On my latest trip home to the in-laws in Lancaster, PA, I had the opportunity to travel back in time as a 1920’s bride.
My journey began just beside the horse and carriages of the Amish country.
helping me in, like a true gentlemen.
JB’s maternal grandmother surprised us with a romantic ride alongside rolling hills. I was swept off my feet and shuttled with my groom as if we had just exchanged vows. Despite my tee shirt, sneakers and messy hair, I felt the breeze and royalty of a 1920’s bride. We made a mock getaway in a “just married” all original Model T. Our speed was slow, our kisses sweet and our engine just bearable. I cherished the characteristics of the car such as the wooden floorboards and its antique, fragile structure- a crank to start.
just like this Model T– marriage takes work!
always, always kiss the bride!
A few hours later, I was surprised yet again by another family treasure. JB’s sweet Aunt Jane handed me a copy of The Bride’s Magazine from 1945 that belonged to her mother and was read in the summer months leading up to her big day. As a writer and a bride this gift is incredibly precious and educational. On a more sentimental note, the bride behind this magazine reminds me that I am following 68-years of marriage and sacred love. Like JB’s Mommom, I am a true summer bride.
At first glance, the magazine reads as a distant, pretty feature of the past. Weddings have certainly changed. For example, a beautiful, ruffled dress at Saks Fifth Avenue sold for approximately $250.00. Although a similar, conservative style most likely exists in the bridal department at Saks, I know the price tag comes with additional zeros.
Price aside, the value of this magazine remains intact. As I carefully flipped through the sturdy pages of this treasure, I noticed that many of the articles address me, a June bride. Every year, before and well after 1945, summer brides take a leap of love down the aisle.
I was particularly excited about one article in the issue titled, “To you Bride of summer 1945.” Three paragraphs in, George Platt Lynes writes,
“To you —the girl who’s lost her heart but still has a head for romance… and uses it charmingly with one of the engagingly new bridal headdresses, like the ones sketched below, that outstanding American milliners are creating especially for you. None of them are bridal headdresses in the conventional sense of the word…but tempting, delicious little hats that after the wedding you’ll wear happily again minus the veil.”
Despite my quick judgments of brides from this era, I found the author’s writing edgy, flavorful and fashion forward. Apparently, women in 1945 considered headdresses that transitioned from a summer wedding to a summer soiree- “just pleasantly peasant enough to look delicious at a summer wedding, and after the wedding… pouff! it becomes a baby straw bonnet to work wonders atop a dark town sheer.”
Who would have thought that Mommom, a 1945 summer bride might recycle her wedding headdress for a night out in town?
As much as this issue pushed barriers and pressed buttons, the conversation regarding headdresses and lingerie advertisements did not mask the domestic perception of brides. I’m glad summer brides of 2015 are encouraged to venture well beyond the kitchen.
I suppose our current Bridal magazines still include recipes. Page 109.
I wish I could take that Model T, hop on a time traveling highway and head back to 1945. With that said, based my cooking skills, or lack thereof, I would have been a single gal. Nonetheless, I imagine a blonde, sans apron, Sarah blogging from a completely different perspective. I would incorporate poetry, fashion and wisdom from each and every decade in between Mommom’s and mine. I would mimic the charisma and charm of this 1945 bridal magazine, which promises a rosy future for all summer brides.
Thank you Grandma Yost for an unforgettable ride.
Thank you Aunt Jane for taking me back in time to meet bridal writers, editors and elegant summer brides.
Thank you Mommom for sharing a beautiful bridal treasure. I will be thinking of you this weekend, on the warm summer night of June 20th.