There are so many ways to incorporate the something old tradition into your wedding day, and one bride decided to follow the longstanding ritual by honoring her grandmother. At her wedding reception at the Oxwich Bay Hotel in Swansea, U.K. in May 2023, Laura Whatley changed into her grandmother Maureen’s 64-year-old wedding dress before sharing a first dance with her grandfather—and she debuted her new outfit during a sentimental first look with Maureen. The bride posted a video of the sweet moment on November 16, 2023, via TikTok, and it’s gone viral—with 675,700 views.
The clip begins with Laura standing in front of her grandmother and “best friend,” who is seated at her assigned reception table, while revealing to Maureen that she’s wearing her vintage gown—a long-sleeved lace frock. After revealing the surprise, the bride starts to sob, while her grandmother looks shocked and delighted. “I have photos of us crying and laughing at the same time,” Laura told Newsweek. “It was honestly a moment that I will never forget. It was also a complete surprise to all our guests, so seeing everyone’s reaction was just amazing.”
In the video, the bride then makes her way over to the dance floor with her grandfather, where they do their first dance to “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. While Laura and her grandfather are swaying, two guests help Maureen walk over to her granddaughter. Maureen interrupts the dance by giving Laura a big hug. The footage ends with the bride and her two grandparents holding hands on the dance floor. “I was so overwhelmed and just so grateful to have both my grandparents there to share my special day with me,” Laura told the outlet. “I am their only granddaughter, alongside five grandsons, so to be able to do this for her meant the world to me.”
Viewers flocked to the comments section, sharing that the video made them emotional. “Sobbed,” someone wrote. “What a beautiful moment for you all.” Others reminisced about their own grandparents and the special connection they shared. “What I would have done to have my nanny/grandad at mine,” someone else expressed. “They brought me up from the day I was born because my mam was so young.”
Before the heartfelt moment transpired, while Laura was shopping for her wedding dress, Maureen reflected on the gown she wore for her own nuptials and mentioned that she stored the piece in her attic. “So, my mom came up with the idea that we should go and find it when she is out and see what it’s like,” Laura recounted. While the bride distracted her grandparents, her mother and aunt went to the attic to preview the dress. “I actually couldn’t believe how beautiful it was,” Laura said. “It needed a clean, but the size was perfect. I didn’t need any alterations, just a new zip.” Laura decided that she wanted to keep the dress a secret and surprise her grandmother during her reception, which was a difficult feat to pull off. “My nana is very switched on, and we were worried she would ask us to get the dress down from the attic so she could see it again,” Laura explained.