It was mother’s day a couple weeks ago and in my family mothersday is not only mothersday but also the birthday of Doreen, my mother-in-law and my husband. Yes, Jason believes he is the ultimate gift to him mom LOL Every year it becomes more and more dificult to find the perfect gift, but this year we did a great job! Scott, my father-in-law had the idea of getting a model and taking photo in his wife’s wedding dress that was hand made by her mother. Kind of a second life for the forgotten wedding dress that was made by Grandma Sophie with so much love. What a great idea! I asked my friend Laura to interview Doreen and write about their love story and we took the dress for a photo shoot. The end result was so stunning that we wanted to share it with you all!

The Love story of Doreen & Scott

Interviewed & Written by Laura Covington

            Doreen Sabinson married Scott Neistadt on a snowy winter day in New York City. Their love story is full of the adorable ups and downs of high school sweethearts and a plethora of misunderstandings and mishaps that nearly kept them apart but in the end left them with a lifetime of stories to laugh about.

            Doreen met Scott in high school sophomore biology. He was the tall, handsome, top of the class student who sat across from her in the lab. He made his first impression in a classic Knight in shining armor fashion when he came to her rescue. That day in biology they were dissecting frogs. Despite being an A student, Doreen was not too fond of the idea of cutting into the small creature. She started to make her first incision when suddenly the body twitched. She was so startled that she jumped and exclaimed that the frog was still alive. That’s when our hero Scott swept in and helped Doreen open the frog the rest of the way.

From that point on there was definitely some romantic tension between the two but their youthful naivety often kept them from reading each other’s intentions. Not long after the frog incident Scott invited the 15 year old Doreen to go to a party. Though his intention was to pick her up and take her to the party as a date, she thought he was just extending the invitation and didn’t feel like joining in on the “cattle call.” She politely declined. Scott thought that she was declining him as a potential boyfriend and so their budding romance was put on hold.

Senior year they finally became an item thanks to two friends that unwittingly brought them together again. Scott was playing cupid for his friend Mike. Mike happened to be interested in Doreen’s best friend Ilene who refused to go on the date unless Doreen came along.  Being dutiful friends Scott and Doreen went along with it. This time the chemistry was apparent and they started dating from then on. That is until another misunderstanding nearly pulled them apart.

Not long after they started dating Scott had to ship out for the military. The Vietnam war was heating up and Scott, always the hero, left to serve his country overseas. There was no elaborate breakup or tearful farewell for the new couple as Scott was swept off to war rather suddenly. Before he left, Scott left his telephone book in the care of his cousin. This seems like a rather unimportant detail until the mischievous cousin decided to take liberties with the phone numbers in the book. He meticulously called all the girls in the list saying that “Scott referred you to me. We should go out for a ride in my nice car.” Understandably, Doreen was offended that Scott would just pass her off to another man so she refused to speak to him upon his return from his first tour in Nam.

Eventually he had the opportunity to explain to her that his cousin had done those things of his own accord and that he would never pass his best gal along. In fact, Scott proposed to her soon after the ordeal was patched up. It was an exquisite and valuable ring acquired overseas that would make most girls swoon but miss Doreen was not swayed. She now laments that she did not get to keep that diamond but at the time she made the choice she felt was right. She needed time to get to know Scott again before taking the plunge with him.

Scott had to go back for his second tour in Vietnam but this time he left knowing that his girl would be waiting for him when he got back. He called Doreen from overseas on April 1st and proposed again. This time she confidently said yes! To avoid any confusion that the proposal was an April fools joke they announced that he had proposed on her birthday and they set the wedding for a few weeks after his return date. She wanted to get married in New York’s Central Park but they decided that due to the time of the year they would be risking bad weather. So her soon-to-be mother-in-law secured a beautiful banquet hall. Doreen then started to search for her dress. A friend had connections with a very exclusive and upscale bridal boutique. There she was treated like a queen. She sipped champagne while perusing dresses made by the finest local designers. She almost fell for one but in the end decided to have her mother make her dress.

Her mother, Sophie, loved to sew as a hobby and had made many fine outfits for Doreen over the years including her elegant sweet 16 dress. Sophie set off to create the perfect dress with an atmosphere of Romeo & Juliet Romance. They ordered lovely Alencon lace from France and set to work. Doreen said that her mother worked for a whole year to hand appliqué the lace accents and to create intricate beaded designs. Today, she looks at other dresses from that era and says that none compare to hers. The dress became such an important heirloom that even her daughter-in-law wore it years later.

Everything was ready and the wedding date was only two weeks away. All she needed was the groom. Scott was on a ship headed back to the United States to wed his beautiful bride when the aftermath of the Pueblo incident took a dramatic turn.  The USS Pueblo, a Navy intelligence ship, was boarded and captured by North Korea on January 23, 1968. Almost a year later on December 23 North Korea had finally agreed to return the crew to the US Navy. Scott’s ship turned around as help was needed in case the exchange took a turn for the worse. He was able to send word of his delay and they started to consider that there might be no groom for the upcoming festivities. It was too late to cancel or postpone as the wedding was already paid for so they discussed the options of doing a Proxy Wedding where someone would legally stand in for Scott. Fortunately Scott made it back stateside just in the nick of time and the young bride was grateful that she was not forced to marry a stand-in.

His return was so last minute that they didn’t even have time to prepare the rings so during the emotional ceremony Scott placed his grandmother’s wedding band on his bride’s delicate finger. He was however prepared with a romantic gift. He presented Doreen with a stunning necklace of Pink Mikimoto pearls with a custom clasp that had been embellished with diamonds from his grandmother’s jewelry. Additionally he placed in her hands a small green velvet box. Inside the box was his phone book, torn in half, to symbolize that he would no longer be calling any other girls and that he would never again need to with Doreen by his side. They were married on that beautiful snowy day January 11, 1969.

Scott and Doreen are still together today. In 2014 they celebrate their 45th anniversary. They have two talented children and live out the rest of their life together in Las Vegas.

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