Photos From My Parents’ Now Vintage Wedding

When my parents got married, they didn’t know that 55 years later their wedding style could be referred to as “vintage”. But check out the details in these photos; they make great inspiration for today’s 1950’s vintage-inclined bride. That’s my mom in the wedding dress, and Dad is the handsome fellow standing over her left shoulder. I put a framed copy of this photograph on a table at the entrance to my own wedding.

1950s vintage wedding

My mom wears a dress influenced by Grace Kelly’s gown, with a nipped in waistline and bodice with a lace overlay, details that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge adopted more recently when she married Prince William. I’ve always loved the tea length skirt. Mom carries a bouquet of daisies. Forty years later, these daisies inspired the theme of a surprise anniversary party my brothers and sisters and I threw for my parents.

The maid of honor, my mom’s sister and my Aunt Mary, wears the same silhouette as the bride, but fashioned from silk satin in the perfect shade of blue. The skirt has an overlay of what looks like fine tulle. Check out Aunt Mary’s pillbox hat with tulle veil–caught here by a light breeze–and the dyed-to-match satin pumps.

The moms of the bride and groom are perfectly coordinated to the rest of the party but show their personal style. I’m loving their hats, gloves, and corsages. That’s Grandma Gethard on the far right and Grammy Bywater on the left. (By the way, that’s not Grandpa Bywater standing next to her. When everyone got to the park to take pictures, they realized that Grandpa Wally had been left behind at the ceremony. No one remembers whose fault that was; at least it doesn’t seem to bother anyone any more. It’s not even clear that anyone got particularly worked up about it at the time. Standing in for Grandpa Wally on the far right is Cousin Raymond.)

1950s vintage wedding style photo

I don’t know most of the women in this photo, but I wish I did. They look strong, even formidable, and they seem to get along well. They know how to wear hats. And gloves. And pearls. I’ve often studied this photo trying to work out the shapes of the hats on the gaggle of women in the background. You can’t see them totally, but we’re clearly talking textured tulles and pastels. Two of the women are my Grandpa Wally’s sisters: Nelli Forcino on the right, and Aunt Minnie, in the purple print dress on the right, who I knew from many childhood trips to Groton, Massachusetts. I don’t know the young woman in the foreground, but I’m sure that in the movie version of my parents’ wedding she would be played by Winona Ryder. Well, a young Winona Ryder. Time does fly.

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