They don't make weddings like that anymore

by Juanita Lovret
Reprinted courtesy of the Tustin News

Most weddings in Tustin's early years were simple affairs. Even after the First Advent Christian Church was built in 1880 and the Tustin Presbyterian Church in 1884, many brides elected to be married in the parlor at home.

Only the very wealthy brides wore white gowns with veils, but if they did, their bridesmaids also usually wore white. High-necked gowns with long sleeves were the fashion. Favorite colors were dark brown, wine and blue. Most brides planned that their wedding dress would be their "best" dress for years to come.

If the couple were leaving on a honeymoon after the ceremony, the bride often wore a dark traveling outfit with a bonnet. Elaborate weddings such as that of Martha Snow in 1887 to Sherman Stevens, partner of her father, Horace C. Snow, in a Santa Ana lumber company, were for the rich. Her sheer white gown with a square neck and three-quarter sleeves was worn with long gloves. A frilly headpiece held her long veil in place.

Following their nuptials in the Tustin Presbyterian Church, the newlyweds and their guests crossed Main Street on a red carpet to dance and celebrate at their newly finished Queen Victorian home.

Jeannette Wilcox, daughter of Charles Wheaton Wilcox, president of the Santa Ana Valley Fruit Co., a Tustin Land & Improvement Co. shareholder and a Bank of Tustin director, also wore a traditional white wedding gown with a veil when she married Adolph A. Kraft, who was attired in formal wear. They celebrated with their many friends at the Wilcox home, The Villa, after the ceremony.

More common was a wedding described by a Tustin correspondent for Santa Ana's Evening Daily Blade in early 1900: "Very pretty indeed was the scene Wednesday when Miss Edith Hubbard became the bride of Frank G. Holmes beneath the large pepper trees at their future home. The spot was transformed into a bower of beauty by Misses La Veta Comstock and Alma Cock. A pretty background was woven of pepper boughs and white roses and from the trees swung dainty baskets of pink roses tied with white ribbon.

"At the appointed hour the bridal party appeared and took their place beneath a pretty white bell and Rev. Kennedy performed the very impressive ceremony. The bride wore a very dainty white French gown and carried a bouquet of white carnations. Miss Rosa Whitney was bridesmaid and also wore white."

A Tustin News story noted in 1923 that "Frank L. Winterborne and Miss Daisy Yorba of San Juan Capistrano were united in marriage last Saturday at the home of the groom in Tustin. The morning wedding attended by the immediate families only was performed by the Rev. Winterborne of Tustin."

As the years went by, Tustin's two churches added parlors and social halls where many wedding receptions were held, although celebrations at home continued to be popular. Not until the 1970s did stories in The Tustin News note that after-wedding festivities were held at locations like the Revere House, Saddleback Inn or Red Hill Tennis Club.



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