Due to the hardships and product scarcities that Americans faced after World War II, many couples decided to have more informal weddings. Brides chose suits over bridal gowns. Skirts were shortened and women wore jackets buttoned high to the neck. Brides wore sturdier shoes and some replaced purses with shoulder bags. It became popular for men to wear wedding rings and suits instead of tuxedoes. Some brides piled their shoulder-length hair on top of their heads and accessorized it with a simple veil or hat. Fewer guests were invited to such weddings and bridal parties consisted of less people.
Others chose to stick with tradition. Many brides still chose the floor length organza gowns, lace trimmed ruffles, pearls, white satin and long veils or large brimmed hats.
Examples of each are shown below as they appeared in the society section of The Louisiana Weekly in the 1940s.
Hall-Villavasso Wedding (1946)
Standing (left to right): Evalina Hopkins Dright (family friend), Nathalie Villavasso Hall (bride), Leo Hall (groom), Lolita Hall (groom’s sister), Donald Villavasso (bride’s brother) and Alfred Villavasso (bride’s brother).
Leo J. Hall and the former Miss Nathalie Villavasso were married on August10, 1946 at Holy Ghost Church. The bride was the lovely daughter of Mrs. Elise Braud Villavasso Delahoussaye and the late Alfred Villavasso, Sr. The groom was the son of Louis and Marie Richards Hall, longtime residents of Algiers. The wedding reception took place at the bride’s home located at 4524 South Liberty Street in uptown New Orleans. The partying went on until the wee hours of the morning. Mr. Hall was a Merchant Marine. Upon his return home, he operated the Gosserand Printing Shop on North Claiborne Avenue until his death in May of 1988. Together they raised four daughters: Venus, Linda, Christy and Elaine Hall.
Charbonnet-Joseph Wedding (1948)
Front Row (seated): Marie Sambrone (maid of honor), Mr. &Mrs. William Charbonnet Jr. (the newlyweds) and Winnier Carter.
Back Row: Clarence H. Joseph, Sr., (bride’s father), Ernest Charbonnet, Jr. and Bernard Charbonnet, Jr.
The wedding of Vivian Joseph and William Charbonnet, Jr. took place at Corpus Christi Church on Sunday, October 16, 1948. The bride was dressed in white crepe, a white feathered hat, and carried an old- fashioned bouquet of white rose buds. Her attendants wore dresses of royal blue with feather hats of matching color. The groom and his attendants wore navy blue suits with royal blue ties.
The groom, William “Bill” Charbonnet (born 22 April 1926) was the son of William and Estelle Holland Charbonnet. He shared a home with his siblings: Geraldine, Emelda, Enola, Wardell, Norman, Warren, Bertha, Estelle, Glenda, Paulette, and Bernard.
Vivian Joseph’s parents were Clarence and Alice Vignes Joseph. Her siblings were Clarice, Marjorie, Alice, Miriam, Clarence, Joseph Jr., and Camilla.
William passed away 34 years later on 4 December 1982. Together he and Vivian raised four children: Camille C. Jones, William Charbonnet, Patrice C. Arceneaux and Jennifer Charbonnet.
Vivian would later marry Anthony J. Sambrone. She passed away March 23, 1996.
Glapion-Duplessis Wedding (1948)
Front Row (left to right): Bridesmaids Marion Gaspard, Lorraine Gaspard, Nelka Armand, Earline Duplessis (junior bride), Mrs. Dolores Duplessis Glapion (bride), Patrick Oliver (ring bearer), Shirley Gaspard (maid of honor) and Audrey Gaspard.
Standing (left to right): Groomsmen Earl P. Duplessis, Wilbert Bias, Albert J. Miller, Sr., Henry A. Duplessis (father of the bride), Lloyd Glapion (groom), and Louis Alexander, Jr. [Not pictured is George Glapion, the best man.]
Although our photo may not be the best, the Glapion/Duplessis wedding was an elaborate one which took place at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in New Orleans in October of 1948. The wedding reception was held at the Autocrat Club and the young couple honeymooned in Lafayette, Louisiana.
The bride is the daughter of Henry and Mable Edwards Duplessis. The groom, who was office secretary of the People’s Defense League, was the son of George and Lillian Raphael Glapion. Together, they would bring into the world four children: Karen, Glenn, Wayne, and Kevin Glapion.
Gaudin-Barre Wedding (1948)
Front Row (left to right): Helena Valteau, Raymond Winnier, Mr. and Mrs. Jules A. Gaudin (newlyweds), Ann Marie Jones (maid of honor), Phyllis Derbigny, Marguerite Gaudin (groom’s sister), and little Aliska Gaudin (flower girl in front).
Back Row (left to right): Percy Gaudin (groom’s brother & best man), Arnold Lecesne, Lawrence Barre (bride’s father), Joseph E. Schexnayder, Walter King, and Roscoe Darensbourg.
The marriage of Theda Barre (daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Barre) and Jules A. Gaudin (son of Mr. & Mrs. Percy Gaudin) was celebrated Saturday, Sept. 18, at Epiphany Church in New Orleans.
Following the ceremony, a breakfast for the bridal party was held at the home of the bride’s parents on Pauger Street. The reception was held that same night at the Artisans Hall, where Mrs. Barre received her guests, assisted by Mrs. Gaudin, her mother. The gowns were designed and made by Mrs. Ralph Derbigny and Mrs. August Ellsworth. The bride gave to her attendants as a token of remembrance, sequin dance bags. The groom gave to his ushers, desk fountain pen and holder sets. After a brief honeymoon, the couple resided at 1859 Law Street.
Sources: The Louisiana Weekly, 31 August 1946; 25 September 1948 p.12; 23 October 1948 p.4; 30 October 1948
Lolita Villavasso Cherrie