Wedding Belles: Traditions and Attire

September 25, 2003 – May 30, 2004


Something Old, Something New,
Something Borrowed, Something Blue,
and a Sixpence in her Shoe


— Old English Proverb

Wedding Belles showcases marvelous examples of the evolution of style and ever-changing ideas of proper wedding attire, with costumes from an 1848 Viennese wedding dress to a 1950s tulle and lace extravaganza. Vintage wedding photographs, from the Historical Society’s photograph collection help illustrate what brides have been wearing in San Diego for 150 years. The Wedding Belles exhibition features wedding attire selected from the Historical Society’s collection of more than 7,000 costumes.

In addition to costumes, the exhibition will reveal the often whimsical origins of wedding traditions as well as introducing charming ephemera such as vintage wedding announcements, invitations and programs. Through costumes and ephemera, Wedding Belles offers visitors a glance at the past so that they may gain greater insight to their own traditions.

Taking the best of the old and adding in the new, wedding customs and practices display an intimate portrait of our society.


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