by Maya Chung 3:32 PM EDT, September 27, 2017
In an emotional moment caught on camera, an Idaho bride surprised her grandmother by choosing to don her wedding dress on her own big day.
Jordyn Cleverly, 23, said her grandmother, 74-year-old Penny Jensen, had no idea about the surprise until the rehearsal dinner — two days before her September wedding— when she put on the dress for Jensen to see.
“I told her it was a small family photo shoot with my parents and grandparents because we probably wouldn’t have enough time to do it the day of the wedding,” Cleverly said. “I didn’t want her to see it for the first time walking down the aisle and just start sobbing and all those memories come back to her.”
Cleverly’s grandfather died 25 years ago and he and Jensen were high school sweethearts.
Cleverly decided she would wear the special dress when she couldn’t find anything she particularly liked after dress shopping.
“After our engagement, I tried on a couple of dresses at like a local wedding dress shop and I just couldn’t find anything that had the style, that antique vintage style that I was looking for,” Cleverly said.
The 23-year-old told Cleverly that her grandmother was planning on donating her wedding dress, and that’s when she got the idea to try it on herself.
“I went and tried it on and it was actually maybe a size or two too big and so I contacted a local seamstress to see if there was anything we could do with it and she said, ‘Absolutely, it’s in fantastic shape,'” Cleverly said. “[My grandma] had zero idea; she had no idea it was even in my possession.”
Cleverly, who met her then fiancé, Dakota Cleverly, when she was just 14, said the moment she revealed the dress to her grandma, the 74-year-old was completely taken aback.
“She was just speechless,” Cleverly said. “I kind of blacked out for a second because it was such an emotional rollercoaster. All I heard her saying in the back was, ‘Wow, wow, wow.’ I finally went up and hugged her and she whispered in my ear, “I married my high school sweetheart in this dress and so will you.”
Cleverly was married September 23 and said she hopes to keep the dress in her family for years to come.
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