1940s: A Brief History of Wedding Invitations

World War II captured everyone’s attention in the early 1940s. As you can see from the invitations we uncovered, a vast majority of men and women were in the military or working with military efforts during this time. It is incredible to see that love always finds a way, even in the most difficult circumstances.

wedding invitation from 1942
Terry-Van Keuren Wedding Announcement – September 14, 1942

This wedding announcement from 1942 is similar to the ones we uncovered from the 1930s. It features old English calligraphy, and you can very faintly see the bottom edge of an embossed border on the invitation. The information on the invitation is standard for the time period (host line, bride and groom, wedding day and location), but it does take up more space on the invitation. Up until now, we’ve seen the information tightly place in the center of the page. On this invitation, the font is larger and there is greater leading.

wedding invitation from 1943
Freeman-Fleischauer Wedding Announcement – December 12, 1943

This wedding announcement from 1943 is the first booklet style announcement we’ve seen. Beyond that, it is another standard wedding announcement featuring an embossed border, pretty script font and traditional wedding details. It is worth noticing that the leading is greater on this invitation than we have seen in invitations from the 1900s-1930s.

wedding invitation from 1944
Milazzo-Snelting Wedding Announcement – April 16, 1944

This wedding invitation from 1944 features a larger script font than those we have previously seen. The information takes up a majority of the white space on the stationery, and includes a request line and the specific ceremony details. We continue to see the embossed border on this wedding invitation–a constant characteristic of the announcements and invitations we’ve seen thus far.

wedding invitation from 1945
Heaton-Mocho Wedding Announcement – April 24, 1945

This wedding announcement features two different fonts. The majority of the text is old English style, but the military line is in a san serif font–the first san serif font we’ve seen so far. Beyond that, we see characteristics similar to wedding announcements of the time. The names of the parties involved are featured in a larger text than the rest of the body information, and we see standard wording and details in the announcement.

wedding invitation from 1946
Farmer-Parquette Wedding Announcement – December 17, 1946

In this wedding invitation from 1946, we continue to see the increased font size and leading that we have in other invitations from the 1940s. The information takes up a majority of the stationery, and an old English calligraphy font is used. The traditional embossed border is present, along with a request line and wedding details.

The 1940s wedding invitations we examined carried on traditional style but evolved in font size and spacing. It’s interesting to see what characteristics stay constant and which change! We can’t wait to see what the 1950s have in store for us.

Sources:
Terry-Van Keuren Wedding Announcement
Freeman-Fleischauer Wedding Announcement
Milazzo-Snelting Wedding Announcement
Heaton-Mocho Wedding Announcement
Farmer-Parquette Wedding Announcement


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