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Wedding History - Weddings From The 1910's
( Originally Published 1954 )
This was the decade when the "new woman" of suffragette equal rights was coming to the fore; but with such a tradition-hallowed ceremony as marriage, all most brides thought about was the latest in wedding finery. Fashion decreed big "Merry Widow" hats and the highwaisted, long tight-skirted dress. Some of our album photographs show this revival of the empire style. The long tight dress and the heavy beadgear resulted in a slightly tilted posture known as the Grecian bend. It could not have been particularly comfortable to the wearer, but whoever thought of that in those stately-simple pre-war years.
This was the first decade when the automobile had become a reliable enough conveyance to warrant long distance travel. More and more newlyweds were consequently taking automobile honeymoons. This new custom was played up in popular songs and novels of the period. Also in vogue was the practice of staging a wedding out-of-town at some country club or country estate. Railroad companies would charter a train to take guests from New York City to Greenwich or Newport; but this could not compete with the more exciting possibilities of an auto ride.
New hair styles began to stress curls, but few brides with straight hair could afford them. The new Nestle permanent wave was just coming in; it cost one thousand dollars!
One thing we begin to notice in the album pictures of 1910 is the absence of wedding gloves. The decline and fall of the glove is a story in itself. Since the Middle Ages, gloves have had a very special significance in affairs of the heart, signifying fidelity. Gloves were fashionable all through the 19th Century; regardless of whether she carried fan, prayer book or flowers, the bride always wore gloves. The ring finger was often cut, so that the wedding band could be slipped on without embarrassment. Even in the first decade of the new century gloves were considered a gift of courtship-few girls refused to marry a suitor after accepting a gift of gloves. But now all this went by the board-a forerunner perhaps of the new freedom in clothes-and living, too.