11 April 2014

Wild wedding stories shared by New Brunswick Museum archives

Matrimonial madness, spousal scandal will be part of presentation in Saint John on Saturday

CBC News

With wedding season quickly approaching, the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John will be featuring some of the wild and wacky nuptual tales from its archives this weekend.

A presentation, The Road to Wedded Bliss: Matrimonial Madness, Blushing Brides & Spousal Scandal, will be held at the Douglas Avenue location on Saturday.

For weeks now, several archivists have been sorting through shelves and shelves of boxes, pulling notable wedding stories — some for better, others, for worse.

"We thought that anyone who's interested in weddings, years ago, and how they came about, how they were presented, and some of the fashions of the time periods, may be interested in looking at some of what we have in our collection," said archivist Christine Little.

The pictures don't always tell the story, but the documents do, she said, citing a letter from the 1870s as an example.

It's written by a family from Grand Manan, after their son ran off with an older woman.

"Some of the women in the community were a bit nasty, saying that she was probably as old as his mother. So they weren't very nice towards the lady," said Little.

The oldest document on display is a Quaker wedding declaration from 1753.

But there's also a film dating back to Jan. 14, 1925 of a local wedding between the mayor's daughter and a prominent Montreal man, said archival assistant Jennifer Longon.

"It's Stone Church, which is on Carleton Street. So you can see just a little bit of the outside. Mostly just then you see the cars driving up, not very much snow actually, in January," she said.

"And the rest of the clip it shows, they were back in the house, the White family house, which is on the corner of Princess and Sydney Street."

The film, which was subsequently digitized, is part of a donated collection.

The talk will be held from 10:30 a.m until noon.