While Wedding dresses outwardly mirror the values, and the history of the times, the real magic of a wedding is the inner-lasting marriage that begins on the wedding day. Scarcely any other garment commands as much planning, scrimping, or reflection as the wedding dress. A wedding dress is the Dressing Forever or The Yes Dress.
The wedding dress not only reveals the essence of the bride but trends and styles in wedding dresses lay bare the culture in which they are designed. Across all times and cultures, however, the wedding dress symbolizes a priceless, treasured value –the love and commitment between a couple.
Curators Discuss Wedding Dress Style Changes
In the curator talk of “Betrothed: 250 Years of Wedding Fashion,” expert curators and historians Steven Porterfield and Kevin Jones discuss the changing styles of wedding dresses over two centuries. They explain how each dress mirrors the mores, values, and history of its times. The elaborately decorated dresses of the 1850s, for example, mimic the decorating trends of the time and the importance placed on displaying one’s prosperity. Their high neckline and massive use of fabric reflect society’s respect for modesty in womanhood. Contrast this with the bridal mini-skirts of the 1960s and the bridal suits of today. One can see a little of Jean Harlow’s screen persona in the sultry satin gowns of the 1930s. The lack of resources in wartime is evident in the sparseness and practicality of mid-1940s wedding attire. Even the widespread use of white in bridal wear traces back to the culture and history of Queen Victoria and the era of her long reign on England’s throne.
Society Changes, as do Fashion Trends
There are marked differences in the designs and fabrics of the gowns approximately every ten years or so according to the experts. Steven Porterfield owns The Cat’s Meow Antiques in Midland, Texas. His shop is well-known for authentic vintage and antique clothing, complete with accessories. Quality Vintage and Antique Clothing Store.
Although the dress itself may change, the merit of lasting love and marriage never seems to go away. It may be less often achieved in today’s world, but the longing for an enduring human connection has been with us since Adam and Eve.
The Marriage that Lasts Through Time
As magical as a beautiful wedding dress is, the real magic of a wedding is the marriage that marches faithfully through time. Rocky hills of troubled times must be climbed as each partner helps the other up. Together, the couple must cross valleys filled with fearful shadows before the sun shines on them again. Even though our couple at times becomes tired, worn, and wounded, their love grows stronger.
The definition of vintage seems to be anything 20 to 25 or some say 50 or more years old. Two couples whose marriage can be considered vintage by definition come quickly to mind. These couples have surely climbed the hills and escaped the dangerous valleys to demonstrate their love stories. Even the demons of traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and years on a cancer roller coaster have only served to strengthen these marriages. I am very thankful to call them “friends.”
Kindness Contributes to Lasting Marriage
Debbie and Teddy Baremore had a somewhat unique start on their wedding, but it was certainly meant to be. Debbie describes the start of their life together and beyond, “We had been dating for a year. While we were still in college, we were talking of marriage but not officially engaged. On October 18, 1970, we got a wild hair and eloped! After realizing the seriousness of our situation, so to speak, we married in the Methodist Chapel on campus on Oct 23, 1970.
Looking back, it seemed as if we didn’t take getting married seriously, but that is not the case at all. We were very committed to our marriage and very serious about building a life together. Divorce has never one time been spoken of as an option. Being kind and arguing with respect, and realizing we’re a team has helped us. Listening with your heart and making your spouse feel as if you always have their back is also important. A big dose of humility and humor also goes a long way! …We have had many ups and downs, and that can’t help but affect a marriage. But I know that God has been there every step of the way- if only guiding me by the seat of my pants! We have much to be thankful for, very blessed in our life with our love for each other and our boys, Brett and Cole, friends and family.“
Fifty-two years of dedication to each other and to their family surely attests to the success of their marriage and the truth that the real magic of a wedding is a lasting marriage. Kindness, humility, humor, heartfelt love, and faith have forged a union strong enough to withstand the wind sheers of West Texas. It also builds and enriches numerous life-long friendships.
Marry Your Best Friend and Seeks God’s Will Together
David and Cherry Whigham have traversed their own rocky path with genuine smiles and positivity. They offered some wise advice, “Marry your best friend, the one you want to spend all your waking hours with. Put God first and seek His will together in every decision you make. Cherry said they were high school sweethearts in Midland, Texas (Lee HS… now Legacy) and lived only one block apart! “We met at Fannin Baptist Church, where David’s parents worked with the youth.” She said. “We went to Baylor University, where we continued to attend church and married in 1970 at Fannin Terrace Baptist Church, then moved to Lubbock.
In 1973 we went to live and work (Cherry taught school) in Sydney, Australia. By October 1975 we were back in Texas where we have lived ever since. We have two wonderful children, Melinda and Matt, and five precious grandchildren. We retired after rewarding, fulfilling careers in education. David’s five-year cancer journey has only deepened our love and strengthened our faith in God. It has made us appreciate each day.”
Team David and Cherry speak about their daily experiences in numerous clinical trials at M.D. Anderson with as much exuberance as they speak of their family vacations. This supernatural joy and strength can only come from their powerful faith in God. Their happiness is delightfully contagious and has been for over half a century.
Love Nurtured through Time and Trials
Styles change, customs change, and life circumstances certainly change, but the real magic of a wedding is a lasting marriage. A love nurtured through time and trials grows deeper every year. Seeing that kind of beauty unfold is as breathtaking as the first glimpse of Queen Victoria on her wedding day.