Miss It Monday: Wedding Announcements

Welcome to the inaugural Miss It Monday post! Miss It Monday will appear when I run across and/or remember something I used to love but is either no longer produced, or is in such limited supply that it might as well be a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

When I was a kid I kept a scrapbook. No biggie there, right? In the 70s a large majority of us kept scrapbooks. Mine was filled with the cards I received for birthdays, pressed blossoms from floral bouquets or arrangements, snapshots, school photos of my friends, newspaper clippings of things I found interesting; you know the sort of thing. But, unlike most kids, the majority of my newspaper clippings were wedding announcements.

Yes, the newspaper wedding announcements are the ones I miss, not the formal engraved things sent out to people who weren’t invited to the actual wedding. No, it was the write-ups in the paper that I carefully cut out and saved. I didn’t know 99.9999% of the couples who married, but that didn’t matter to me. It was the detailed description of their wedding that I loved. And when I say description, I mean description.

Everything about the ceremony was mentioned, beginning with the name of the person stationed at the Bride’s Book table and a description of her attire. Her corsage (because all members of the wedding party wore either a corsage or boutonniere) received a mention, including the color of the ribbons under the flowers.

From there the write-up went into details about the flowers in the church itself, those on the ends of the pews reserved for family, and about the candles that would softly illuminate the ceremony. Speaking of candles, the identity and attire of the people who lit the candles was inserted at about this point.

The musical selections were listed, and if they were played or sang live, the performers were named (though no one really ever mentioned what they wore.) Then came the mothers of the couple, and their attire was described tastefully.

The part I really enjoyed was the description of what the bride’s attendants wore. Oh, I loved it! It went something like this:

“Miss Jones was attended by Miss Alice Brown of Jackson, Miss Sarah Smith, Miss Cathy Harris, and Mrs. Lisa Pope, all of Harrisburg, and Misses Tina and Brenda Quincy, sisters of the groom, who all served as bridesmaids. Miss Carol Jones, sister of the bride, was Maid of Honor.” Then came the description of what they wore. “Floor-length gowns of ice pink satin with white lace trimming the three-quarter length sleeves and sweetheart necklines,” “mid-calf length dresses of green dotted Swiss with full skirts held out by embroidered petticoats, and with matching green garden hats with white satin streamers,” “floor-length Robin’s egg blue dresses of linen with scoop necklines and detachable short trains.” Sometimes the Maid or Matron of Honor wore a different but coordinating color than the bridesmaid, and that made it even better! Of course, their flowers received their own paragraph.

“The attendants carried elegant bouquets of vibrant red roses, stephanotis, and baby’s breath, tied with blue satin ribbon.” Y’all, I’d heard of stephanotis for thirty years before I actually saw a photograph of it!

The flower girl’s dress was dutifully described, as well as her little bouquet or basket of flowers. And then the main event — the bride.

When brides bother to turn in wedding announcements to the newspapers these days they usually include a detailed description of their bridal gown and veil, and sometimes their bouquets. More often that not, though, they skip even that. And I adored reading that this bride wore candlelight duchess satin, and that one wore diamond white silk, and that one wore blush matte satin with a white sash. And the veils! Cathedral length, fingertip, shoulder-length, or even a satin hat bedecked with white roses!

Of course the male attendants were listed, but about the only details given other than their names, towns of residence, and familial ties to the couple if any, were their boutonnieres, and the ring bearer’s pillow.

The reception wasn’t ignored, either. Descriptions of both the bride’s and groom’s cakes, the names and corsages of those serving the cake and punch, and even the bride’s going-away clothing. Nothing was left out, and it was glorious!

I miss those! I know that newspapers are going the way of the Dodo bird because there’s no way for them to remain relevant in an age where any and all information is disseminated mere seconds after it occurs (even though major news outlets usually make up their info with no facts or sources and then get all pissy when called out about lying and a shoddy work “ethic”), but I still miss when weddings were occasions that deserved to be celebrated and shared with one and all.


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