Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift . . . and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can’t she find the perfect dress…or feel certain she should marry Tim? Then Charlotte discovers a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new-shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been “redeemed.” Charlotte’s search for the gown’s history-and its new bride-begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress. Emily from 1912. Mary Grace from 1939. Hillary from 1968. Each with her own story of promise, pain, and destiny. And each with something unique to share. For woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte’s heritage, the power of courage and faith, and the timeless beauty of finding true love.
The Wedding Dress was my first Rachel Hauck book, and the second I finished it, I went to Netgalley and my online library and requested everything else I could find! I absolutely adored this book and can’t believe I haven’t been reading/listening to Rachel Hauck prior to this. Here’s the skinny:
Charlotte is all about weddings and pairing the perfect dress with the perfect bride. In fact, Charlotte has something of a gift for getting a bride into the dress that was simply made for her. Her business is tremendously successful and if she could just get her personal life on track, everything if her life would be, simply perfect. Then one day, everything changes when Charlotte buys an old trunk with a stunning, well-preserved wedding dress inside.
From the moment the dress arrives in Charlotte’s life, nothing is the same. The dress is gorgeous, perfectly preserved, masterfully crafted, and has little in the way of information about who it belonged to and who made it. With the few clues that remain, Charlotte embarks on a fact-finding mission that will lead her back more than a century to the original owner and creator of the dress. Along the way, Charlotte meets a small group of people with their own history with the dress who not only help her continue to trace the dress’s history, but also become invaluable members of Charlotte’s small circle of friends. Every new clue, every new person, every new story only further convinces Charlotte of how special the dress is and how happy it is going to make the woman she eventually pairs with the dress.
The Bottom Line: I truly have no idea how this book has such a low overall rating on Goodreads! I found this story to be a wonderful weaving of the past and the present, with interesting stories, absolutely endearing characters, and truly fantastic storytelling. Though Charlotte seemingly has her life together, she really doesn’t until the dress comes into her life. The dress seems to focus Charlotte, to give her a direction which ultimately balances and soothes her heart, her mind, and her life. I found every aspect of this book to be, quite simply, excellent and unreservedly recommend it to readers who love sweet, low heat, past meets present reads.