When my grandma heard that I was making my own wedding gown, she brought over hers from her wedding in June 1946. She offered to let me wear hers, but it’s not my style nor does it come close to fitting me. But it was wonderful to look through her trousseau and keepsakes from her wedding day at my great-grandparents’ home in Manchester, New Hampshire.
My grandmother’s dress was kept in this box, which is, I believe, I blanket box. My great-grandmother made my grandma’s dress and veil, so this wouldn’t be a dressmaker’s box. A lot of the 64-year-old tissue paper was falling apart, so I replaced all of that with acid-free tissue paper and wrapped it all back up.
It’s difficult to see in this photo, but this silk peignoir is a very light blue silk and has a bow embroidered on the bodice. It’s handmade (most likely by my great-grandma — my grandma doesn’t remember) and very delicate. It also has a tie that wraps around the waist.
If I had a dressform this dress would look much better, especially since it’s been in a box for 64 years. It’s a typical post-war 1940’s dress that’s simple and form-fitting. The dress is satin with a sweetheart neckline and long fitted sleeves that come to a “V” at the wrist. It has satin covered buttons on the cuffs and is a slip-over dress. The only adornment is at the waist. The color is now a light ivory, but the marriage announcement calls it white, so the color has aged. I’ve seen other vintage 40’s dresses and they’ve yellowed much more than my grandma’s, so it’s apparently in good condition.
My grandma’s veil, also made by my great-grandma has a typical 1940’s beaded headpiece and netting with a scalloped edge. The veil is coming apart from the headpiece and there are holes in the netting. The netting isn’t very high quality, and considering the time period, is understandable. The veil hasn’t held up very well over time.
My grandma has a “Bride’s Book” in the box which has newspaper clippings of their engagement and marriage announcements along with a guest list, cards and pictures from their honeymoon. It was quite interesting looking at some of the kitschy cards from the 40’s.
There’s even a box with a piece of the wedding cake, a napkin and some of my grandma’s bouquet. The cake is hard as a rock.
I was most surprised to see this cake topper. It actually looks more like it’s from the 1930’s to me, but as my grandma doesn’t remember many details about her wedding, it’s hard to find out where it came it from. I’m considering using it as the topper for my wedding cake as it would be very sentimental as well as go along with my vintage wedding theme. My fiance and I were planning on having a humorous contemporary topper (The Simpsons), but I might just use this one.
There’s also a wide ivory satin ribbon with a floral design on it in the box which I’m not sure what it goes with (and of course my grandma doesn’t remember….). It was difficult to get a good picture of it showing the design, thus the reason why I haven’t included one here. I am going to try to incorporate it into the design of my gown (perhaps as the ribbon on the waist of my underdress).
It was quite a treasure to look through my grandmother’s wedding trousseau. 🙂