RACINE COUNTY — “When I saw her coming down the aisle, it gave me tears,” said 86-year-old Shirley Ekstrand as she watched her 25-year-old granddaughter, Christina Moffett, walk down the aisle in her wedding dress.
Moffett, who works as a speech pathologist at the Racine County Opportunity Center’s Birth to Three program, 4214 Sheridan Road, chose to wear Ekstrand’s 64-year-old wedding dress to her own wedding in October 2019.
Since then, her story has gotten national attention after she posted it on social media.
“When I put it on, I just knew,” said Moffett. “We had a little tea party at my grandma’s house with my mom, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, some of my close friends and my grandma. I tried on my mother and mother-in-law’s dresses and they were nice but they weren’t for me.”
Ekstrand, born and raised in Waukegan, Ill., had bought the dress for $100 at Holleb’s bridal department in Kenosha, which closed in 1995.
“I was coming up the stairs and I saw it on a mannequin and I thought, ‘That’s the dress I want,’” said Ekstrand, who got married in the dress in 1956.
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Both Moffett and Ekstrand fell in love with the dress’s embroidery and neckline.
“We’re quite a bit alike,” said Ekstrand, which explains the two’s similar taste. Ekstrand was full of joy when Moffett chose her wedding dress to wear. “She was very honored that I chose to use it,” Moffett said.
The wedding dress stayed in a box in a storage room in Ektrand’s house before it was brought back to life for Moffett’s wedding day.
“It was really hot in the store room and my veil melted but the dress stayed in perfect condition,” said Ekstrand.
Only one alteration was made to the dress to get the perfect fit for Moffett’s big day.
Moffett, a Kenosha native, had posted a side-by-side photo of her and her grandma in the wedding dress on Reddit, a social media app, and the post quickly went viral. Moffett got attention from multiple news media sources including TODAY.
Moffett married her husband Alexander at Missio Dei Fellowship in Kenosha. The couple both graduated from Christian Life School, Moffett in 2012 and her husband in 2009. They knew each other through music and drama and got engaged in 2018.
“It just exploded,” said Moffett when talking about her Reddit post. “It was very shocking but it was really cool.”