal weddings I adore.

Start Your StoneWear Design

A wedding dress replica from StoneWear Ceramics celebrates the love you share, which makes it one of the best, personalized wedding anniversary gifts you can give. If you’re looking to do something special and one-of-a-kind, use our Order Form to start your StoneWear design! Once we receive your request, we’ll send you an estimate and discuss the details of bringing your custom piece to life.

Order your Stonewear Sculpture

Designer Inspiration: Maison Schiaparelli

So much around me inspires creativity and my desire to sculpt. A  bride’s love story, a husband’s desire to surprise his wife with a heartfelt celebration their wedding day and of her bridal gown, a mother wanting to give a memorable, meaningful gift to her daughter – the list goes on.

Beyond the stories from StoneWear brides and their families, I also draw plenty of inspiration from the fashion designers themselves and the style and innovation that turns each dress into a living work of art. Below, I highlight one of my favorite houses of design, Maison Schiaparelli.

Schiaparelli Ready-to-Wear. Starring @nadialeelee Photographed by @danielroseberry

The Inauguration Gown

One of my favorite sculptures inspired by Schiaparelli is the replica of Lady Gaga’ s Inauguration gown. Designed by Schiaparelli Artistic Director, Daniel Roseberry, this couture gown features an impeccably tailored, midnight-blue jacket and a brilliant, vermillion red, billowing skirt. One of the most iconic details of this gown is the large golden brooch shaped like a dove. 

While creating this gown, I contemplated the symbolic nature of its colors, fabric, movement, and sculptural golden dove. At a time when our country needed peace above all, this gown spoke volumes.

“This ensemble is a love letter to the country I miss so dearly and to a performer whose artistry I have so long admired. God Bless Lady Gaga and God Bless America”
@danielroseberry
@schiaparelli

“I am in love with this magnificent gown that reflects our country’s strength and resolve but above all peace.”
@stonewear_ceramics

“This ensemble is a love letter to the country I miss so dearly and to a performer whose artistry I have so long admired. God Bless Lady Gaga and God Bless America”
@danielroseberry
@schiaparelli

“I am in love with this magnificent gown that reflects our country’s strength and resolve but above all peace.”
@stonewear_ceramics

“If this @schiaparelli gown could talk, it would state the very words spoken by @ladygaga the day before her beautiful Inaugural performance; “I pray [20 January] will be a day of peace for all Americans. A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear. A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls.”
The day was just that and with hope we move forward.
I am in love with this magnificent gown that reflects our country’s strength and resolve but above all peace.”

@stonewear_ceramics

The Gala Gown

Another amazing sculptural fashion gown designed by Schiaparelli is this beautiful black and white gown worn by Adele as she attended a high-profile event in the States. This black gown with dramatic puff sleeves with black is truly a sculptural work of art.  While sculpting this replica, I found such a great appreciation of the intent and creativity of its designer.


Meet The Most Thoughtful Anniversary Gift for Her This Season

A Personalized Piece to Celebrate Your Love Story

Anniversaries are special occasions, and the right anniversary gift can be the thing that makes them even more meaningful. If you’re planning on celebrating your anniversary with the one you love, but you’re at a loss for what to give her as a thoughtful gift, don’t worry! Our ceramic wedding dress replicas are an unforgettable way to celebrate your special day. Whether it’s your one-year anniversary or your 30th, a custom, StoneWear Ceramics piece is one of the most thoughtful anniversary gifts for her – and the perfect way to show her how much she means to you.

stonewear ceramics thoughtful anniversary gift for her

In many cases, a wedding dress and the memories it represents are just as important to her now as it was on your wedding day. StoneWear Ceramics’ wedding dress replicas meticulously recreate every detail of her wedding gown, setting one of her most treasured moments in stone. With just a snapshot of her dress, StoneWear Ceramics creates a heirloom-quality, personalized piece that captures the spirit of your wedding day and celebrates the love story you both share. A StoneWear Ceramics custom sculpture is an amazing anniversary gift she will cherish.

I always find it extremely thoughtful when I hear from those seeking a StoneWear Ceramics wedding dress replica as an anniversary gift for their wife. The devotional stories they share are inspiring, and it’s an absolute joy to help them celebrate with a personalized, one-of-a-kind gift and create a heartfelt gesture that will last a lifetime.

“For 15 years this young lady has pushed me to be the best I could possibly be.”

Matthew k.

A Heartfelt Gift Made to Last

A great anniversary gift is personalized, thoughtful ,and memorable, and a piece from StoneWear Ceramics does all of those things beautifully! Not only does StoneWear create custom wedding dress sculptures with meaning behind each design, but you can rest assured that your one-of-a-kind piece will look gorgeous sitting on display in your home as you enjoy more wonderful years together. 

If you think about it, wedding anniversaries are really the foundations of the growth of families, friends, and communities. She will appreciate that our personalized ceramic pieces become family heirlooms worth passing down through generations.

“For years Kirsten’s dress stayed sealed up in a box.  Our daughters had not seen her dress, and honestly most pictures at the time were not close enough for them to appreciate just how awesome that day was and how beautiful their mom looked”

Justin M.
stonewear ceramics thoughtful anniversary gift for her
stonewear ceramics thoughtful anniversary gift for her

The Difference Is In The Details

There’s something special about a gift made by hand. When you choose StoneWear Ceramics to create your next wedding anniversary gift, we personalize every piece we make. We work closely with you throughout the process and hand-craft your custom sculpture with love, care, and attention to detail. No two pieces are exactly alike — and your anniversary gift is completely unique.

“Her gown means so much to her.  This gown found her.”

Will D.

Start Your StoneWear Design

“I consider myself one of the luckiest men in the world. I remember the day we got married like it was yesterday, and I knew this would be a wonderful way that we could capture all the feelings from our wedding day and enjoy them every time we see our sculpture.”

Dave G.

A wedding dress replica from StoneWear Ceramics celebrates the love you share, which makes it one of the best, personalized wedding anniversary gifts you can give. If you’re looking to do something special and one-of-a-kind, use our Order Form to start your StoneWear design! Once we receive your request, we’ll send you an estimate and discuss the details of bringing your custom piece to life.

Order your Stonewear Sculpture