Sometimes you can't ignore a good coincidence. Around the time that I was planning my own wedding, I opened a drawer in the Eagle morgue labeled "unsorted." Inside I found lovely ladies smiling up at me, some in wedding gowns and some who looked as if they were posing for school photos. Reading through them, I found that they were all wedding and engagement photos! We have since rehoused the images in folders and will be listing them so that anyone wanting to add to their family photo album may be able to find an image or two here at the Brooklyn Collection.
Here we have the lovely Joan Betty Schwartz who resided at 1617 Avenue R. Her parents happily announced her engagement to Mr. Donald Weisberg of Brooklyn on December 13, 1954. Good thing they got this announcement in, because the Eagle closed just a few short weeks later. I do hope they made a lot of happy memories together.
These next two brides are Phyllis Funk (or Mrs. Henry Reuss) and Cynthia Collins (or Mrs. James Crane). While their announcements are beautifully descriptive (for example, Cynthia Collins "wore an antique taffeta gown trimmed with seed pearls and a Chantilly lace fingertip-length veil" and she carried "carnations on a white prayer book with a rosary") they also tell us quite a bit about the family members, where the wedding took place, and the wedding party--some of whom could be the long-lost relatives often sought by genealogists.
Our catalog also has a few photos that show the wonderfully rich cultural diversity of Brooklyn. The top photo, showing the bride and groom about to cut the Challah bread together, is of a traditional Hasidic wedding in Williamsburg. Below that, a bride and her father head for St. Cyril Methodius Roman Catholic Church. They are standing in front of the charred remains of the house where the new couple was to live. They went on to live with the bride's family. I hope they eventually got a house of their own.
The Brooklyn Eagle also captured a couple of weddings that seem a bit off the beaten path. (You can read a great post by Leslie on Brooklyn Tom Thumb Weddings here.) While the below photo is not a Tom Thumb wedding, children dressed in wedding garb still make me a bit nervous. These tots are re-creating a traditional Dutch wedding at the Old First Dutch Reformed Church in Brooklyn. In my opinion, the best part of this photo is the expression on the "preacher's" face!
And this very non-traditional golden anniversary of the marriage between the hot dog and the roll took place in Coney Island in 1939. Borough President Ingersoll gave his blessing and sent Brooklyn's Assistant Commissioner of Public Works to preside over the ceremony at Feltman's Restaurant.
Finally, if you look the the Eagle microfilm, you will see advice columns for brides and advertisements for wedding attire.
This describes non-traditional gowns and colors. Those who did not want the "fancy wedding gown of white satin may don picturesque medieval attire in pastel hues." This article ran in 1930, so I don't imagine many people ran out to get a fancy medieval dress, since money was probably quite scarce.
The popular Brooklyn department store Namm's Loesers published this beautiful ad in the January 1955 edition of the Eagle. I believe I have admitted to blog readers before that I love 1950s style, so I had to include this ad. The dress advertised is quite close to what my wedding dress looked like. Ah, tea length dresses, and at a very reasonable price!
Finally, I found this little gem in our ephemera collection. I used to love going through my mother's wedding album. She was married in 1976 and this style is very close to what her dress looked like. Martin's was another Brooklyn Department store and this catalog lists their fall bridal collection. It's small, but it's fun to look through because it includes dress descritptions like: "Scotch Plaid taffeta skirt and shawl with white lace bodice." Or: "Candy pink faille with bowed watteau back." Other dresses had stripes and brocade and one dress was pale lime green. I'm pretty sure one of my mother's bridesmaid dresses was lime green. You have to love that 70s style.