8 Brides from One Family Wore the Same $100 'Lucky' Wedding Dress: See It Then and Now

·2 min read
Bride Serena Stoneberg, center, stands with six women in her family who have all worn the same wedding dress, at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on Aug. 5, 2022, at Stoneberg's wedding. From left are Susan Stoneberg McCarthy, married in 1982; Sharon Larson Frank, married in 1969; Eleanor Larson Milton, married in 1953; Stoneberg Lipari, Julie Frank Mackey, married in 2013; Jean Milton Ellis, married in 1991; and Carol Milton Zmuda, married in 1990. Not pictured is Adele Larson Stoneberg, married in the dress in 1950, who died in 1988.
Bride Serena Stoneberg, center, stands with six women in her family who have all worn the same wedding dress, at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on Aug. 5, 2022, at Stoneberg's wedding. From left are Susan Stoneberg McCarthy, married in 1982; Sharon Larson Frank, married in 1969; Eleanor Larson Milton, married in 1953; Stoneberg Lipari, Julie Frank Mackey, married in 2013; Jean Milton Ellis, married in 1991; and Carol Milton Zmuda, married in 1990. Not pictured is Adele Larson Stoneberg, married in the dress in 1950, who died in 1988.

Chris Sweda /Chicago Tribune/TCA Serena Stoneberg Lipari, center, with six of the seven women in her family who've worn the same "lucky" wedding dress

Serena Stoneberg Lipari just got married on Aug. 5, but she actually said yes to her dress decades ago.

At her Chicago nuptials to Chris Lipari, the newlywed, 27, became the eighth woman in her family to wear a wedding dress purchased by her grandmother for $100 in 1950 at a Marshall Field's department store.

"I knew I always wanted to wear this dress in some part of the wedding," Stoneberg Lipari tells PEOPLE in this week's issue, recalling how she looked at photos of the gown growing up and fell in love with it in person at a family wedding in 2013. "There's really something special about it."

Indeed, of the eight brides who've worn it, none have been divorced. And all but one of the women — the very first, Adele Larson Stoneberg — are still living, joining the most recent bride on her big day.

Adele Larson, who in 1950 bought the wedding dress that has been worn by eight women in her family, married Roy Stoneberg, shown here, in 1950. photography: Robert Photography.
Adele Larson, who in 1950 bought the wedding dress that has been worn by eight women in her family, married Roy Stoneberg, shown here, in 1950. photography: Robert Photography.

Stoneberg family Serena's grandmother Adele Larson Stoneberg in the dress for the first time on her wedding day in 1950

For more photos of the Stoneberg family wedding gown, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

"She passed away just before I was born," Stoneberg Lipari shares of her grandmother, "so wearing it made it feel like she was there on my wedding day. All through my wedding weekend, my family and I kept talking about how special it was that the dress lives on."

"It's never pushed on us to wear it," the newlywed says, adding that she picked a second dress for her evening reception. "It's always an option but it's not going to be 'the dress' for everyone."

Though the long-sleeved, button-up confection has required some alterations over the years — panels added in the back, strips of fabric sewn to the bottom — it remains in pristine condition in storage at a family home in Pittsburgh.

"I would love my daughter to wear it someday," Stoneberg Lipari says. "Hopefully it's still around."