Friday, June 28, 2019

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Vintage 1950s Wedding Receptions

Vintage 1950s Weddings

The Reception

          The 1950s was a time of celebration as soldiers returned home from the war. And this celebration can be seen in weddings as well during this time. The traditional wedding started coming back into fashion, with elaborate church weddings. Brides reintroduced bridesmaids and grooms including groomsmen. It was expected that the wedding party all wore proper wedding attire. Lace or satin gloves became a standard for the brides, as well as shortened veils. Sweetheart necklines became popular by way of Elizabeth Taylor who wore a sweetheart neckline wedding dress in the original “Father of the Bride” movie. Groom's fashion changed as well with a shortened, single-breasted narrow jacket with tapered pants. The tiered wedding cakes made their first appearance during this era as well.

In the 1950s, people... society loved to dance. All weddings had music, live or recorded (record players)

Most popular songs:
Unforgettable - Nat King Cole.
Dream a Little Dream of Me - Doris Day.
I Only Have Eyes for You - The Flamingos.
Pledging My Love - Johnny Ace.
All The Way - Frank Sinatra.
Come Rain or Come Shine - Billie Holiday.
Sea of Love - Phil Phillips.

When food rationing ended in 1947, wedding cake decoration became extremely detailed.
Fruit cakes iced in white royal icing were in vogue. This period is famous for using muscovado sugar, fine quality fruits, and premium liquors in the treats. The decorations consisted of natural flowers or figurines of the traditional bride and groom on top. The iconic bride and groom toppers went mainstream in this decade because the plastic was affordable.

For a formal wedding the groom wore a classic tux. The rule of thumb was to play with color (blue for a Spring or Summer wedding, a rich burgundy red for Autumn and Winter. (However, white was most common) By the mid 1950s color, texture and pattern were all the rage.


In the post-WWII years, things changed regarding food. Elegance repeated itself in the food served at weddings. Buffets were very popular depending on the number of guests.

Salad: the era of Jell-O salad. Molded Jell-O made with cottage cheese and canned fruit was vogue. Greens salads would have been made with iceberg lettuce served with French dressing or a vinaigrette.

Appetizer: Deviled eggs, fondue, or fruit skewers. For a more casual wedding, celery topped with Cheese Whiz was served.

Entrees: Roast beef or Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and corn or green beans. For a casual wedding individual pot pies were popular. For something between casual and elegant, steak with fries made its appearance.

Dessert: Fruit cup, or ice cream served with the cake.

Weddings strived for elegance regardless of location. The decor was mostly pink and peach, second most popular was blue or green/yellow.

The color palette for the 1950s wedding reception was peach, or teal, with white and occasional gray. The key here is elegance for the bouquet and the table decorations.

          In other words, reception is held as a sort of welcome for those who attended the wedding. The couple received their community, i.e. friends and family, for the first time as a newly married couple. And the celebration commenced.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Vintage 1950s Famous Brides

Vintage 1950s Weddings
Famous Brides of the 1950s

When Queen Elizabeth was crowned in 1953 there was a brief revival of jeweled crowns to be worn instead of hats.

Audrey Hepburn’s real wedding gown in 1954 had a full tea-length skirt, high collar, small buttons down the center, billowing elbow length sleeves and a wide sash around her waist. It enveloped her tiny figure.

Debbie Reynolds  wore a crescent wedding hat with a veil in 1955.

 Jackie Kennedy wore her grandmothers rosé point lace veil attached to a small tiara of lace and orange blossoms. It contrasted nicely against her ivory silk taffeta ball gown with ruched bodice and off the shoulder neckline. 

 Grace Kelly wore a skin tight long sleeve lace wedding gown for her church wedding to Prince Rainier.

In 1952 Brigitte Bardot wore a Victorian style dress featuring a high collar, long sleeves and train, included a chic white muff, embroidered veil and open-toe shoes.

Natalie Wood wore a modern white, strapless cocktail dress with a lace hood,  jacket, and ballet flats.

Marilyn Monroe wore a light beige muslin gown. Rumor has it she couldn’t find a veil to match so she dipped her veil in coffee to turn it beige.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Vintage 1950 Wedding Dresses

Vintage 1950s


Wedding Dresses

Coming out of the 1940s women were looking too high fashion designers and their Hollywood models for fashion inspiration. The 1950s vintage wedding dress was no different.

        The sweetheart neckline, small waist, and full skirt was the classic wedding gown silhouette. Early 50s fabrics favored a structure that easily molded the torso and shaped the hips down to the floor. Ribbed silks and Duchesse satins were smooth and shiny. Lace was used on both the top only or full dress fabric infused with gold or silver thread. Handmade lace was very soft and expensive but new cotton or polyester-cotton machine-made lace was affordable. Lace was often used.


        Mid 50s wedding gowns were practical. Modesty was required in churches.  But in the area of reception gowns, brides wanted something modern and fashionable. Wedding dress designers solved this dilemma with removable layers. Most bridal gowns were now strapless but also had a matching bolero jacket with three-quarter length sleeves that were worn at the ceremony. Jackets could be solid silk or satin but more often were white lace, tightly fitted with a sleeve, short, three-quarter or long. 


        Mid to late 50s dresses softened up the shape into the round ball gown and used chiffon and tulle to make them lighter as well.  Hemlines rose up, up, and up to the tea length (ankle) or mid-calf, exposing footwear for the first time since the ’20s. The bodice styles simplified and short sleeves were preferred.



        Wedding dress skirts of the 50s had little variety but the necklines embraced nearly every shape imaginable. Here are12 necklines popular during most of the 50s
·      Bateau – cut straight across the collarbone in front and equally in the back with a one inch gap at the shoulders.
·      Fichu- A frilled fichu gathered into a point at the breasts. Sometimes a brooch or flower was placed at the point
·      Halter- Thick straps gather from the side of the breast up and around the back of the neck.
·      Horseshoe- U shaped halter that loops under the bust line.
·      Jewel – Simple round neckline, perfect for showing off jewelry
·      Off the shoulder- A boat neckline that falls just slightly off the shoulder with short sleeves
·      Portrait – A collar that frames the neck and shoulders
·      Queen Anne – A high back and neck that curves down into a sweetheart front. Very regal.
·      Scoop neck- A wide and low U shaped neckline
·      Square neck- Straight sides and bust line, no cleavage
·      Strapless – A supported (boned) top with a straight bust line often paired with a bolero or crop jacket
·      Sweetheart – A center point between breast bowls out over the breasts and straight up the sides. A sheer lace, chiffon or net illusion panel may be added for modesty.
·      V- neck – Wide or narrow V opening from neck to bust or neck to low back. Sometimes with a peel out collar.

        Overall, brides were encouraged to dress like the Hollywood stars in the most expensive gown they could afford. Thanks to manufacturing improvements, wedding dresses were now being offered “off the rack” with cheaper synthetic materials that looked as expensive as the real thing. Every bride could afford a wedding dress of their dreams including accessories and live happily ever after… or so they say.