Janet Tronstad and Debra Clopton Discuss Small Town Brides

small-town-brides Debra Clopton and Janet Tronstad are delighted to be guests here at P & P today.
We’re both western women and have a fondness for cowboys and their brides. In our June book, “Small-Town Brides,” we tell the story of two cousins who find love in tiny towns, one in Montana and one in Texas. When we first started these two novellas, we wondered how to tie them together and decided to create a wedding veil as a family treasure linking the two cousins together.
We are dealing with two heroines, two heroes, and two towns so we’re going to give away copies of our book to two people who make a comment today.
As we pictured this veil in our book, we thought about what it would mean to the brides in a family. It’s often a tradition for pieces of wedding finery to be passed down through the generations. Since the two cousins share the same bridal veil that their great-grandmother had used, we speculated that the older woman had been married in the early 1900’s. That meant her wedding veil probably would have been made out of silk tulle. Nylon net became the standard in the 1950s, but before that handmade lace was the only option.
We can only speculate about what the rest of her attire would have been like. We’re sure that she dressed herself as fashionably as possible though. Janet recently read an excerpt from an 1857 California trail diary that said, “There is a bride (who) wears hoops. We have read of hoops, but they had not reached Kansas before we left so these are the first we’ve seen.”
What bride doesn’t want to create a fashion stir?
Janet’s grandmother (who wed around the turn of the century) wore a white hat rimmed in flowers and carried a single rose. Her grandmother told Janet once that she married her grandfather because he was the best dancer for miles around. Do you know what your grandmother wore for her wedding? Does your family have anything like a veil or a ring that they pass down through the generations? We’d love to hear about it.
Click on cover to purchase Small Town Brides
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20 thoughts on “Janet Tronstad and Debra Clopton Discuss Small Town Brides”

  1. When I was young once in a very long while my mom would let us look at her wedding dress. Such a beautiful thing. None of her five daughters wore it though. It was too little for all of us.

  2. Mary — How wonderful that your mom had such a special wedding dress. My parents got married just after World War II ended and didn’t have the fancy dress and wedding cake ceremony. I think my mother regretted that later.

    Anon1001 — Thanks for the thumbs up on our cover. It is nice, isn’t it?

  3. The only thing I can think of is my sister has my grandmothers engagement ring. My mother had it and passed it on to my older sister. There is no veil and I guess they didn’t have a big wedding. I was pretty young when my grandmother passed, so I don’t remember much! She was like 37 when she had my mother and her brother, yes they were twins, they say that happens a lot. I have just never heard anyone speak of the weddings in our family.

  4. My mother and father were married during World War 11 in a small chapel at the base my father was stationed at. Mom wore a suit. I am the oldest daughter and when I was married my father insisted I was going to have a wedding gown. I hoped my daughter would wear it but when she was married it was too small for her. I know my granddaughter won’t be able to wear she is alread bigger than I am. It is still in my cedar chest though.

  5. Hi Janet and Debra,

    I loved both of your stories!(I have the book so please don’t put my name in for the drawing.)

    We don’t have any family wedding traditions but our religious tradition has been followed for centuries.We are Greek Orthodox and all of our family have been married w/crowns on our heads (bride and groom) that symbolize the commitment of the wedding couple to Christ and the actual martyrdom of Christ. Crowns are white w/pearls/lace and they are joined in the back by a white ribbon. It is actually a very moving part of the wedding ceremony. We keep them in a visible case (shape of a church) in our home. And for me, they remind me of my husband’s and my commitment to one another (through the good and bad).

    Thanks again for wonderful stories.

    And Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads/Hubbies out there!!!

  6. Hi Janet and Debra,

    Welcome back to P&P! It’s an honor to have you come visit. Looks like a lot of our visitors are busy with Father’s Day. It’ll probably pick up later on.

    What an interesting blog! I love reading about what brides did way back then. The fashion was sure a lot different. It’s neat to picture them all dressed up.

    I’m sorry to say that I don’t have a clue what either one of grandmothers wore to her wedding. Both were extremely poor so I’m sure they wore their everyday clothes. It would’ve been nice to have something from their special day that’s been passed down, but there just isn’t anything. Rats!

