A 1927 Practical-Offbeat Bride

There is something about weddings from our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents generations that I find so grounding. Weddings were usually smaller and simpler. Everyone spent much less, but expectations were lower too. There were no favors, and often there were no bridesmaids, no seated dinner, and no wedding colors. There was just a bride and a groom and a hurry to get started on the actually-being-married bit. So it’s with that spirit that I have to share this incredible article that reader Alison sent me. The wedding in question is her great-grandmothers. Not only is it practical (at home) but clearly this is a bride with, as they would have said, some spunk. Miss June VanBuskirk got married at 5am on June 1st, because she was determined to be the first June bride of the season (that being her name and all), which really should qualify her to be a 1927 Offbeat Bride. The article, with all of its great 1920’s language follows.



Miss June VanBuskirk Bride of Robert Bennett In Early Morning Wedding at Home of Bride’s Parents.

Wedding bells pealed forth for the first June bride of the season at five o’clock this morning at the home of John VanBuskirk at Winfield when Miss June VanBuskirk and Robert Bennett were united in the holy bonds of matrimony.

The couple entered the beautifully decorated rooms to the strains of Mendelssohn’s wedding march played by Miss Naomi Bender of this city, an intimate friend of the bride. Rev. William O’Donnell of the Evangelical church tied the nupital knot, using the beautiful double ring ceremony.

The bride was attractively attired in a gown of white georgette crepe with slippers and stockings to match and wore a bridal veil of tulle. She carried a shower bouquet of white rosebuds and lilies of the valley.

Immediately after the ceremony the bridal couple and guests proceeded to the dining room where a tasteful wedding breakfast was served.

Mrs. Bennett is the accomplished daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John A. VanBuskirk, of Winfield. She numbers a host of friends in this city as well as in her hometown, having attended Sunbury High School, graduating with the class of 1925. For the past year, she has been employed by the Quaker Manufacturing Company at Lewisburg.

Mr. Bennett is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Bennett of Winfield. He also is quite known among the younger set of this city, having been employed here several years ago. At present he is engaged as a mason with the Lewisburg Construction Company.

The newlyweds have gone on an extended honeymoon tour during which they will visit Pittsburgh, Baltimore and other points of interest.

Upon their return they will reside with the bride’s parents until they go into housekeeping in the very near future at Lewisburg.

Their many friends extend congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy wedded life.

Alas, there was no photo from this wedding. This is a found wedding photo (love those!), via Lovedaylemon on Flickr

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  • Anonymous

    That is just fabulous. Everyone should take a lesson from this (not the 5am part – the focus on the marriage not the pagentry).

    Elizabeth A.

  • this is amazing…thank you so much for posting…i love it.

  • It is interesting to compare a wedding from the early part of the 20th century to the later half.

    Up to WWII they were very simple affairs more likely to have just a couple witnesses unless you were high society, but then around the baby booming 1950’s it seemed to start changing.

  • I think one of the things that’s really changed about weddings in the second half of the twentieth century is that there are likely to be many more out of town guests. People are much more likely to go to college out of state and end up living far from their hometowns, which means that friends and family are often scattered and almost any location is going to require travel for a big chunk of the guest list. I think that really ratchets up the pressure to do something to “make it worth the trip.”

    My fiance and I actually had a mini-argument about this. I was pushing for a Sunday morning wedding followed by brunch, but he insisted that “people don’t want to fly in from the East coast for brunch.” I eventually gave in when I realized he had his heart set on a Saturday night dinner-and-dancing wedding, but I still think a Sunday brunch reception would have been lovely. The “wedding breakfast,” IMHO, is a tradition that needs to make a major comeback!

  • One Love Photo

    Perfect! That’s a good one. My Grandma didn’t have any wedding photos and it kills me. But it means I have to use my imagination about her tiny wedding at a friend’s house. It’s fun to pretend I was there.

  • adorable!

  • Meg

    Bride In Exile-
    I’ve thought a lot about this, because we too have tons of people flying in. I think your comment clarified a few things for me. 1) For me, with lots of people flying in, we had to feed them. That was sort of my personal bottom line. 2) Just because people are flying in doesn’t mean that we have to do all the stuff we’re pressured to do. I mean, travel or no travel, what guest cares about favors and colors and confetti? None I’ve ever met ;) 3) A meal is a meal. We’re doing a Sunday morning brunch wedding. Who thinks “ehhh, I’d fly, but it’s brunch, so it’s not really worth it. Dinner would be, but not brunch.” By which I mean to say, I’m on your side. (in fact, people seem to be delighted, because they can travel on Saturday and fly home Sunday evening and not miss work if they don’t want to).

    So I guess, in the end, the thing we have to keep in mind is that people want to come in to celebrate with you. They want to celebrate who you are and the step that you are taking. They’d far rather see you do your own thing and have your own light shine then fly in and see you cram yourself into the mold of “expectations” when it’s not right for you.

    What do you guys think? This is clearly fodder for more discussion. Hum.

    PS – Peony – I’m getting married AT 10am ;)

  • Ms.E.

    I love this. The marriage is the point of the story, not the drama and pretentiousness of the “wedding”. I also love the low key, but still celebratory, local honeymoon.

  • Love this post! Sweet to think about people so happy together that they’re in a hurry to get married. Reminds me of my grandparents’ wedding with my grandfather in uniform about to leave for WWII.

  • Great– loove that picture

    that [engaged] girl

  • Who thinks “ehhh, I’d fly, but it’s brunch, so it’s not really worth it. Dinner would be, but not brunch.”

    Exactly, Meg! Besides, who doesn’t love brunch, the yummiest and most decadent of all meals?

    I think a big part of my fiance’s resistance to the brunch idea was his love for dancing — he just couldn’t wrap his head around not dancing into the wee hours of the morning. But that unfortunate “we have to make it worth the trip” mentality also played into it. (I actually just wrote a blog post on this, if anyone is interested :-))

  • Meg

    Just as a PS – we’re boozing them up and dancing like crazy at our brunch! Booze and dance is not the sole province of dinner, or so say I.

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    Gorgeous! Apart from the getting married at 5am bit, the wedding would not have happened if I’d had to get up before 10am.

  • Looks like a fantastic wedding! The bride has a great smile in the photo, and I think that picture plainly illustrates the focus was on the marriage, not just the wedding.

  • oh! did anyone else notice the mention of “the beautiful double ring ceremony”? i love such examples of the way things change – imagine having to specify that there were two rings at a modern wedding (i believe that a single-ring ceremony falls into “offbeat bride” territory now).

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