One of the most fashionable wedding photos that I have come across from my research of the society pages of old newspapers is the one pictured above. The vintage large brimmed bridesmaids’ garden hats, huge floral bouquets, flowing gowns and lovely bridal fitted head cap may make some wonder why this unique wedding fashion of 1930 is not being duplicated today.
The wedding of Miss Elmira Helen Brown, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. William Brown, to Mr. Belmont Felician Haydel was celebrated, March 19, 1930 at 8:30 Mass at Holy Ghost Catholic Church with the Reverend Father Duffy officiating.
The bride, who was given in marriage by her father, wore a gown of white georgette made on long lines which fell to the ankle in front and formed a circular pattern on the sides and back. She wore a veil of illusion fitted over her brown hair, in a tiny cap, held together with a wreath of orange blossoms on either side. Long white kid gloves covered her lovely arms and her bouquet was adorned with both calla lilies and lilies of the valley.
The bride had as her maid of honor, Miss Isabella Epps, and her sister, Miss Deloris Brown, as her bridesmaid. Both ladies were fashionably attired in vintage large brimmed garden party hats which were made of yellow satin with matching yellow slippers.
Mr. Haydel had as his best man, his brother, Mr. Curtis Haydel.
Following the ceremony, a breakfast was held for the bridal party and relatives at the home of the bride’s cousins, Dr. and Mrs. Paul H. V. Dejoie. The happy couple resided at 1730 Constantinople Street.
Belmont Felician Haydel was born 9 June 1906 on the west bank of St. John the Baptist Parish near Wallace, Louisiana to Elphege Haydel and Rose Josephine Honore. He shared his childhood with three siblings: Honore, Curtis and Mabel Haydel. Upon coming to New Orleans in his early youth, he worked in the retail and wholesale floristry business. In 1936, he purchased his own florist company which became known to many in the community as Haydel’s Flower Shoppe. It was located at 3730 South Claiborne Avenue. Later, he was active in real estate development and was the founder of Time Realty, Inc and Pioneer Development Corporation.
He was active in numerous civic and social organizations including the Young Men Illinois Club, Autocrat Club, Louisiana Florist Association and the Society of American Florists.
Elmira Brown was born 19 November 1908 in LaPlace, Louisiana, St John Parish to Stella Bennett and William Brown. She shared a home in 1920 with her parents and five siblings. She was also very active in her family’s floral business. From this union were born two sons; Belmont Jr. and Byron Haydel. Belmont F. Haydel Jr. became a professor and U.S. Diplomat. Byron Haydel became a local educator and businessman.
Mr. Haydel passed away suddenly in August of 1979 at the age of seventy-three. A Mass was held at Holy Ghost Catholic Church. Burial took place at St. Louis Cemetery #3.
Mrs. Haydel died 12 December 1997 in Trenton, New Jersey at the age of eighty-nine. A Requiem Mass took place at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Reserve, Louisiana. She was also buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 3. Beside their two sons, they left behind four grandchildren.
Sources: The Times Picayune 6 August 1978 p.20 and 18 December 1997 p. B5; The Louisiana Weekly 11 August 1979 p.2 and 29 March 1930 p.5; Ancestry.com (1920 Census)