Like most brides, Paula Rainey of Athens saved her wedding dress. It's currently hanging in her closet.

Unlike most brides, though, Paula Rainey's wedding dress has made an appearance at four different weddings.

The white satin gown with a ruffed neckline and long satin sleeves was worn not only by Paula, but by her sister, her sister-in-law and her cousin on their wedding days over the following 10 years.

How this story unfolds was not through an intentional plan, but through the bonds of family, and maybe practicality.

It started in 1950, when Paula was preparing for her wedding to Donald Rainey. She remembers purchasing the dress at a Nashville department store called Harvey's for somewhere in the neighborhood of $75. She graced the State Society page of The Nashville Tennessean in the dress, complete with a cascading bouquet and matching veil.

After the wedding Paula stored the dress away until Dot, her brother Charlie's fiancee, asked if she might wear the dress, too.

“I guess she just liked mine and I was just glad she could use it,” Paula recalled to The News Courier.

Dot and Charlie were married in 1951. The same dress appeared on Dot in the local paper of Fort Mill, South Carolina. After that ceremony, Paula said the dress once again came home to be stored.

Nine years later, Paula's sister Pat asked is she could wear the dress her sister and sister-in-law wore to her weddings. Obligingly, Paula sent the dress with Pat to Elkton, Tennessee, where Pat and fiance Larry were married in 1960. For the third time, the dress appeared in the local paper, this time on a smiling Pat.

That next year, Paula's cousin Gale asked if she, too, could borrow the popular gown and, gladly, Paula sent it off to Taft, Tennessee. Gale and Charles Helums were married in 1961, almost 11 years after the dress made its first showing at the altar. Gale's newspaper wedding announcement is the only one of the four that features a full-length photo of the dress, but Paula's family was all too familiar with the outfit by then.

“I guess I just felt good that they liked it enough that they wanted to use it,” Paula said. “I've thought about it all through the years. ... It's kind of unusual.”

Though Paula's husband Don, Dot and her husband Charlie and Gale's husband Ray have all died, the dress remains as a special reminder of the connection the family has.

Paula's held on to it for 66 years and she said she'd be willing to let the dress go on to a fifth wedding if the right person comes along to ask.Read more at:formal dress shops sydney | marieaustralia