Welcome lovely people to the first of my bi-weekly blog posts! I will be covering a range of topics on all things Bridal and can’t wait to share these posts with you all!
For my first post, I thought it would be nice to step back in time and find out what getting married was like for my Grandma (102) and my Mum, bearing in mind our current restrictions and compare their weddings to those of today.
My Grandma was married on June 19th 1943 (during the 2nd World War) at Brentree Church in Bristol. She was 25 and my Grandad was 32. There were no coupons for white material, so Grandma spent 8 Guineas on a beautiful pale blue suit. There were 25 people at their wedding. Definitely comparable with our current numbers and more like the norm for that time. Grandma had 1 bridesmaid, who wore pink. Following the church ceremony, they had a 2 course sit down meal at The Carlton Hotel in Kingswood. There was white wine for the meal and toast. They were incredibly lucky to have that much food and alcohol bearing in mind rationing. There was no partying late into the night because of air raids and no lights were allowed after dark, so Grandma and Grandad caught the train from Bristol Temple Meads later that day to their honeymoon destination of Ilfracombe, where they were staying for 4 days. (They couldn’t stay any longer, because Grandad was a fireman and couldn’t get leave for any longer). Why catch a train to Ilfracombe instead of driving? There was no petrol!
Similarities with weddings today? Grandma and her bridesmaid had bouquets of English flowers created by the local florist. She had her hair done at the local hairdressers and they had a car for her to arrive at Church and take them to the Hotel for the meal. She also employed a cake maker from Bath to make their wedding cake (a gift from her sister in law). Although the wedding dress boutiques were off-limits, she still managed to save enough to go to an upmarket dress shop to purchase her suit. On return from their honeymoon, they moved into their new house in Brislington, located 2 doors down from Grandma’s parents! It was their first experience of living together, not being allowed to move in with each other until they were wed.
My Mum was married on 14th May 1972 at Oldland Church in Bristol. She arrived in a vintage Rolls Royce. They also had a 2 course sit down meal at a Hotel in Kingswood. Fast forward almost 50 years and with the swinging sixties still ringing in their ears, I was expecting their wedding to be a much freer and more relaxed affair. But in reality, things were not so different at all. There was an increase in the number of guests, they had 48. But there was also no ‘evening do’, as Mum and Dad also set off on their honeymoon that day and were driving to Dover to spend 2 weeks in Switzerland. Although as I pointed out to Mum, Dad’s vehicle of choice at the time, was an old minivan and I suspect most of their 2 weeks was spent driving there and back, praying it wouldn’t break down again! My Mum actually handmade her own wedding dress, which was very unusual, but she fell in love with the material and nothing else would do! My other Grandma made the wedding cake as she baked incredible fruit cakes, as good as any professional, so any monies saved on this and the dress could be used for other things, like the Roller! Mum also had 1 bridesmaid, who wore a peach gown. Bridesmaids tended to be relatives and Mum asked her cousin, who she, in turn, had been a bridesmaid for.
During this time of restrictions, it is very easy to feel hard done by, trapped and fed up with the unfairness of what feels like an ever-decreasing pool of marriage options. But in reality, there is so much more choice regarding location, theme, fashion for men and women and society is much less conservative than it was nearly 80 years ago and even 50 years ago and any of our current anxieties are only temporary. If you can wait, do (at least couples are allowed to live together now!), but if you want that commitment, a small intimate wedding was very much how things used to be and there is always the option of a big party a few months down the line!
I hope you have found this an enjoyable and informative read. My next blog will be about Wedding Venues and how they have evolved over time, to becoming the go to places and how now many are having to adapt to survive.
But however you plan your big day, don’t forget to book your dress appointment with us!