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Wedding History - Weddings From The 1920's
( Originally Published 1954 )
Hip-hooray! The world has been made "safe for democracy" and we in America had not a care. Unlimited industrial production, increasing stock dividends, silk shirts for day laborers, chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage. The spirit of these gay irresponsible times is carried in many a wedding picture of the day. Informality-and more informality -elopements galore and a justice of the peace instead of a minister. Gone were many time-hallowed institutions-along with the corsetted figure. Prohibition notwithstanding, guests drank wedding punch made with bathtub gin and engaged in all manner of horseplay with the newly married pair. Jokes were broad, if not downright bawdy. Few brides wanted to be given in marriage by father;-the `old folks' were often almost crowded out of wedding affairs.
Above all, the 20's were days of non-conforming. One's friends were married (if all all!) atop flagpoles or under water. Some brides affected black velvet. And one contemporary account stressed the uncommoness of a brides "breaking into billowy tradition . . ." " to walk to the altar with no suggestion of knees and shoulder blades."
Yet some dignity remained withal, and when' the bucket-hatted, short-skirted bride and her knickered groom stood up to take their vows, the solemnity still shows through. And the songs sung also tell their story: since the turn of the century there had been two all time favorites-the 1920's were also there in preferring "I Love You Truly" and "O Promise Me."
Fashions in wedding rings was changing now as rapidly as fashions in dress. Matched engagement and wedding bands were the order of the day. The high set diamond solitaire gave way to square or lace mounts, and platinum or white gold was preferred over the traditional yellow color. In 1925 a plain gold ring could get you legally married, but the carved designs were considered much more "youthful." This was very good salesmanship, for everywhere the accent was on youth-bright flaming youth.