University Village “Brides” Display Wedding Dresses 3

Romance Proves Ageless at Retirement Community

In a timeless display of love and romance, 13 wedding gowns stole the show at the University Village Thousand Oaks retirement community. The gowns—one dating back more than a century—were worn by the residents and their mothers and reflect the fashion of their day.

The dresses ranged from Mary Norris’ World War I-era dress worn by her mother in 1914 to Sandra Krakower’s short yellow dress with matching veil and shoes from 1968. Audrey Johnson loaned her mother’s flapper dress from the 1920’s, and Marcia Fogel unpacked the cathedral-length dress she wore in Denver’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in 1949 (think Maria in “The Sound of Music”). The most recent dress was Diane Venable’s traditional white gown from 1974.

Norris and Johnson found their mothers’ gowns preserved in cedar chests after they died. Johnson’s mother, who worked in the garment industry, made her dress herself. She also made the bridesmaids’ dresses.

All the dresses were displayed in the main clubhouse at University Village along with wedding photographs from numerous University Village resident couples, to the delight of many.

“The wedding gown display is just a small sampling of the history and amazing life stories of our residents. The gowns are exquisite and in many cases represent the beginning of incredible lives that many of us can only imagine,” says Jayne Austin, activities director for University Village.

The wedding gown display can be viewed on the University Village Facebook page.

University Village, located at 3415 Campus Dr. in Thousand Oaks, is a continuing care retirement community for people 60 years of age and older offering a variety of housing options and a comprehensive package of services, amenities and activities. Residents also have access to assisted living, memory care and a skilled nursing center. Learn more about University Village at