I've watched more than a few episodes of TLC's Say Yes to the Dress with my daughter, Molly. If you're unfamiliar, SYTTD is a reality TV series that follows brides through Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan as they search for, and (almost always) find the perfect wedding gown for their upcoming nuptials. There's some drama, some laughs, some tears, and a lot of me saying to Molly: "I am not going to pay $45,000 for your wedding dress someday!"

I think of my own parents, who were married June 10, 1943 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. My 20 year-old dad, and 18 year-old mom tied the knot while my dad was between deployments in WWII. The total cash reserve for their wedding was around 30 dollars. No wedding dress for my mom, just a veil borrowed from a just-married friend.

If only they had known about Edwin and Betty Morgan's clever idea for a wedding gown shortly after the war ended.

For a grand total of 18 dollars, Edwin and Betty got something a whole lot more special than you'll ever see on a bridal reality show.

I don't know if having an $18 parachute dress would have made much difference in my parents' wedding, though. My grandparents (both paternal and maternal) had the wedding annulled. So, my folks did what most people would do...they ignored their parents and got married again. So, my mom didn't get a wedding dress, but she did get two anniversary gifts every year for almost 55 years.

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