A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Tom Thumb Wedding

I thought this would be appropriate for February...the month of love. A "Tom Thumb wedding program" refers to a wedding pageant in which all of the major wedding roles are played by small children, usually under ten years old. In a Tom Thumb wedding, there would be children assigned to portray the bride, groom, attendants, and sometimes the minister. Smaller children would sometimes play the flower girls and ring bearers. Everyone would be costumed.Staging Tom Thumb weddings was a big American fad during the 1920s, but they were also staged fairly regularly until the 1970s, often as fundraisers for schools or churches. The term "Tom Thumb wedding" comes from an actual wedding, the marriage of the famous little person General Tom Thumb (born Charles Stratton) to Lavinia Warren, another little person, in 1863. The wedding attracted considerable publicity and was a major event of the time. Tom Thumb was a celebrity promoted by the circus entrepreneur P.T. Barnum, who gave him a stage name inspired by the folk hero Tom Thumb and managed his career starting at an early age.

All my life I have been told about the Tom Thumb wedding in our family. My Aunt Helen was a participant. I was rummaging through some old photos and came across this picture. My aunt is the little girl the 2nd from the left. I was surprised at the elaborate costumes that the children wore. I can imagine all the moms making these little creations out of fancy laces, curtains, and maybe even old clothing. I know how little girls love to dress up in their Mom's clothes and play make believe. Can you imagine how excited some of these little ones were to be all dressed up... well, maybe not the boys so much. Look at their faces....some of them don't look too happy.


Marydon said...

What a fabulous find. I love these kinds of vintage photos. They are darling all dressed up.

Have a wonderful day ~

marlu said...

Loved your blog today (as I do every day.)
I was in a Tom Thumb wedding and even have a photo.
Don't know how to send it to you - maybe I should put it on my blog again!


acorn hollow said...

I just finished reading Mrs Tom Thumb it was very interesting it didn't sound like much of a real love match though. PT Barnahum charged 75.00 per person to go to the reception a fortune at that time.
you are right the costumes are very elabrate.

Lona said...

Oh, how sweet they all look. No, not all look to happy. Maybe they would rather be playing and not staying clean. The outfits are so amazing.

Sue said...

Dress-up for girls has always been fun, but you're right- boys not so much! How cool to have such a great vintage photograph. I've never heard of a Tom Thumb wedding before this!

Margie's Musings said...

Really neat old photo. I had never heard of Tom Thumb weddings.

Pat said...

I just love old family photographs...this one is certainly a family treasure.

Balisha said...

I love all the old pictures that have been passed down through the years. I'll post a few more in the days to come.

Barbara said...

How interesting. Teaches children about marriage too.