“How Long are We Going to Tolerate This?”
“Some Pictures of Actual Examples of the Extent to Which the Silly Girl and the Masculine Fool are Carrying Their Vulgar Horseplay at Weddings.”
This alarming heading was found in the April 15, 1911 issue of the Ladies’ Home Journal, an issue known as “The Bridal Number.” Inside are pages full of lovely Edwardian wedding attire for both the bride and her guests, some colorful candy and cake options, and thoughtful articles full of vintage advice to the bride.
But somewhere among those pages of more typical wedding content, I found the article that I am sharing with you now. Basically, this illustrated page served as a warning of how simple but thoughtless wedding horseplay could have unbelievably disastrous effects on the bridal couple. I can’t help but think that these examples are so out there that they had to have been created by a writer with a big imagination, but then again I can’t be positive.
The following are four of the illustrations from that page, all showing silly pranks with horrible outcomes:
“Just some harmless (?) handfuls of rice thrown after a wedding carriage in Delaware. But some of the harmless rice struck the horses, which bolted. The bride was thrown out and was instantly killed, her head striking against a lamp-post. So harmless is rice-throwing!”
“Thrown at a departing couple in New York in an automobile a shoe struck the glass, broke it, and a piece of the glass entered the eye of the bridegroom. The wedding journey was postponed, the bridegroom was taken to the hospital where it was found that he would permanently lose the sight of the injured eye. He has to go through the rest of his life with one eye, thanks to the joke of his friends.”
“In Wisconsin a newly wedded couple were forcibly grabbed by their friends, their hands and feet tied, and were then placed in a crate locked with a padlock, marked ‘Live Stock,’ and put in the baggage compartment of a trolley car. It was over an hour before the bride and bridegroom could induce the motorman and the conductor, who were in the scheme, to release them by breaking the crate. By this time the bride was in such a nervous condition that the couple had to return home, and she was ill with nervous prostration for weeks at her mother’s home. Her physician writes: ‘I doubt if she will ever fully recover from the shock.’”
“For trunks, carriages, etc., at weddings a favorite decoration is just a representation of the stork as is here illustrated, this one having been tacked on a bridal carriage in Ohio. Perhaps vulgarity reaches its limit with such representations, and yet they form a large part of the idea of fun of the vulgarians at weddings.”