The Princess Bride by Kenneth Heilbron

Copyright Kenneth Heilbron

Copyright Kenneth Heilbron

There’s just something about this vintage fashion photo that makes me breath ‘Ooh la la’. Aptly titled “Princess Bride,” it was shot and signed by Kenneth Heilbron, a well-known photographer who did fashion shots such as this one for countless newspapers, magazines, department stores, models, and designers. His clients included large editorial names such as Time, Life, Fortune, and Chicago Sun-Times, just to name a few.

Heilborn was born in Chicago in 1903, and was apprenticed by his family to a milliner in 1920s Paris. Talk about being in the perfect decade for artisans in the perfect city. After he finished his apprenticeship in Paris, he returned to Chicago in 1932 and taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as authored a textbook that is still used by fashion students to this day. He continued to shoot in and be inspired by Paris, which I … [read more]

June 7 2014 Labels: | Leave a comment | Comments Off on The Princess Bride by Kenneth Heilbron | Share this

Flashback Friday: The Kiss

From the Wedding Story Writer collection

From the Wedding Story Writer collection

Sealing the deal ends with a kiss. There is no other time when kisses are as accepted or expected as on the wedding day. Guests clap after the first kiss at the end of the ceremony. Companies manufacture bells for receptions to be rung so that the couple kiss. We tap on our wine glasses. Let’s be honest here: on your wedding day, your friends and family want to see you kiss. They expect to see you kiss.

The next time they see you, not so much.  Take advantage of that one day when kissing in public is truly A-OK.

From the Wedding Story Writer Collection

From the Wedding Story Writer Collection

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June 6 2014 Labels: | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Flashback Friday: The Kiss | Share this

Flashback Friday: The Wedding Gift Table

wedding gift tableAt a recent ISES meeting, a colleague and I were discussing old small-town customs of long ago, one being the gift table at the wedding reception. Over the course of years, we noted that there have been many changes to American wedding customs and traditions. (Many of those changes have been recent, as I call the “Wedding Revolution,” which began in the early 2000s. Another story altogether).

Up until 1970, many small-town brides were still opening gifts at their reception, standing in front of their gift table so that their guests could see their reaction and gratitude upon receiving the gift. The gifts were then carefully displayed by a trusted friend, each gift placed to show its beauty. Guests would casually go to the gift table to examine each gift, noting how wonderful each item was. Note that these weddings were generally small, hometown types. Displaying one’s gifts in those … [read more]

May 30 2014 Labels: | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Flashback Friday: The Wedding Gift Table | Share this

A 1971 Swiss Dot Military Wedding

From the Wedding Story Writer Collection

From the Wedding Story Writer Collection

Most of the time when I find a wedding photo from the 1970s I cringe. As I’ve explained before, I’m not a fan of polyester fabric, and unfortunately that leaves a high portion of 70s weddings out of my favorite list. This wedding is a bit different. First of all, it occurred at the beginning of the 70s, April 24, 1971 to be exact. The bride and groom, Billie Jean and Chris, chose a powder blue for bridesmaids and a dusky blue tuxedos for the groomsmen. I’ll overlook the tuxedos for a moment and concentrate on the actual gowns.

The bride is covered head to toe in what might possibly be silk organza. She has long bell-ended sleeves, a high collar neckline, and probably gloves based on what her attendants wore. Perhaps she was traditional in every sense, or maybe the church had modesty … [read more]

May 23 2014 Labels: | | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on A 1971 Swiss Dot Military Wedding | Share this

Flashback Fridays: The Civil War era bride

Portrait painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1847, as an anniversary present for Prince Albert

Queen Victoria by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Although not the first royal bride to marry in white, Queen Victoria was responsible for beginning the white wedding dress trend, now tradition, when she married Prince Albert in 1840. Because photography didn’t exist in 1840, or possibly existed but not fully-developed, Queen Victoria commissioned artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter to paint her wedding portrait in 1847, as a gift to her husband. Note the details the artist captured of the Honiton lace in her gown.

