Dad Keeps Promise To “Construct” Daughter’s Wedding Gown

Erin Lucien Makes His Daughter's Wedding Gown
Erin Lucien Photo via San Francisco Chronicle

You’ll love this heart-warming story of a father in California who told his little daughter that one day…he’d make her wedding dress. He’s Erin Lucien, a construction worker more familiar with hammers, not hemlines.

But, little girls grow up and a promise is a promise. When the youngest of his daughter, 24-year-old daughter Danielle, got engaged, Erin didn’t shy away from that promise or the challenge. 

With the help of the book, “Sewing For Dummies,” on-line videos, research, proto-type wedding dresses made from bed sheets and a little mentoring from the ladies at his local JoAnn Fabric & Crafts store, Danielle, was able to wear the wedding gown of her dreams…all made with her father’s hands.

“He’s a very creative thinker,” Danielle says. “And I knew he would put 110% into it. I let him go for it.” “I’m not a fashionista,” she said. “I didn’t want any poufs or big beads.”

He translated into wedding dress “construction” what he had learned from building houses…incorporating many of the same principles, which we can only assume included the most basic and important construction principle of all…measure twice, cut once.

Erin’s construction skills paid dividends as he patiently worked with three underskirts, two linings for the bodice and several renditions of the shoulder straps, which he fussed over for two days.

“It’s amazing how much attention he paid to the underneath part,” Danielle said. “A wedding dress is a lot like a house. … If the foundation is off, so is everything else.”

Throughout the process, Erin encouraged his daughter to buy a “back-up” wedding gown. She did not. Danielle justified her decision by saying, “Because nothing is more memorable than your own father making your wedding dress. Not many people can say that.”

But, with only 2 hours to go before the wedding ceremony, she learned her wedding dress wasn’t quite finished. Erin still had adjustments to do on the side of the gown.

On September 10, 2011, with the alterations made on time, Erin walked his lovely daughter down the aisle, dressed in her equally beautiful, hand-made, one-of-a-kind wedding gown at Humphreys Half Moon Inn on Shelter Island in San Diego Bay.

After the ceremony, Erin said the offer of to make wedding gowns for daughters Michele and Chris still stands. But he’s contemplating another challenge next time around: the wedding cake with a Champagne fountain.

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