Tuesday 20 October 2020

Bridal Wreath: A book for the bride

 In some ways, I am like my mother. I keep stuff.

In a post published here on 29 July 2014 (My Mother’s Scrapbook), I wrote about a scrapbook my mother assembled as part of a project she did for a course at Normal School in 1936. It is an amazing thing to have in my memorabilia, mainly because it was something she personally created. She kept it until her death in 1974. And now I am keeping it.

I also wrote about My Parents’ Wedding Anniversary (7 October 2014). One of my current projects is to identify all the people that appear in the group photo taken at their reception. So far, I have put names to about 2/3 of the guests in the picture.

Mom assembled another book as well. This one is The Bridal Wreath, a book for the bride. It contains cards, notes and photos from friends and relatives that she received at bridal showers and that both she and Dad got with wedding presents.

The basic book cost $0.50 and according to instructions that came with it, was available “at your jewelers or free with the purchase of a Bridal Wreath Engagement or Wedding Ring.” I don’t know which acquisition method she chose to get it.

The book was formatted with pages for Prelude (events that happened before the wedding), Showers and Entertainments, My Trousseau, The Wedding, The Reception, The Bridal Party, The Guests, The Gifts, Newspaper Clippings, The Bridal Bouquet, Wedding Anniversaries (a list of future occasions) and a two-page summary of Questions of Wedding Etiquette (in case a new couple did not know all the rules when organizing their wedding).

The book lists all the people that attended the showers and the wedding reception., along with an itemized list of the gifts they gave the new couple. Mom included some photos taken at the showers.

There are newspaper clippings concerning the bride. There is even a sprig remaining from the bouquet she carried.

Mom filled in many of the blanks for names and dates. For instance, we know she received her engagement ring on 7 April 1939 as she wrote that date in the spot dedicated to that event.

Some pages she did not use as intended but glued in photos and cards they received instead. Each card was included in the envelope it came in and the envelopes glued to the pages of the book so they would not get lost. Cards could then be taken out and looked at intact.

Napkins used at the showers and reception are also attached. One she kept was signed by (I think all) the participants.

The book is a wonderful collection of memories of my parents that we all can now enjoy, written in mother’s own hand. And a tangible look into an important event in our family’s history.