Nothing ordinary about this one
Queen Victoria made it popular for brides to wear white. This was not the case for Wilhemina Sonner Pfefferle when she married her husband on Feb. 5, 1891. Pfefferle wore a black dress with a white veil. But there was nothing ordinary about their marriage. Judith Carr, Pfefferle's granddaughter, said they were true partners in their marriage. An example of this can be seen by how they are standing side by side in the photo.
Old World touches
Marie Nyquist Hult came from Sweden to America at a young age. While her dress had a more flowing silhouette, a style introduced in the 1910s, the Swedish styles were prominent. The gown was trimmed with white fur, and the veil with typical Swedish style foliage, said Beverly Lee, Hult's daughter.
Sometimes shorter is better
The gown Edith Pfefferle wore June 21, 1928, fit right in with the trends of the '20s. Coco Chanel introduced the world to a new style of wedding dress that featured a shorter hemline with a long tulle train. Pfefferle's hemline was finished in 10-inch-wide lace to lengthen the dress because her father wouldn't walk her down the aisle if she wore a dress with a “dippy hem,” said Judith Carr, Pfefferle's daughter.
Because of World War II and the Depression, wedding dresses were simpler. Some brides often wore the nicest dress in their closets. Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Carter were married in June of 1938 in a hurry because they both had to get back to work. Mrs. Carter wore a pink dress, white hat and white shoes. Frankie Terrell, the Carters' daughter, said her father took off his coat and rolled up one of his pant legs so it wouldn't get caught in his bicycle chain on his way to get her mother. This photo was taken after they were married.
Memories last a lifetime
A mother's love for her daughter created the wedding gown Rosamond L. Miller wore for her wedding on March 9, 1940. Miller's mother stained the satin and lace in tea to get the right shade of ivory, said Karen Kuntz Maloy, Miller's daughter. Wedding gowns in the '40s had a more minimal design. Miller's simplistic gown was accented with buttons her mother covered in material. Miller saved the gown all these years. It is now being made into bears for her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter, Maloy said.
Wedding on a whim
During World War II, there was often little time to plan a wedding. The timing was often decided by the groom's commanding officer. Dresses were also simpler and more practically designed. These both played a part in the gown Marian Hetherington chose for her wedding. Her husband, Clark, a commissioned Army officer, received orders to be transferred to the East Coast before shipping off for war, said Steve Hetherington, Marian's son. The couple had one week to plan the wedding before coming to Norman. Marian's uncle bought this dress on a quick shopping trip. In the rush of planning the wedding, Clark told everyone about the wedding except his parents, Steve said.
Vision turned to reality
Carol Kay Wheeler Ward found the Vogue pattern for her wedding gown at an Oklahoma City store. Ward picked out the fabric while in Oklahoma City in just a few minutes. Her daughter, Prentice Redman, said that is humorous because she is very indecisive. On July 28, 1957, Ward said “I do” in a dress with an essence of the gown Grace Kelly wore a year before. Similarities can be seen in the long sleeves and sweetheart neckline with lace overlay. The seamstress who made the gown made a duplicate gown for a doll, which Redman has kept.
Dress made for five
It was love at first sight when Leah Rae Hayes-Kessler laid eyes on her wedding gown for her June 5 wedding in 1953. Her gown embraced the decade with the lace tiers and short veil. The dress from Halliburton's in Oklahoma City was worth the $98. Five brides, including Hayes-Kessler, have walked down the aisle in this '50s-style gown, said her daughter, Holly Heim. The other brides include Heim, her sister, sister-in-law and mother's best friend.
Dress fit for a princess
After five years of dating, Nancy Richardson Canterberry married her high school sweetheart, Richard, on Oct. 3, 1959. She was overjoyed to walk down the aisle in her beautiful dress, said Julie Stanfill, her daughter. Her lace-covered dress was modest, with a small waist to hold the puffed skirt, a popular style for the '50s, resembling Grace Kelly's skirt and train.
Three parts to the whole
Toni Sandus Carrozzi had a lot of help from family members to create the wedding gown she wore Sept. 5, 1958. Her aunt brought the ivory silk from Japan, and her grandmother bought the lace. Her great aunt, Molly Rogers, made the gown from what the other two brought.
Odd place to find a dress
A short trip from Bowie, Texas, to Fort Worth ended with a wedding gown from an unusual place. Helen Jane Slayden Redman made the trip with her mother to shop for things for her August 1961 wedding. Redman and her mother made a stop at her aunt's duplex, where the newlyweds eventually lived. The woman who lived next door happened to have her wedding gown for sale, said Prentice Redman, Redman's daughter-in-law.
Carol Ann Enlow-Cullum was a busy bride during the summer leading to her Aug. 30, 1963, wedding. Enlow-Cullum worked to create gowns for herself and her bridesmaids. It came from a desire for her dress to be sleek and stylish while still traditional, said Renee Cullum, Carol's daughter. Her pillbox-like veil was finished with help from her father.
No lace here
Carolee Wende had three requests when she was picking out the dress she would wear for her Dec. 22, 1965, wedding. Wende did not want a lace or “froufrou” dress, she said. This wasn't difficult because couples were starting to rebel and brides didn't want to wear lace anymore. She also wanted a dress with buttons down the back and a neckline that worked with a family pendant.
Sometimes simple is better
The '70s were a mix of hippy frocks and fairy-tale princesses: Yoko Ono and Farrah Fawcett are examples of each trend. In 1970, Sharon Seeley Strattis wore a gown with a combination of the stars' gowns. Strattis is a simplistic and sophisticated dresser, said her daughter, Beth Canaday. Her wedding gown was just that, a simple combination of the tiers and straight-to-the-floor style seen in dresses worn by Ono and Fawcett.
A family affair
By the time Diana Carr McPhail wore her wedding dress in 1982, her mother and grandmother already had made memories of their own in this gown. When McPhail's grandmother, Edith Pfefferle, walked down the aisle in 1928, the gown did not have an underskirt, it was knee length, and that is how McPhail wanted to wear it, said her mother, Judith Carr. “It might have worked, but she is 4 inches taller than her grandmother, and it would have looked very much like a costume,” Carr said.
From the bottom to the top
Kimberly Just Kreymborg wasn't head over heels for her dress when she first saw it. She hung her dresses from least favorite to most favorite, she said. In the 1990s, brides wore what they liked, some more modern to show off curves, others more minimalistic. Kreymborg had her dress altered to complement her bridesmaid's dresses and her veil to complement the beading on the dress.
Something old and new
Brides in the 2000s started incorporating vintage patterns in modern styles for a mixture of old and new. Forty-one years later, in February 2007, Alexandra Parman Pitts walked down the aisle in the same gown her mother, Darlene Parman, wore. Her vintage dress fit in with the trend without trying.