Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vintage Black Weddings: 1955 & 1957

Don't forget to visit b.vikki vintage on Etsy!

The second installment in the Vintage Black Weddings series!

That baby face! I've been grumbling lately about what seemed to have been an alarming number of my peers' impending nuptials, especially those involving friends under 25, but this picture of the Harlem 'Boy' Preacher, married at 20 to Mary Wilson, only 19, sort of puts that in perspective. I wonder if they're together now. What they look like. What they're children and grandchildren are like. If I've met any of their relatives! It's impossible not to ponder these things.

Being immersed in photos of decades past for the last month or two has had that effect. Every photograph I see from mid-century Chicago reminds me of someone I now know... though, I'm sure my mind is making connections where there are none.

I love this gown! Long sleeves? Check! Diaphanous illusion neckline? Check? Collar??? Not so much a fan of the Peter Pan collar... She is stunning, though.

More long sleeves! And I love the silhouette of the skirt.

I featured this photo earlier, in the Kiddie Weddings (???) post, and the response was shocking. I had no idea Tom Thumb weddings existed a week ago. Christella Moody, whose blog you should all definitely read ("A blog of memories and thoughts after living over 70 years"), writes: "These were very popular in their time. Sometimes they were even used as fundraisers. People loved them." Who knew?

There's nothing like combining two occasions! Or marrying two families (and estates!). This sounds like a novel waiting to happen.

Her hair is amazing! Reminds me of a Bettie Page cut. Or Beyonce in Videophone. (I had to go there... and bring this blog to the 21st century!)

I actually like the groom's hair more than the bride's here! And a white suit too.

The sleeve detail here is impeccable.

I debated whether or not to include the many photos of wedding anniversaries and vow renewals I came across, and decided that it would be crazy not to! Marriage doesn't begin and end once the ceremony is complete, and it's heartening to see couples like the Claytons above having celebrated 25 years together.

This is the first of many military weddings to be featured in this series. The bride and groom exiting the threshold and entering their new life together flanked by the bridegroom's fellow servicemen is a powerful image, especially in the case of these photographs, with couples of color attended by brave members of the military of every race.

The volume of interracial marriages featured will probably shock a lot of people. They shocked me! Loving v. Virginia took place in 1967, and these photos predate that case by 12 years. Just goes to show that love knows no color, no era, and abides no man's unjust law.

Up next: Vintage 1960s ads from Pepsi, three new dresses on sale from b.vikki vintage, and vintage black wedding photos from the late 1950s. After that we'll be out of the 1950s and into the 1960s... meaning more color photos. And you can really see a shift in the gown styles.

Thanks for reading!

Don't forget to visit b.vikki vintage on Etsy!


  1. Thanks for stopping by M&C. Funny, I had just stumbled across your blog about a week ago and I love it. Keep up the good work. :o)

  2. Love these pics! Thank you for sharing!!

  3. So many of these dresses were breathtaking. I am glad I did not see these before I bought mine, I wouldn't have been satisfied with a new dress!
    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

  4. Hey, your blog is excellent, have you heard of the museum of Uncut Funk ? they have a crazy collection of vintage black/Afrocentric things that I think you would be interested in.

  5. Hi, I'm new! I love your blog! I like the top article that says $5,000 wedding. I wish my wedding had been $5,000. :D

  6. All the photos are lovely... but the kiddie wedding is the best!

  7. Oh, this is right up my alley. My two great loves: vintage and weddings. You've found some great fashions. Great job! I'll be back often to visit and get some inpsiration. :)


  8. I linked your blog to my site as well. You have a wonderful blog here. You are capturing time at its best... and our face to document it! I love it... this is true art!


  10. The pictures on this site are really nice. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Wonderful site! I really love your writing style.