The Vintage Bride

“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep.  
While the man slept, the Lord God took one of the man’s ribs – 
a part of the man’s side – and closed up the opening.  
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib – the man’s side – 
and He brought her to the man.  
“At last!” the man exclaimed.  “This one is bone from my bone, 
and flesh from my flesh!  
She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’ ”  
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother
and is joined to his wife, 
and the two are united into one.”
   
Genesis 2:21-24
These time honored words will ring out this month from sea to shining sea, as brides take to themselves their grooms during this month of June, so often the month of choice for wedding bells ringing!  With much pomp and circumstance, preparation, flowers, costume, novelty items, and the trendy “wedding director” of contemporary fashion, the institution of marriage flourishes still.
Bridal attire was not always the traditional white.  But, by the end of the 19th century, white was preferred, possibly due to the effect our good Queen Victoria had in setting fashion trends, as at her much celebrated wedding to her beloved Albert.
“Mama came before and brought me a 
Nosegay of orange flowers . . . 
I wore a white satin gown with a very deep flounce of Honiton lace, imitation of old.  
I wore my Turkish diamond necklace and earrings, 
and Albert’s beautiful sapphire brooch.”
Queen Victoria
In her journal, February 10, 1840 *

Now, if you were not queen, and perhaps of lesser means than satin, diamonds, and Honiton lace, you might acquiesce to a calico or cotton.  Perhaps you gathered the materials yourself and painstakingly stitched your wedding attire with love and affection and hopeful expectations in each stitch, like this super lightweight turn of the century ensemble modeled by my vintage dress form, Cordelia:

 A close up of the bodice shows rows of delicate lace sewn between pleated cotton gauze . . .
And, looking closer to the details of the cuff, we see the lace is of a simple design, yet elegant:
Now, of course, the hat and shoes are contemporary fabrications.  The hat is my own concoction – a favorite to wear with my gauzy vintage summer dresses.  I have a vintage veil from the 1930’s era, but that shall have to wait for another hats post.

And, oh – the SHOES!

Will you turn very green if I confess to you that I found them in the back room of a thrift store for $5.00??

Shall I add insult to injury and tell you, too, that they are just my size and I feel oh, so, elegant when I wear them with my vintage white lace tea dress?  
Fine.  I won’t tell you that then.
Let us move on to Bride Dolls.  What a rage they were for decades!  Young girls were brought up to look forward to that fairy tale day when all their dreams would come true walking down a church aisle in white satin.  Dressmaker fashion dolls of centuries past were created to show scaled down renditions of the new dress styles each season.  Bride Dolls share a similar history.   As doll making moved into mass production mode in the later 19th and early 20th century, Bride Dolls were always a popular choice.

Here’s a lovely little lady who obviously read up on the etiquette of bridal attire, she looks very like the vintage passage that accompanies her:

Do note, she is a composition wood doll with mohair wig.  Her beautiful eyes are trimmed in real lashes.  And, don’t you love her little bow of a mouth with sweet teeth!  I found her in a junk shop – quite the worse for wear – and brought her home at a bargain price, gave her ensemble a gentle washing, and found fresh undergarments.  What a delight!

“The traditional attire for a bride is a white satin gown of rich quality – or silk, if preferred – the skirt plain, with gracefully sweeping train.  It is trimmed with lace and orange blossoms simply or elaborately, according to the taste or means of the wearer, and the veil of tulle or rich lace is held in place by a wreath or spray of orange blossoms.  A wealthy bride is privileged to wear a tiara for the first time on her wedding day, it not being a jewel appropriate to girlhood.  Diamond stars of graduated sizes, made detachable for wearing in other ways, is the favorite form of the diadem.  
The bride sometimes wears her veil over her face as she goes up the aisle, 
but returning it is thrown back, showing her happy face to the world.”
Mrs. Burton Kingsland
Etiquette for All Occasions, 1901 *
Currently, Bride Dolls for little girls who grow into big girls are very popular.  Lady Lennox, as I call her due to the great house from which she is birthed, is no child’s toy.  She was given to me by an older woman who could no longer care for her and she knew I’d give her a loving home.  I was delighted to take her from her repose and wrappings in storage for a little photo-shoot to share with you today:
LOVELY!
And after months of setting the stage, our bride is costumed for her day.  Here’s to all our June brides this month – whoever you may be – as you play out that part as so many gone before . . .
“Last of all comes the bride, leaning on her father’s arm.  As she reaches the lowest step of the altar stair the bridegroom advances to meet her, takes her right hand, conducts her to the altar, and the clergyman then proceeds to make the pair one.”
M. E. W. Sherwood
Correct Social Usage, 1903 *
* These passages were taken from a beautiful collage book titled, Wedded Bliss: A Victorian Bride’s Handbook, by Molly Dolan Blaney, Abbeyville Press
I am sharing this post with Angelic Accents 2nd Annual Wedding Blog Party
 

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and blogs at PageantWagonPublishing.com.

Comments

  1. Yes, I am green. But, a very pretty shade, maybe, chartreuse. Do you wear my size shoe?

  2. Cute post! Love the manniquin and dolls dressed in wedding attire.

  3. oh, I enjoyed visiting your blog. What a wonderful post. I really liked reading your profile too! Yes to it all!! I would be honored if you would stop by my place as well.
    many blessings!

  4. Yes, I’m very green with envy over your shoes. What a wonderful find! It was such a joy reading your posts and looking at the fantastic pictures.

  5. Great shoes and a great price! I loved seeing the antique gown…it’s so lovely!
    The delicate lace is delicious!

  6. Hi, Thanks for stopping by.

    I am your newest follower.

    To make a button for youself, just download the free program called GIMP and search on google for directions.

    Or just pick a picture, open it in GIMP and then use the text tool in GIMP to write on it.

    Save it as a jpg.

    Then you done.

    Welcome aboard!

    *hugs*

    mo

  7. What a magnificent gown … BUT … those shoes are over the moon exquisite. And YES, I am green, trust me!

    Darling share … love the dolls.

    TTFN ~
    Marydon

  8. Dear Kathryn, I’m so happy that you were able to join us for the Wedding Blog party fun! I so adore your post. Always interesting to read the etiquette of days gone by. I miss the proper-ness of it all, don’t you? Your Miss Cordelia is wearing quite a lovely frock. I’d love to be able to fit in that today!! Your bride dolls are all beautiful. I enlarged each and every picture to drink in all the details!

    Thanks so much for joining and sharing with us all! My out of town relatives are gone now, so I’m free to visit and revisit everyone’s lovely wedding posts!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Stephanie
    Angelic Accents

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