How to Plan the Perfect Wedding

Summer is the season for weddings.  In order to plan the perfect one, you don’t need to hire an expensive wedding planner.  Everything you need to know can be found in these vintage magazine illustrations.

The wedding has to be just right.  After all, you’ve been dreaming about this for a long time.


by Jon Whitcomb, Good Housekeeping, June 1940

You’ll need to pick out a wedding dress…but it shouldn’t be too costly.  Best to invest the money elsewhere…

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by unknown artist, American Magazine, July 1950

You can also save costs by wearing a relative’s veil…she probably has it stored away.

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by Constantin Alajalov, Saturday Evening Post, July 7, 1947

Speaking of headpieces, your bridesmaids will need some to complement their dresses…

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by Garrett Price, New Yorker, June 20, 1953

And your flower girl will need a hat.

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by Augusta Reimer, Ladies’ Home Journal, March 1912

Consider how many guests you want to attend…

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by Theodore G. Haupt, New Yorker, June 4, 1932

And don’t forget to register for gifts…you can’t go wrong with sterling silver.

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by unknown artist, Ladies’ Home Journal, 1948

Or silverplate …

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by Jon Whitcomb, 1942

Of course, you’ll need the groom ..

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by Frederic Stanley, Saturday Evening Post, April 30, 1927

Although getting him to pop the question might take time …

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by Jay Hyde Barnum, Saturday Evening Post, September 21, 1940

Don’t forget to register for the marriage license…after all this planning, you want this to be official.

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by Norman Rockwell, Saturday Evening Post, June 11, 1955

On the big day, remember to brush your teeth…

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by unknown artist, Cosmopolitan, September 1941

And rinse with mouthwash …

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by unknown artist, Good Housekeeping, October 1953

There should be plenty to drink at the reception…

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by Bernard D’Andrea, 1953

To go along with the cake …

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by Harry Anderson, Saturday Evening Post, July 7, 1951

And check that the car you drive off in is fuel efficient.

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by unknown artist, Saturday Evening Post, 1958

Follow all this advice, and your wedding should be perfect…with no surprises.

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by Robert O. Reid, Collier’s, August 25, 1934

Next week … tips on the perfect marriage.


The Augusta Reimer image, the Savings Bond ad, and the Listerine ad are from the Periodicals Collection.

The Robert O. Reid image is from the Charles Craver Collection.

All other images are from the Walt Reed Illustration Archive.

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.