Our Female Ancestors as Brides

How has the planning of a couple’s wedding changed over the decades.? Today, it is usually a couple who work together for what they would like for the wedding and reception. Yet, in years past it was very much just the bride-to-be and her mother.

Another change is that usually, a bride made her own wedding dress or her mother / aunt / grandmother made it.

A bride always wore long white gloves to her wedding, bare hands were considered in poor taste in the 1800s and early 1900s.

A bride always had a hope chest, a good-sized cedar chest, which the bride had been filling over the years with linens, dishes, or other special items for the bride’s new married life.

Traditionally, the bride’s father paid for everything related to the wedding. Today with couples planning the wedding, they many times pay for everything also.

The bride carrying a floral bouquet was originally thought to keep a nice fragrant around the bride. Then the tossing of the bouquet after the wedding symbolized the couple would not need any fragrant, they had each other. These two traditions remain but most brides today have no reason why.

Weddings for decades years ago were often held at noon on the weekdays with a reception then held at the bride’s parents’ home. By the 1960s, that tradition changed and more weddings were held on the weekends with big receptions held at rental halls.

A great addition to the family history is to learn from other relatives how your parents, aunts, grandparents, etc., held their weddings.

Photos: Bride and her mother; Bride of the 1800s; Bride’s long gloves; bridal flowers and Bride of the 1930s.

Related FamilyTree Blogs

A Tree of Weddings

Two Families – One Wedding

Decorate a Wedding with Family History

< Return To Blog Great post. I wish there were some ancestors in my family with traditional weddings. Everyone just "got married", no formalities. That's me, my sister, my parents and all my grandparents. I do have a nice wedding picture of my great grandparent's wedding but that's all I have records of.
Sara N Martin 19/02/21

I know it would be great to have those great formal wedding pictures. I did and my siblings had a formal wedding but my parents did not. But on their 25th anniversary, they had a big formal re-wedding and party, so I have those photos. My grandparents also had a big wedding. The ancestors earlier did not a big wedding and no photos. A re-wedding for anniversaries is a good idea.
alice 19/02/21

My grandparents renewed their vows at 25. No professional pictures! Just a blurry photo on the lawn. We renewed at 10 years in Vegas with an Elvis wedding. I have pics of that. That should amuse the descendants.
Sara N Martin 19/02/21

At least something. Yes, Elvis one will be interesting to future generations.
alice 19/02/21

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