'Wedding Dress Through The Decades' opens at Oaklands Mansion, features dress from 1873

Posted at 6:52 AM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 09:59:53-05

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — On their big day, it's customary for brides to wear something borrowed. At a wedding dress exhibit in Murfreesboro, it's the dresses that are on loan.

"We thought 'what can we do in this big pretty room in the winter,'" said Mary Beth Nevills, curator at Oaklands Mansion.

Nine years later, this year's 'Wedding Dresses Through The Decades' exhibit includes sixty dresses.

"Sometimes it's more about the story than the dress and when you can put an old black and white photo out, and you're adding in their special stories... sometimes it's not even about their dress," Nevills said.

The oldest dress in the collection is from 1873. It's on loan from the McNairy County Museum. However, most dresses are owned by everyday people in Middle Tennessee.

"We just get emails and calls all the time that 'I have a dress!' 'I have a dress!'' Nevills explained with a smile.

For the first time, Oaklands is displaying wedding ring quilts with the dresses.

There are two events coming up in the space. Princess Night for girls is January 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. Ladies Night is January 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The exhibit is open through March 1. Tickets are $10.