Vintage wedding photos: Honoring our offbeat ancestors

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Boy, did you guys totally get behind our little vintage photo snack idea. Not only did y'all ask for more, but some of you even sent me some entries from your own family photo albums. The photos are all amazing, but even more amazing are the stories that accompany them. We have everything from loud '70s fashions, to wedding day surprises gone wrong, and even a couple's one and only wedding photo.

Tribe member K Munn shared with us this photo from her great-grandparents' wedding day. They were married in Scarsdale, NY, just before the Great Depression when she was 16 and he was 19 or 20. K said, “I just love the amazing gown Grammy wore, and I wish someone in my family had held onto it. For all I know she may have sold it during the Depression for money. Anyway, they were married for over 60 years!”

Lindsay sent us this photo of her grandparents on their wedding day in 1949. Things I love: grandpa's white tux and and grandma's amazing headpiece — is that a hat/veil combo?

Tina sent us this wedding photo of her boyfriend's parents, Marvin and Helga, from November 1977. How much do we love Helga's dress and the corsage? I'm also crazy over her glasses. And Marvin, you were ROCKING that suit, and don't even get me started on that awesome patterned shirt! Guys, can we bring the loud-patterned shirts back as wedding apparel?

Cutting the Wedding CakeThis photo is of Mr and Mrs Lewis Johnson cutting their wedding cake from 1930. There are just SO MANY amazing details in this photo: her fingerless gloves with that beautifully fitted wedding dress, and her absolutely PERFECT hair — oh my. At first glance I assumed the groom was just wearing your normal suit jacket, but check out those buttons and the trim around the cuff — dapper as hell.

This is a photo from Jessica's grandparents' mid-'40s wedding. The couple in the middle are the bride and groom, Bill and Orpha. Jessica said, “I love how my grandma and the little girls are the only ones smiling, they contrast so much with the rest of the picture! And how both bridesmaids are wearing white and veils too. It almost looks like a triple wedding!” I have to agree: veils on bridesmaids are freaking fantastic.

Tribe member Ginny sent me these photos of her parents' wedding from 1979.
It was on the roof of a hotel in Pensacola, FL. Ginny's grandmother made her mom's dress and her dad “surprised” her mom by showing up in a white tux with a top-hat. Ginny said, “It actually infuriated her because she had picked out a suit for him… she told me a few years ago that she started crying when she saw him!” Apparently she got over it, because she looks adorable in the picture where she's wearing the hat. Oh and this summer they'll be celebrating their 32nd anniversary!

These are Angela's grandparents, Ed and Nel, on December 18th, 1957. They eloped from Holland to England (where the picture is taken) and got married in the courthouse. Angela explains, “He was in the Dutch military and was moving to Canada, but my grandmother could not go along unless they were married. Her parents disapproved because Ed was not Catholic. Nel didn't care and married him anyway. They went from Holland, to England, to Canada, to Maryland, to Illinois, and finally to California, where they still live. They've been married 54 years this December and I'm honoring them by getting hitched the exact same day!”

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Comments on Vintage wedding photos: Honoring our offbeat ancestors

  1. THANK YOU!!!!!! I love everything vintage! Especially photographs!! There’s nothing like actually seeing back into the past.
    And that last suit……OHMIGAWD 😀 pretty sure a boy wore a brown one like that (trimmed in brown velvet ribbon no less!)to junior prom or something….it was killer!

  2. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for including my grandparents. They are the most amazing people in the whole world. And I just love their love story. It should be a movie.

    Its so important we don’t forget these amazing traditions and fashions of the past. Such a good segment.

  3. Love all the vintage going on and the UK wedding (although wouldn’t they have got married in a registry office, not the court?). Just asking.

    • Yep, must be a registry office (not sure if that’s where they’re standing in the picture). You could only get married in a church or a registry office until the mid-1990s.

  4. I LURV flashback fridays. My wedding dress is vintage inspired, so I love to examine vintage accessories to see what would go with it. The Veils in these shots are amazing. Woot!

  5. Oh my god, I am getting misty reading the sweet stories with these pics. Especially the one where the bride married the groom, her family’s opinion on his religion be damned. So sweet.

  6. What a great day to post this! It is my Dad and Stepmom’s 38th wedding anniversary today! And that was one fugly dress she wore…square neckline, about 2″ too short, totally not me, but I’m glad she liked it. Sometimes I’m glad the 70s are just gone and I wasn’t old enough to remember much about them…except to use old photos as inspiration to rock the look my own way!

  7. My dad actually had a suit like the last one when he was 13/14 for his confirmation. We only have black and white pictures of it, but from what I hear it was that exact colour. The bowtie was about as big as his head.

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