Sunday, 22 May 2011

My Vintage Find - The Bride's Book 1936

Yesterday I got to spend some of the day doing one of my absolute favourite things - mooching. Just pottering around my local antiques centre, delving around, looking through boxes and wandering around with my list of 'things to buy'. I did have a specific list of props to hunt down for an upcoming shoot but, as someone who owns more books than necessary, I couldn't resist a hunt through the bookshelves and I'm so pleased I looked because guess what was awaiting me...

It's a gorgeous copy of 'The Bride's Book' from 1936. The cover is a blue leather with a gorgeous mother of pearl style spine. It's just beautiful, a complete guide for the pre-war young woman moving from living with her parents to being a wife, running a home and becoming a parent. There are the most fabulous line drawings inside, so evocative of the period and colour advertisements (including a pocket in the back still holding the reply postcards so the bride-to-be can send for information on a Slumberland self-ventilating mattress or request a sample of Pepsodent tooth powder or even a free Wincarnis jelly recipe book!). However, the best bits are the planning hints and tips and I thought you might like to take a look at them too...

"It is well to bear in mind that since this photograph is a last souvenir, it is worth while having the picture made by a good photographer."

"Where to have your reception - either through sentiment or through the necessity for economy, many people prefer that the reception is held in the home."

"Cutting the cake - as soon as this important ceremony is completed, the bride retires to change for her honeymoon."

"It is an old wives' superstition that a girl always looks her best on her wedding day... a happy bride radiates joy but it is one thing to look radiant but quite another to appear well dressed."

"The tall bride's bouquet should be held at waist height and the ribbon ends should not extend below the knee. The tiny bride's bouquet should have ribbon streamers attached, extending to the hem of her dress. This will create a long line that contributes to an illusion of greater height."

"If the nose is large, the veil should be given fullness in the draping at the back thus imparting a more pleasing line to the profile."

"A scarf tied in a pert bow under the chin or at the side imparts a youthful freshness to tired features, allowed to hang down at each side to below the wait, it will decrease hip breadth."

"Do not wear small hats at they make the feet more prominent and keeps the skirts as full as current style allows."

"Should you wear a girdle? In the majority of instances the answer to this question is in the affirmative. A restraining girdle is now considered  advisable by most experts."

"Even in choosing earrings there are certain facts to bear in mind. Pendant earrings should not be worn if the nose turns up. If the neck is short and plump, pendant earrings are not a wise selection."

"With the new products available, there is no excuse for a girl not to be dainty about her person. The weekly use of a liquid deodorant should be adequate."

And my final quote is one that is as true now as ever...
"Should your bridegroom present you with a gift of jewellery that is not quite to your liking, you should remain graceful and appear appreciative. Like a little puppy, he likes praise and if encouraged to make further purchases after a satisfactory reception, he might, over time, come to learn more about your taste and what makes a more acceptable gift."


  1. what a find! You are so lucky to have found it.

  2. I know! I couldn't believe it when I saw it and then spent the rest of the trip to the antique centre carrying it most carefully! x