Lehigh Valley

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Wedding Skirt is born

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - When Katie Kennedy got married in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in January 2015, it was magic.

"It felt cozy. There were fires going. It was really a nice night," she said.

The blushing bride, in her blush wedding skirt, was smiling from ear-to-ear that day.

But three months after officially answering “that” big question, Katie got another one. She received an email from her wedding photographer, telling her about a soon-to-be bride Amanda Dawson, from Canada, who had seen Katie's wedding pictures online, and had fallen in love with her blush skirt.

"I thought, “that's the one!" Dawson said.

But as her wedding plans moved forward, the magic faded.

Amanda's father was diagnosed with brain cancer, and was given months to live.

The couple decided to move up the wedding by a year and that’s when Amanda realized her perfect blush skirt couldn't be made in time.

What was supposed to be a happy time began to feel hopeless for the future bride.

"Things were just not working and not going right,” Dawson said. “Nobody could help me and my dad was dying, and I just wanted this day to be perfect," she said.

But then she remembered Katie. Dawson contacted Katie's photographer.

"I thought “this is a long shot," Dawson remembers.

But after hearing Amanda's story, Katie, offered a beautiful gesture by giving it away.

"My only request was that she send me a photo of her in the dress, so I could put it next to my photo," Kennedy says.

Finally, on Dawson’s wedding day, the blush skirt made its summer debut.

"It went by actually in slow motion, and my dad was in a wheelchair, my brother Paul pushed the chair, Dawson remembers. “I held onto them both and it was perfect."

Dawson’s father passed away six months later, but the magical memories of him, and a perfect day, will always be there, thanks to the kindness of a stranger.

"I thought about my dad," Kennedy said. "I thought, she wants to have this moment with her dad and it just seemed like the right thing to do to give it to her.”

But Dawson said Kennedy’s gesture restored her faith in humanity.

"I got so much more than the dress of my dreams. I got hope and generosity and something that hopefully will live on for generations," Dawson said.

The two women plan to meet face-to-face someday. And they want what they now call “the sisterhood of the traveling wedding skirt” to continue.

Dawson plans to give it to another bride who needs it someday.

Kennedy loves the idea.

There's more room on her shelf, next to that promised photo from Dawson. The recent bride wrote at the bottom of her picture: "A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees."

Maybe if we all live that way, we can live happily ever after.


Amanda's photos by Artiese Studios - www.artiesestudios.com

Katie's photos by Douglas Benedict Photography - www.douglasbenedict.com



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