Historic Wedding Gown Exhibit

Historic Wedding Gowns, Tuxes, Memorabilia Go On Display June 3

On March 24, 1818, 22-year-old Mary (Polly) Armstrong of Augusta County stepped into white leather slippers for her marriage to William Clayton. Her shoes, along with more than 50 items related to weddings of the past, are in an exhibit titled “Happily Ever After” opening June 3 at the History Museum of Western Virginia in Roanoke’s Center in the Square.

Ashley Webb, museum curator, has sorted through the Museum’s permanent collection to find treasurers that took couples to the altar and off to their honeymoons up through the 1970s. These include an 1824 black silk taffeta wedding dress and 1916 tails with black and white pinstriped pants. Also on display will be “going away” dresses and even “first night” wear such as a black see-through negligee complete with interior corsetry from 1890. Wedding registry type items (china and silver) have been included along with wedding invitations, garters and cake toppers.

On display with the wedding finery will be wedding photographs, including some from contemporary brides so the exhibit can serve as inspiration for upcoming weddings as well as a trip into nostalgia.

An opening reception has been scheduled for 6-8 p.m on June 3. Tickets are $8 for non-members and free for members of the museum. Please RSVP to info@vahistorymuseum.org or 540.342.5777. The exhibit runs through Oct. 16, 2016.

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