RENTING A BRIDAL VEIL
An Incident of a Fashionable Wedding In New York.
Not long ago one of the wealthiest “charge customers” of a well-known department store in New York purchased a $500 wedding veil for her daughter, which was charged to her account and duly delivered. The wedding was a large one and celebrated at high noon in one of the downtown churches.
It happened that one of the girls from a department store went out for luncheon at this hour and, seeing a fashionable wedding in full swing, slipped into the church with the crowd and into one of the back pews. After the ceremony was over she hurried back to her place behind the counter, too busy with her special sales to even think about it.
The next morning, however, when she read an account of the “magnificent wedding in ___ church and a detailed of the wonderful veil worn by the bride, valued at $500,” she laughingly told her numerous friends in that department that she “had been one of the honored guests and had seen that $500 veil with her own eyes.” Just at this thrilling point of her story one of the floor men stepped up to her and said: “You are wanted at the manager’s office, Miss B.”
As she entered the office, to her perfect amazement, she beheld the identical bridal veil just under discussion.
“Miss B., can you tell me if you ever saw this veil before?” asked the manager.
“Yes, sir; I saw it yesterday.”
“Where did you see it?”
She took from her pocket the clipping from the morning newspaper with the account of the great wedding, the costly veil and a picture of the bride. Laying it upon the desk, she said: “This is a picture of the veil.”
“How did you happen to be at this wedding instead of in your place here in the store?”
“It was my luncheon hour, and I went to the wedding instead of to lunch.”
The manager smiled.
“Can you positively identify this veil as the one you saw yesterday?”
Miss B. took it up in her hands and, unfolding it, ran her fingers through the mesh and into the tiny folds where the orange blossoms were caught, then with some difficulty picked out three little pieces of rice and handed them to the manager.
She went back to her counter, and the “charge customer,” whose accounts number in the thousands each year, was rendered a bill for $300 for “the use of a bridal veil worn by her daughter.”
A check for the $300 was immediately sent, and the wealthy “charge customer” still continues to charge. Chicago Record-Herald.
Evening News [San Jose, CA] 30 April 1910: p. 2
Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Hiring all the old-money trappings of a wedding was commonplace among the nouveau riche. One could hire gifts of silver and crystal (marked with affectionate cards from “Uncle”), jewels, “family” lace, and even an enormous cheque, to be prominently displayed on the gifts table and then returned. Even odder was the hiring of a professional father of the bride:
An Odd Business
A London firm which rents wedding gowns to brides also furnishes a “father” to give the bride away when the marriage takes place too far away from home to admit of parents and relatives being present. This professional father, as he might be appropriately called, is an ex-major in the army and a member of a fine old family, but he is poor and willingly gives away a bride for a small money consideration. He is said to look like a model father, with snowy hair and a kind and lovable expression. Sometimes he is called upon to manage a wedding breakfast, and he is said to be a charming speaker. Surely this is one of the oddest professions of advanced days. The Wichita [KS] Daily Eagle 5 September 1897: p.12
WEDDING GIFTS HIRED
Scheme Resorted To By London’s Pretentious Aristocracy.
“One of the latest things in economy is the hiring instead of buying of wedding presents,” said a London silversmith and jeweler, in the course of a conversation with a reporter. It started in a small way two years ago and has steadily developed until now, when it may be considered quite a recognized thing.
“Of course it originated in the common desire to make a big show before friends for which there is no better opportunity than a wedding. We send out a surprising quantity of goods to be exhibited as presents; indeed, we turn over more money in this way than we do in the ordinary course of business with wedding gifts, although we do perhaps as much in that line as any firm in London.
“Who hires the presents? Oh, the bride’s parents, generally speaking; occasionally the bride herself does it, and we have lent wedding presents up to the value of £16,000 and to some of the best families in England, too.
“We have a big set of dinner knives and forks, in a handsome case, which was originally priced at £45. In the last two years we have made over £90 by letting this out on hire and still have it almost as good as new, so we have no occasion to grumble with this remarkable scheme.
“I need not tell you that we protect ourselves thoroughly. We insure every article before it is lent and require to be paid the full value of the article, for the time being, and in the event of its being lost or unreturned, this money is forfeited.
Cincinnati [OH] Enquirer 7 August 1897: p. 14
Mrs Daffodil has previously written about a precious heirloom lace wedding veil whose sale led to much happiness for a couple.
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