people, while they grew in numbers and importance
through the entire 19th Century, were never anything
more than a minority. The majority of Americans
lived on farms or in tenements, and would find
it difficult to meet all the requirements of a
19th Century etiquette book. They had neither
the time nor the money.
example of this would be the wedding dress. This
book, and many others dictate that it should be
white: though most 19th Century wedding portraits
I have seen (and all the ones in my collection)
show women in something other than white. They
are usually wearing what looks like their best
dress, with some orange blossoms in their hair
and perhaps a bit of lace or white crepe to accent
three photographs, which are seen on this and
the following page, are examples of working women
"making do". Note also that the men
are not wearing the prescribed frock coat or morning
coat, but have the less formal sack suit, with
a white tie and perhaps a bit of flummery to make
their ensemble more festive.
without further ado: Read
the Etiquette of the Wedding.