    You ladies got a great cover with Small-Town Brides! I can’t wait to read your stories. I loved your Calico Christmas, Janet. It had so much humor in it. I’m not as familiar with Debra’s work but I adore inspirational stories of faith. I know the anthology will be fantastic. Good luck with book sales.

    Hope you enjoy your visit with us!

  7. I just remembered my mother telling me that she had to borrow a dress and a pair of shoes for her wedding during the Depression because she didn’t own any. And my dad wore a pair of overalls. They went to a preacher’s house for the ceremony. It was late in the evening. And that night they slept with my dad’s family in a tent in a migrant work camp. The following day was business as usual. No honeymoon. But their marriage lasted through thick and thin, ending only when my dad passed away in 1983.

  8. Quilt Lady, Judy, Zaharoula, and Linda — thanks everyone for sharing about the weddings in your family. I know couples in those years often didn’t have any extra for wedding celebrations. My parents, who married in a simple ceremony, count as one of their treasures an old crockware cookie jar that was one of their few wedding presents (from a neighbor who’s name I forget). When we celebrated their sixtith wedding anniversay a year ago, my older sister wrote a poem talking about what the cookie jar has meant to the family (first us children, then the grandchildren, and now the great grand-children — all of who knew where the cookies were kept).

  9. Hi Janet and Debra. No, my family never passed down anything through the generations, like a veil or a ring. The cover of “Small Town Brides” is beautiful. I enjoy reading both of your books. Have a nice week.

  10. Hi Janet and Debra. My family didn’t have any heirlooms that were passed from bride to bride. I love the cover to Small Town Brides. Very pretty.

  11. we didn’t have any family traditions but I did lend my veil to one or two brides-to-be. One bride borrowed the flowers for decorating also.

    I have a wedding picture of my maternal grandparents so know exactly what my grandmother wore.

  12. No tradition in my family.
    I know my grandmother wed in the early 1900’s, but have no clue where or what she wore. She died before I was born and my mother and her siblings were put in a children’s home.

  13. My parent’s wedding had lots of pastels… each bridesmaid had a different color and matching hat. The men had powder blue suits… no traditions passed on from family, but I have to say they were a colorful bunch in the pics! Do not know much about past family members… that would have been nice to know about!!! 🙂

  14. We don’t have any family traditions, but I must say how beautiful some of the old time wedding dresses looked. So romantic.

  15. Emma and Crystal — Thanks for loving the cover of Small Town Brides. Debra and I (Janet Tronstad) like it, too.

    Robyn, Estella, Colleen, and Jody — Thanks for stopping by. I’d guess most families don’t have any passed-down traditions — I agree about the old-time wedding dresses looking romantic.

  16. Hello ladies! I love the cover of your book! We don’t have any particular wedding traditions in the Bylin family, but my sister-in-law wore my mother’s wedding dress. It fit her beautifully! It had aged, so it had a wonderful antique white sheen. And best of all, my brother and his wife got married on our parents’ 39th anniversary. Definitely a happy day!

  17. Both my grandmothers married between 1910 and 1920. I can’t ever remember seeing a picture of their weddings. Just called my
    Dad and he doesn’t think there ever was a picture. He has no idea what she wore. There was nothing special for brides passed down. There was however a lovely cradle. My grandmother got it from her uncle and didn’t pass it on to any of her children. Instead she gave it to me, the oldest grandchild and her goddaughter, when I got married. My mother passed away many years ago, but I’m pretty certain there was nothing passed down in that family. My mom was the second oldest of nine children and here mother also came from a large family.
    My girls did use the ring pillow I made for my wedding. My veil didn’t fit with their dresses.

  18. Welcome to the Corral, ladies. I wanted to wear my mother’s veil, but it was (sadly) lost in a fire at the cleaners. They saved her dress–which none of us can wear because she was so tiny–but not the pearl tiara and veil. It was lovely though in her pictures.

  19. I have an invitation to my grandparent’s wedding.
    My grandmother’s blouse is still in the posession of one of my sisters. It is probably to fragile to wear. I also have a wedding picture of them.

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