BRIDEcivilwar

Above you see a tintype photo of a bride from the 1860s, my guess would be 1862/65 due to the skirt. Orange flower blossoms, a symbol of fertility, also trimmed the ruffle flounced dress and became part of her veil. This photograph is quite the collector’s item. Although we cannot see as much detail in the photo as we can in the painting of Queen Victoria, this … [read more]

May 16 2014 Labels: | | | | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Flashback Fridays: The Civil War era bride | Share this

Flashback Friday: Wedding Circa 1912-1916

From the Collection of Wedding Story Writer

From the Collection of Wedding Story Writer

I am guessing on this gown age–circa 1912-1916. The dress seems to be very elaborate with a lace design from the bodice down the skirt. The neck is high, that trend beginning years earlier. Around 1911, necklines became squared but the high neck was still widely used. This bride’s hemline is shorter, showing her ankles, which leads me to believe the photo was taken around 1916, when hemlines rose. Before this time it was considered lewd to show one’s ankles.

Garland around one’s veil was also popular during this time. The bride wore satin slippers, but is glove-free . She stood on the side of her new husband while he sat comfortably in the chair. Aren’t they a cute couple? I wonder who they were. (I wish I had that dress!)

If you are an expert on menswear, I invite you to contact … [read more]

May 9 2014 Labels: | | | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Flashback Friday: Wedding Circa 1912-1916 | Share this

An 1863 Royal Wedding: Prince Albert & Princess Alexandra

1863 Princess Alexandra Of Denmark, later Queen of the United Kingdom and Empress of India as the wife of King-Emperor Edward VII.When Prince Albert Edward of Wales and Princess Alexandra of Denmark married on March 10, 1863, he was 21 and she was 18. The photo taken of them on their wedding day captures the regal stance and undeniable youth of the royal couple. Alexandra’s dress was designed to follow the style and taste of her new mother-in-law, Queen Victoria. Made of English silk and lace, fresh garlands were interwoven between its many layers, matching the flower crown that adorned her hair. If you squint, you can make out the intricate designs of roses, shamrocks, and thistles in the lace that represent three countries that were part of the United Kingdom at the time (England, Ireland, and Scotland). It is an English dress through and through. This dramatic dress is complemented with an equally dramatic train, also made of lace, which stretches well down Alexandra’s back.

It’s hard to imagine that … [read more]

May 6 2014 Labels: | | | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on An 1863 Royal Wedding: Prince Albert & Princess Alexandra | Share this

Flashback Friday: Veils 60’s Style

60s Bride

 

I love veils. I enjoy seeing brides who still want to bring this tradition into their wedding day, although the current trend doesn’t always include them. In my collection of wedding photos I found these two pictures of interesting veils from the 1960s. The top veil has a headpiece that seems to be at least 4 inches tall, then piled high with coal black hair. The veil netting is short but seems to have a longer veil attachment in the back, which I imagine is due to the fact that she is wearing a long dress, and a short veil might have seemed awkward. I’m a big fan of huge short veils, so I really liked the top photo.

Swing down to the bottom picture now. This bride also wears a halo type of crown base, but with a huge hair bun on top. The hair all but covers [read more]

May 2 2014 Labels: | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Flashback Friday: Veils 60’s Style | Share this

Flashback Friday: That 70’s Wedding

weddingpic754I, for one, am happy the 1970s are long gone. I remember wearing heavily flowered corduroy pants and polyester shirts with v-collars that could literally poke out an eye. Wedding dresses weren’t too different. In style was the polyester dress–one that couldn’t be wrinkled and could basically be thrown in the washing machine the day after the wedding, coming out looking brand new. Veils were heavy, but hats were all the rage, as seen in the photo above. Yes, I lived through this age. I was a flower girl at least twice during this time. I don’t even want to discuss the tuxedos from back then.

Strangely, as a child of the 70s, I also fell in love with weddings. To this day I still ask myself how that happened, being surrounded by nothing but polyester. My saving grace had to have been the family photos of weddings from the … [read more]

April 25 2014 Labels: | | | | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Flashback Friday: That 70’s Wedding | Share this

Flashback Friday: Wartime 1940 Weddings

2013-08-06 20.39.24

 

In the early 1940s, many brides had very little time or money to plan a wedding. Many couples were concerned only with the legality of marriage, and the bond it produces, not with the traditions involved with planning a wedding. There were uncertainties of time–many soldiers had only 2 days to tie the knot and head back out to sea, or hop the next plane. In my vintage wedding photo collection, I have many of these old photos of brides wearing their best dresses for their special day. They are very meaningful to me, although they lack the white ruffles, lace, veils, and flower bouquets. I see a couple in love, with very little time, making the best use of it–marrying the one they love.

All of my best[read more]

April 18 2014 Labels: | | | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Flashback Friday: Wartime 1940 Weddings | Share this