Kelli E: Traditional Catholic Mass

Kelli E: Traditional Catholic Mass

Mother of: Madeline

Wedding locale: Sacred Heart Catholic Church and The Howard House in Dunn, North Carolina

Vibe: Traditional Catholic Latin Mass

Dress: Navy blue, column silhouette, floor-length gown by Gia Franco

When Kelli began shopping for a dress in December 2021, she had three things working against her: her daughter Madeline’s short engagement, shipping delays, and strict wardrobe requirements from the Catholic church where Madeline was getting married.

Madeline met James on the dating website CatholicMatch in summer 2021. Six months later, they got engaged outside the North Carolina Museum of Art and set a wedding date for May 2022. “Six months to find a mother-of-the-bride dress is really hard,” Kelli says, “and I didn’t want to look matronly.” Plus, global shipping delays meant that ordering a dress was out of the question, and she couldn’t just get any dress off the rack, either— Madeline and James were planning a traditional Latin mass ceremony, and the church would require attendees to cover their shoulders and backs. 

After several months of hunting through shops all around Raleigh, North Carolina, Kelli finally found a Gia Franco dress at Raleigh boutique Kannon’s Clothing. “I didn’t really want navy blue, but when I put it on, I loved the dress, and I loved the style,” Kelli says. It fit her perfectly and needed minimal alterations to be acceptable for the Catholic service. “I had everyone in the store weighing in, and everyone said to go with this one,” Kelli says. And so she did.


Photography by Through the Linz Photography

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