Since I’m deep in the throes of planning our daughter’s wedding in October, I’ve been thinking a whole lot about how weddings have changed over the years. I can’t imagine planning this wedding without the help of the trusted Bride’s book, Modern Bride Magazine among others and the Internet. How else would I find the photo galleries of recommended photographers? How else could I view new cake creations and floral bouquets? And how in the world could I help my daughter find the “perfect” wedding gown?
I can tell you, I’m almost an expert now, having gone to 8 bridal salons in one weekend. I now know the difference between a mermaid dress, a ballroom dress, an A-line gown and a Cinderella gown. Oh … it was fun, but exhausting. The personal attention and gorgeous dressing rooms were great on the surface and surely seeing my baby, Nikki, dressed in full veil and delicate Swaroski crystal tiara brought tears of joy to my eyes until I realized, heavens … I’m paying for the fancy three-mirror private dressing room with tea and coffee served and very attentive wedding gown consultant … all in the price of the gown. I wonder if they made such a hoopla over the wedding dress back in the Old West?
Here’s a cream colored 1880’s wedding gown, made with ruching (gatherings) encircling the neckline and 12 bones in the bodice. The back is tied with wide moire ribbon. This dress is considered an A-line, made with delicate fabrics which flow freely and a slight bustle in the back.
This is a 2008 blue Maggie Sattero Estella dress made of satin and lace. It’s what’s known as a ballroom wedding gown. See the ruching in the bodice? Certainly a more sophisticated look, but there’s a slight bustle in the back as well. I’ll let you in on a secret, picture this in ivory white and it’s my daughter’s wedding gown! Do you like it?
CONTRASTING PAST AND PRESENT DAY WEDDINGS:
In the time of pre-arranged marriages, the wedding veil was invented to keep would-be grooms from running far and long when they caught sight of their homely bride! (Hopefully today the groom knows what he’s getting)
Women in the West tended to marry at a later age than thought, the grooms in their late twenties and the brides a few years younger. Many engaged in pre-marital sex and would marry when with child, months or weeks prior to delivering baby. (Hmm … no comment)
In the early 1800’s many married in their homes, though later in the century church weddings became vogue. (Today anything goes, like marriages while parachuting out of a plane or undersea nuptials in full scuba gear which lend new meaning to destination weddings!)
Usually planning for a wedding took from one to two weeks, enough time to make sure friends and family received their invitations. (Today you could plan a wedding in one week, IF YOU WANTED TO GO CRAZY! Customary time is 6 months to one year)
In the west, the wedding cake of choice was a fruit cake.
Today … we have three or four tiers with different flavors of cake for each tier. Flowers of the season help make the cake a work of art!
What kinds of weddings do you love to read about? Is there one wedding scene that stands out in your mind? And what was your wedding like? Any special rituals or traditions that you’d like to share?
Happy Trails and Happy Reading!
Taming the Texan – Harlequin Historical available NOW!