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.

KKs grandparents vintage wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

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!”

3232439667 284da22b88 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)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?

MarvinHelgaNov1977edit alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)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.

bill and orphas wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)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.

ginnys parents wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)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!

ed and nels only wedding photo alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)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.

  8. Gosh, K Munn’s picture almost seems like something out of a fair tale book. Love it!

  9. Thank you so much for featuring my boyfriend’s parents!! His mother is sadly no longer here and his dad now has a new love (but she is equally as awesome and I love her to pieces), but this photo just captures the time and you can see how they feel about each other through that photo.

    I adore all of these photos and I’m giddy and anxious for the next set!

  10. Better not show that first picture to my boyfriends aunts! They wanted mini skirts on their bridesmaids dresses for his mums 60’s wedding and she wouldn’t let them.

    I love that veil too, it’s like it’s bursting off her head (in a good way).

  11. Does the fact that I’m tearing up reading these beautiful love stories make me very very cheesy…? I loooooove Friday flashbacks, for the vintage fashion sure (BTW how amazing is K Munn’s grand-mother’s wedding dress ?!) but also for the fact that it pays a tribute to marriages as well, not just weddings (they’ve all been married for so long). It makes me believe in love that can last forever… Ok now that was sooooo cheesy ^^ but still true.

    • Thank you! Like I said before, I really with someone still had the dress. I would have loved to have seen it in person.

      • Actually I did not know what I should do with my own wedding dress after the ceremony (trash the dress ? give it to charity ? sell it on ebay ?) until I read your comment : now I’m definitely gonna hold on to it just in case some day 1 of my daughters, grand daughters or even great grand daughters wants to take it over ^^ so thanks for that also 🙂

  12. I rarely comment, but MUST say how much I LOVE the Flashback Fridays! A fun way to end the week!

  13. I normally don’t like old wedding gowns, but I am in love with KMunn’s great-grandmother’s wedding dress.

    • Aww, I am sure my great-grandmother would be so flattered to know after all these years people love her dress 😀

  14. I love “Flashback Friday”. Keep the photos coming! It’s great seeing how weddings have changed over the years.

  15. You know what I like most about this feature? The weddings may be simpler in scope, but that simplicity allows the couple’s true emotions to shine through. It also makes me think, “If something laid back suited my parents, then it’s good enough for me.”

  16. Those photos are amazing!

    My grandparents have a similar wedding photo to K Munn’s. Her grandma probably didn’t wear that dress at her wedding. Many people, my grandparents included, in the 20’s and 30’s got married in their best clothes then went to a photo studio to get photos. Everything they wore was part of the package from the photographer. Tux, dress, flowers, veil, etc. were all just rented.

  17. My great grandparents actually don’t have any photos from their wedding day, they got married in secret. They met the preacher on a muddy road in the rain and got married right there. My grandma still lived with her parents for for a few weeks before they finally broke the news and began building their own little one-room farm house. They were too poor to have a real wedding and didn’t want to cause their families any trouble during the depression, so they did it all in secret. My grandma used to say she didn’t mind not having pictures because there’s something even more romantic about the even only being in her memories, now.

  18. Much like @Ginny my parents got married in Pensacola and my grandmother made my mom’s dress to!

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