Today's bride is someone I'm quite fond of and have known for an eternity. Me! The twisty surprise is that we secretly eloped on April 1st of 2017 and announced our engagement at that time, thinking we would have a real wedding later. As a hater of general Wedding Industrial Complex-ness it became difficult to muster the energy to plan a wedding. As our anniversary approached we decided to skip having a "real wedding" and went straight to the honeymoon. Then we realized we should probably tell everyone else.
Tony Gambino and I decided to secretly elope for many reasons and once we had our minds made up we thought April 1st would make a hilarious anniversary date. That gave us nine days to prepare a wedding. We didn't need anything fancy but in the back of my mind I knew it was possible that we might not have a traditional wedding. I figured I've been hoarding up all this stuff for decades and should be able to plan a wedding in less than two weeks. Tony already had a handsome suit on hand. I went digging in my patterns and fabric pulling out some lovely 1940s-1950s era satin and deciding on a two piece ensemble as I'm always watching women spend so much time, money and effort on something they are only going to wear once. I bought some beautiful gabardine wool at Mill End for the skirt. By day five I realized some things were missing from the skirt pattern I had planned to use and instead of trying to make it work, I started looking for a new skirt pattern.
Cyd Charisse wore a striking skirt in 1955's It's Always Fair Weather that made quite an impression on me. It looked like a skin tight pencil skirt in front (making one wonder how she would ever manage to kick her leg up in it) and a plethora of fabric gathered or pleated up in the back to allow for movement. I found a similar pattern online that would never arrive in time for me to make it. So back to my hoard I went and uncovered this Retro Butterick pattern from 1948 that was slightly modified to meet my needs. I've worn it several times already, including on our 1st anniversary.
Speaking of hoarding, this beautiful 1940s, bell pull, Talon metal zipper was waiting for me in the gallon bag of seven inch zippers I've collected.
The mother of a bride from long ago kindly used her embroidery machine to sew my name on to spools of ribbon to use as labels. This one made the perfect something blue.
A bride who wore her mother's gown after I altered it to fit her brought in a scrapbook of snapshots from her 1950s engagement party and wedding that she let me scan. This photo really made an impression on me. So much so, I reenacted it with my mom.
The best part of only having nine days to prepare a wedding is how you really have to give up control about a lot of things. We asked our friend Lindsey Murphy to marry us, met her for dinner to discuss the details and she composed one of the most lovely ceremonies I have ever attended. I asked our friend Rebecca five days before the wedding if we could use her charming front room to hold our ceremony. She asked me several questions and I told her whatever she thought was a good idea would work for me. Rebecca made us a little cake and recommended I bring over some champagne glasses for a toast. One of our witnesses asked if she could do anything to help and I mentioned I didn't have a bouquet. She bought me a dozen red roses from New Seasons the night before and I cut and wrapped them into a bouquet in the morning. My mom lent me an Eisenberg fur clip and matching dress clips (a gift from her friend Mary Gay) as my something borrowed. Rebecca bought some flowers for her mantle and we decorated the night before with old timey cake toppers, cake plates and pictures of brides from our families.
Public domain photo.
The Fairy Wedding of