A historical nod to weddings

Published 6:40 am Saturday, January 12, 2019

Have you seen the wonderful article about the tradition of weddings at the Hormel Historic Home that was printed in the January-February Austin Living? Hannah Yang and Eric Johnson did a great job promoting the upcoming Wedding and Event Showcase, and they captured our intent of incorporating history into the day as well.

New this year will be a display of wedding fashions from the collection of the Mower County Historical Society. Jaimie Timm, Curator, has been busy preparing a presentation about wedding traditions and fashions for the upcoming History Happy Hour program on Jan. 14. In conjunction with her program we decided to have some dresses on display at the Wedding Show. Fashion has changed and evolved over many years, so we hope our guests enjoy seeing the items and reading the stories of vintage weddings. The dresses will be on display from Jan. 15 through Jan. 21, so please stop in to tour during our open hours.

Mary Hormel. Photo provided

Historically speaking, a special wedding reception took place at the Hormel Historic Home (formerly YWCA) on Feb. 22, 1941, following the marriage of Miss Mary Hormel (the granddaughter to George Hormel’s younger brother Herman) and Mr. James Moss at Christ Episcopal Church.

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The celebration of 75 guests and the bridal party fashions were described in the Austin Daily Herald.

“Miss Helen Hormel attended her sister as maid of honor and Miss Barbara Moss of Evanston, Ill, sister of the bridegroom, served as bridesmaid. They wore gowns fashioned alike of white brocade bodice and white net bouffant skirt and their net headdresses were fashioned like the bride’s.

The bride wore a gown of silver mist satin with fitted bodice, which was fashioned with a neckline of marquisette, outlined with rod shirring and the full skirt extended into a circular train. The fingertip veil of imported illusion was attached to a shirred Victorian headdress. The bride carried a white prayer book and her only jewelry was a gold linked bracelet, the gift of the groom and a heart shaped locket.

Mr. and Mrs. Moss of Evanston and Mr. and Mrs. Hormel received with the young couple and their attendants. Mrs. Moss wore blue crepe with orchids and Mrs. Hormel, the bride’s mother, was gowned in melon crepe and her flowers were also orchids.

For travel the bride chose an ensemble with black wool dress and red and black plaid coat with black hat and accessories.”

There are many elements that make a wedding day special and great attention was, and still is, given to the bride’s and the bridal party’s appearance. Wedding traditions and fashions may have changed but the Hormel Historic Home continues to help people celebrate a variety of special occasions.

What’s Happening at the HHH

History Happy Hour:  Wedding Fashions and Customs from 1900-1960

  • 5:30 p.m. social, 6 p.m. presentation
  • Monday, Jan. 14
  • Presented by Jaimie Timm and featuring clothing from the Mower County Historical Society collection. Free for members of the HHH, Mower County Hist. Soc, and Friends of the Library.

Austin Wedding & Event Showcase

  • Noon to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Jan. 20
  • $5 per person