Since I am headed off to attend the wedding of a high school friend this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, I thought it would be interesting to dive into our collections for materials related to matrimony.
In our book collection I discovered Wedding Bells, a customizable scrapbook published by Isabel Gordon in 1891. Wedding Bells contains pages of illustrations and poems related to particular groups involved in the wedding (for example, “Ushers”), which are then followed by blank pages for those people to sign. In our collections, we hold the commemorative copy of Mr. Edward Brackett Raymond and Ms. Edith Hoyt Greenleaf, who were married on October 24, 1894, in Newburyport, MA.
In addition to signatures, the book includes blank pages for other items related to the wedding. Here we see a cutting from Mrs. Raymond’s wedding dress. Also included are scraps from the dress she was wearing at her betrothal and other items from her trousseau. The book also has a section for “Newspaper Cuttings” and an area to track gifts received.
The newspaper clippings show that the wedding was a smashing success, if a bit on the smaller side. After the ceremony the couple opened a hermetically sealed box which held a slice of cake and some wine saved by the groom’s parents at their wedding thirty-four years prior. According to the report, “Both were found to be delicious.” The couple left soon after to complete their move to Chicago where Edward Raymond was employed.
Also found exclusively in the Phillips Library collections is a beautiful little book entitled Jewels for the Bride. This work was presented to Mary Goold Adams on her wedding day. The book contains Bible verses calligraphed by hand on paper edged in lace doilies. It is bound in white vellum and the bride’s name is decorated in gilt on the cover and spine.
If you are interested in learning more about our unique collection of wedding memorabilia please consult PHILCAT.