As Long as We Both Shall Love
The White Wedding in Postwar America
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: NYU Press
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...When I was in my mid-twenties, my calendar began to fill with the weddings of friends and family members. Very suddenly, it seemed, weddings were a hot topic. As friends planned weddings or complained about weddings they were in, as I packed for another wedding weekend and my jaw dropped at items (and their prices) listed on wedding registries, I started to wonder how the wedding...
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...The 2009 film Bride Wars begins innocently enough. After a youthful sighting of a wedding celebrated at New York City’s Plaza Hotel, best friends Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) are smitten. They decide their weddings will be just as grand as the one they witnessed as girls. Childhood fantasy becomes adult expertise as they memorize and categorize the best in wedding styles, themes, and professionals..
1. “Linking the Past with the Future”: Origins of the Postwar White Wedding
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...In the midst of the planning for Kay Banks’s 1948 wedding, her father Stanley mused to himself: “It should have been so simple. Boy and girl meet, fall in love, marry, have babies—who eventually grow up, meet other babies, fall in love, marry. Looked at from this angle, it was not only simple, it was positively monotonous. Why then must Kay’s wedding assume the organizational complexity of a major political campaign?...
2. “The Same Thing That Happens to All Brides”: Luci Johnson, the American Public, and the White Wedding
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...The bride-to-be sat in the center of a circle of friends. The first of several wedding showers to come, this particular event was hosted by a close friend and bridesmaid. Most of the young women in attendance were close in age to the 19-year-old guest of honor. The year was 1966, and these young women had yet to embrace the increasingly casual style that soon would dominate American fashion...
3. “Getting Married Should Be Fun”: Hippie Weddings and Alternative Celebrations
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...On June 29, 1971 Look magazine, the general-interest American publication based in the tradition of Life magazine’s photo essay, published an article entitled “Marriage the New Natural Way.” In a multi-page spread, Look’s middle-class, middle-American readers were treated to a vibrant vision of a wedding celebrated on a daffodil farm in the Virginia countryside...
4. “Lots of Young People Today Are Doing This”: The White Wedding Revived
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...In 1978, a young Barnard College graduate began the process of planning her wedding. As the bride-to-be—a working woman and vocal feminist—filled out the paperwork for her wedding license, she was surprised to find that there was no place on the form for her occupation. When she asked the clerk at City Hall where she should provide that information, the woman responded, “Oh, we don’t ask the girls for their occupations...
5. “It Matters Not Who We Love, Only That We Love”: Same-Sex Weddings
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...On October 10, 1987, nearly 7,000 people witnessed a wedding on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Men and women cheered and threw rice and confetti as family, friends, and community members took part in the largest mass wedding in American history. After the celebrants exchanged rings and were pronounced newlywed, guests released hundreds of balloons into the air...
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...On April 29, 2011, Prince William of Wales married Catherine Middleton. Before approximately 1,900 congregants, the wedding took place in Westminster Abbey, site of every royal coronation since 1066. Guests ranged from members of the British Royal Family to international superstars Elton John and David Beckham. The Prince wore a scarlet Irish Guards colonel’s uniform...
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About the Author
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...Karen Dunak is Assistant Professor of History at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio..
Page Count: 252
Publication Year: 2013