Capitol Flashback: My Grandma’s 1940s Wedding

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  • October 08, 2012

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while. But I figured that today would be the perfect day to blog this as it was exactly 72 (whoa!) years ago today that my grandma got married. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at a REAL 1940s wedding and compare it to the wedding traditions of today.

Here is my grandma and I at my engagement party a few years ago:

And now onto some pretty awesome details of what REAL weddings were like in the 1940s, from an interview I had with my grandma a few months ago:

My grandma and grandpa got married on October 8, 1940 – a Tuesday! She told me that she didn’t care what day it was, just that she liked that it was the anniversary of their first date. Her wedding party consisted of her brother and her sister-in-law and the invite list included anyone that lived in their neighborhood, and was their friend.

Their reception consisted of homemade wine (made by her father), sandwiches, and cookies. They did have a cake too, and it was baked at a local bakery in Sayreville, NJ, called Gutkowski Bakery.

Pretty much everything they had at the wedding was local – her jewelry was from Crabilles, a local jewelry store in Milltown, NJ, the flowers (orchids) were from Christie’s and the shop had sent away special to get orchids for her. Her dress – a stunning, long-sleeved velvet dress – was from a local store in Perth Amboy … and what did it cost? $35 !

I asked my grandma about that infamous first date and she shared that my grandpa’s sister was the one that had the big plans to get them together – she convinced them to go on their first date in 1936 to the SS Morro Castle (a ship that had sunk and was then stationed off the coast in Asbury Park). When my grandpa finally proposed, she knew she wanted that date as their wedding date – October 8th.

After the wedding they honeymooned in Pittsburgh (where my Grandpa’s family was). They borrowed her brother’s car and drove all through the mountains and it took 24 hours to get from NJ to Pittsburgh! After the honeymoon they returned to Sayreville, NJ and rented a house – at a whopping $25/month !

It’s crazy to me how different weddings are now, and it was really fun getting to hear her tell me just how matter of fact/logical choices were for weddings back in the 40s. I think it’s important for couples to realize the REAL traditions and history of weddings when they start planning their own.

I hope to interview some of my other family members on their weddings and share some REAL vintage weddings through this “Capitol Flashback” feature ~ I also would love to take submissions on this if anyone out their wants to share their parents or grandparents’ weddings with me!

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One Comment

  • Marybeth says:

    Babci will love this! I will tell her tonight and figure out how to show it to her! Yay for Capitol Flashback!! Love you….

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