Correct Wedding Customs

Nope, this is not a post about me telling you what to do at the wedding.  (That comes later… KIDDING!)

This is a post about a book.  As you know if you’ve ever been to our house or seen photos, we have a lot of books.  Many thousands of them.  We collect books of various sorts and we have a vast reference library.  We decided at Brimfield this year when we came up with some truly spectacular and funny finds that we’d take some time to share some of them with you from time to time.  This may take the form of photos of really beautiful books or this may be by transcribing choice portions of really amusing texts.

This, is the the latter.  Oh yes.  This find was from Brimfield this year and was what sparked the idea.  It is a gorgeous leather bound tome entitled Correct Wedding Customs.  It is gorgeously put together and comes in its very own satin lined box.  There is no copyright date or year listed, but it looks, in my estimation to be 1920’s- 30’s or so.  It was published by Livermore & Knight Co. of Providence, R.I.

And if you’ve ever heard of these “correct customs” before, you’re doing better than me.

Page 54: “At a church wedding the wearing of hats by the bridesmaids is obligatory.  These must be as carefully selected as the costumes themselves and must be in harmonious accord therewith.  They may, without any risk of even an appearance of ostentation, take the form of a gift from the bride.  At a home wedding, however, the maids may either appear with absolutely unadorned heads or with wreathes, crowns, aigrettes, ostrich tips or bows as may be preferred.”

Page 60: “Finally it is permissible, either in conjunction with these juvenile attendants or in lieu of them, to make use of the services of a “ring bearer,” a small boy in a page’s dress, who precedes the bride to the altar, carrying in both hands, at the level of his breast, a satin, flower-encircled cushion, on which rests the mystic ring of marriage, to be offered at the appropriate moment to the bridegroom preparatory to his placing it on the bride’s finger.”

Pages 117-120: “… the bride, following a pleasant old custom, is wont to throw her bridal bouquet, of which she has previously loosened the fastening, so that it falls more or less to pieces as she throws it.  The maiden who is lucky enough to catch the largest portion is destined to marry before any of her companions.  Then follow the hurried adieus, the bride’s last embrace of her mother, the front doors are flung open and the married pair step into the carriage which is to convey them to the station.  At this point there too often takes place a scene or series of scenes which do rob of its gracious sentiment all that has gone before.  Let it be said at once that the violent throwing of showers of rice in such a manner as to be a positive and intentional annoyance to the young couple, the hurling of ancient footgear with a strenuousness that approaches brutality, the beribboning of the carriage so as to attract the attention of the passer-by, the hand-cuffing together of bride and bridegroom, all or any of these acts of misplaced humor, can only be described as vulgarity of the most pronounced description.  It is perfectly proper for the maid-of-honor to throw after the departing carriage a worn white satin slipper and thus preserve an ancient tradition which at least has antiquity to commend it.”

And that, I guess, is that.  If you can read that, especially that last one, without laughing, you’re doing better than I am.

~Kelly

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