Dresses by Decade


The Art of Giving
Something Old, Something New Case | What is a Trousseau?

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Most people go to a wedding with the sincere hope that the bride and groom will live a long and happy life together. They give gifts to show their support and good wishes.  Traditionally gifts are given to help the couple set up their new household. Today, most couples register for gifts in advance, taking the mystery out of finding the perfect gift.

The practice of the bride and groom giving gifts, or favors, to wedding guests is not a new tradition, but it is becoming more commonplace. Centuries ago, favors were called bomboniere and included items such as sugared almonds. Today, gifts given in gratitude from the bride and groom often include such things as picture frames, bottles of wine, candy, and decorative gift boxes.

Gifts Case
Mr. and Mrs. George Repetti Sr. received this gold metallic crocheted table cover with cotton petit-point medallions at their 1921 wedding.
Gift of Mrs. George Repetti Sr.
26845
Esther Bribach Gowenlock, director of St. Agnes Guild of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Carondelet, made this table runner as a wedding gift for
Mr. and Mrs. P. A. Dates in 1915.
Gift of Mrs. P. A. Dates
26844
When Beth and Julie Gellman held their commitment ceremony in 2004, Beth’s father made this copper plate etching of lilies for the occasion. A print of the design, titled “Love,” was framed and given to the couple as a gift, along with the copper plate. Stan Gellman also hand printed a short run of the artwork for the invitations.
Made by Stan Gellman
Courtesy of Beth and Julie Gellman
26164, 28166
Estelle Crone and Dr. Albert Koetter received this mantel clock at their 1902 wedding. The clock was made in France and sold by Mermod & Jaccard Jewelry Co. of St. Louis.
Gift of Mrs. Stella Darrow
26841
Judge Carl Kuhlman was given this leaded glass bowl and plate at his 1829 wedding.
Gift of Mrs. Edgar R. Rombauer
26832
This cut glass pitcher was given to Rose Clary and Benjamin Soulard at their 1832 wedding.
Gift of Mrs. W. Palmer Clarkson
26833
These French china pieces are part of a larger set given to Daniel M. Frost, later a Civil War general, and his bride, Eliza Brown Graham, who wed on April 5, 1851.
Gift of Mrs. S. W. Fordyce
26834, 26835
This green glass vase with chased silver overlay was a gift to Mr. and Mrs. Benoist Carton on the occasion of their marriage in 1901.
Gift of Mrs. A. C. Hiemenz Jr.
26840
These rings were exchanged between Anthony Boyanchek and his bride Antoinette at their marriage in 1893. The groom received a gold band and the bride received a gold band with a solitaire diamond.
Gift of Ms. Elizabeth Goetz
26852, 26853
Bride’s boxes were traditionally given as a gift from the groom to the bride for her to store items such as her bouquet and headpiece. This box is an oval wood-band box with a painting of a bride and groom on the lid, ca. 1800.
MHS Museum Collections
26830
Hulda E. Roeder Gephardt received this cameo brooch from her groom on the occasion of their marriage in 1906.
Gift of Mrs. Hulda E. Gephardt
27038
George Varable gave his daughter Lucinda this cream Staffordshire plate, ca. 1830, for her marriage.
MHS Museum Collections
26850
These avocado green salt and pepper shakers and sauceboat are part of the “American Modern” dinnerware set designed by Russel Wright, ca. 1950. Reva Freund received these as part of her wedding china as well as a casserole and vegetable dish.
Gift of Ms. Reva M. Freund
26847, 26848
This silver flatware set made by Mermod Jaccard & Co. of St. Louis was given as a wedding gift in 1881 to Charles Hopkins Houston and Mollie White from Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Cupples and their daughter Amelia.
Gift of Mrs. George R. Dobler
26839
Charles Rudolph Roesslein and Pauline Boher received this metal egg poaching pan set on the occasion of their marriage in 1904.
Gift of Mrs. Karen Schaffer Meldrum
26842
This cigarette box was given to Mr. and Mrs. Mocabee at their 1947 wedding.
Made by Hal Burress
Gift of Ms. Patricia Mocabee
26849
Jack McDowell received this steel two-slice toaster made by McGraw Electric Co. of Sioux City, Iowa, at his 1946 wedding.
Gift of Jack McDowell
26846
This miniature broom was given as a party favor during the Afrocentric June 17, 1995, wedding of James H. Davis Jr. to Deborah Maynard at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Alorton, Illinois. “Jumping the broom” is an African American wedding tradition symbolized by this small decorative broom.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James and Deborah Davis
27027

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