Tying the Knot

February 2010
Written By: 
Kathryn White

Something Old, Something New

It’s wedding season again, the time when Saturdays quickly fill with planned nuptials. Times have changed since the nineteenth century, when the big day usually arrived not on the ever-popular Saturday, but on a Wednesday, considered the luckiest day. A hundred years ago, weddings were much a simpler affair, usually held at home with a few attendants and guests. A newspaper article from a 1910 Horry County wedding gives a delightful glimpse of late-nineteenth, early-twentieth century trends and traditions.

Like many brides’, Sadie Hope Dusenbury’s Wednesday wedding took place in May. The newspaper reports that, “the quiet Dusenbury home was the scene of the marriage of her daughter Sadie Hope to Mr. Robert A. Duke.” Today, brides spend thousands on wedding décor, but Sadie was happily married in her home, simply decorated with ferns and palms. Many brides of the time made their dresses, and Sadie’s gown of “spotless white pongee” was likely her own creation.

The ring exchange is one wedding trend that has remained timeless, but others have faded over the years. Brides used to bake trinkets like thimbles and buttons into their wedding cakes. The found trinket foretold the lucky guest’s fortune. Of course, modern brides usually leave the thimbles out when choosing cake fillings, but the tradition reminds us of the rich history of the wedding celebration. In your search for wedding inspiration, don’t forget to consult the family photo album—you might find a tradition worth repeating.