In the collections of the University of Notre Dame Archives, references to weddings are scattered throughout. While these items don’t always have a personal connection with us today, they often provide an interesting insight into society, customs, and traditions.
A wedding party, c1860s-1870s
Some items are historically significant:
Newspaper illustration of the wedding of Minnie Sherman (daughter of General William Tecumseh Sherman) and Lieutenant Thomas Fitch, October 1, 1874, at St. Aloysius’ Church in Washington, D.C. (sketched by Harry Ogden). Among the numerous dignitaries in attendance were President and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant; Rev. Edward Sorin, CSC, founder and president of the University of Notre Dame; and Mother Angela Gillespie, CSC, director of St. Mary’s Academy (now College), cousin of Ellen Ewing Sherman (wife of William Tecumseh Sherman), and namesake of Angela Boulevard in South Bend
Others show passé customs:
Pages 42-43 from “My Wedding Day” booklet by Louis LaRovoire Morrow, Bishop of Krishnagar, 1949. These pages outline the vows of the ceremony and the blessing of the rings in English and Latin
Pages from “Check List for Your Wedding” booklet by Msgr. James A. Magner, 1959. These pages outline what the bride, groom, parents, and attendants should wear to the ceremony. Gloves and hats are no longer required for Catholic weddings.
Some give insight to other cultures:
A country wedding in Jamaica, c1890s
While others demonstrate the fashions of the times:
Portrait of a bride, c1890s
(photo by McDonald Studios, South Bend)
A wedding party leaving the Basilica of the Sacred Heart while being pelted with rice, c1930s
A bride with her father outside of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, c1960
(photo by Walt Daly)
A wedding party, guests, and photographer at the Grotto, c1970s