Ada: Isn't there some religion where you just say I marry you, three times, and then you're man and wife?
Inman: I marry you, I marry you, I marry you.
I loved the movie “Cold Mountain”! If Ada and Inman would have had the opportunity to get married, I feel confident that their wedding would have been a beautiful and romantic affair.
I have always been interested in the Civil War. I enjoy the reenactments and have had the opportunity to see performances in Virginia, Mississippi, and here in Alabama. The women are usually wearing day dresses, but there was one where the women were from a plantation and they were dressed in the most gorgeous gowns. I loved the big hoop skirts, the lace, and the beautiful hats.
During the Civil War era brides wanted their waists to appear to be tiny. A dropped narrow shoulder restricted movement while wider sleeves at the elbows helped widen the silhouette. The bodices were mostly fitted. The wide gathered skirts, at both the waist and the hemline, accentuated and gave the appearance of small waistline. In addition, corsets and underpinnings helped to achieve a smaller mid-section. The skirt shapes were the bell that falls in gentle curves outward and toward the hem and the pagoda that is angular and falls outward and downward in a straight line to the fullest point of the skirt. Pleats and gathers were used on the bodice and toward the hemline to further distract the eye from the waist area.
Light blue was a popular color for Civil War brides. Some brides actually wore purple, which represents honor and courage during the Civil War as a tribute to the dead.
It was fashionable for the bride to wear an orange blossom wreath on her head with her veil. It was thought by the Victorians that this would bring luck, love, and prosperity to the new bride. Brides in the Northern states often wore wax orange blossoms since live blossoms couldn’t survive the trip in the cooler climates.
An 1861 antique fashion print from Godey’s magazine with Civil War era wedding dresses.
Modern Day 19th Century Style Gowns.
Credit: Civil War Lady
Civil War wedding gown from a private collector
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