The “Family” Wedding Dress

Family Story #15:

Some time ago, I found a book in an antique store titled “The American Frugal Housewife,” by Mrs. Child, originally published in 1833. This fun little book is full of tips and frugal recipes such as this one for cup cakes, which I believe explains where the term came from:

Cup Cakes (recipe from The American Frugal Housewife)

Is about as good as pound cake, and is cheaper. One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, and four eggs, well beat together, and baked in pans or cups. Bake twenty minutes, and no more.

I value frugality, which is why I had to buy this book, and a trait that I’m sure comes from the Minnes side of my family. But more than frugal, the Minnes’ were also VERY giving–some might say “giving to a fault,” if there’s such a thing.

One special example of these traits of frugality and giving is with the wedding dresses of my mother, Gloria, and her sister, Darlene. 

The two pictures below show my mother and aunt, each on their wedding day. 


The top picture is of my mother, and the bottom of my aunt.  You will note that the style of their dresses are very similar, but they are made of different lace. My mother’s dress was made of a more detailed, finer lace, purchased by the bride and groom’s family. If you also note, my mother and my aunt are wearing the same bridesmaid dress at each other’s wedding–now that is frugal!



Now, the way the story has been told to me by my mother, there came a time when other women to be married, both family and friend, could not afford a nice gown of their own. Because of the giving nature of the Minnes family, my mother’s family decided they would give away my Aunt Darlene’s gown, but, by mistake (probably because the two dresses looked similar), my mother’s more expensive gown was given instead.  The family realized their mistake shortly afterwards, but chose not to say or do anything about it as a result of the joy of the receiving bride, and thus it became the family hand-me-down wedding dress (my mother is not sure who ended up with the dress).

In this picture, you see my Aunt Jean Herpich, (really my 1st cousin, 1x removed), wearing my mother’s wedding dress, and my aunt Darlene’s wedding veil.


In this picture, you see my mother’s best friend, Joanne, wearing my mom’s wedding dress, with my mother standing to the bride’s left.  Frugality at its best!


Now back to the frugal cup cake recipe; if you are wondering, yes, I have made the 1833 cup cakes recipe above. I mixed the ingredients together first by beating the eggs with a mixer, then adding sugar, and beating some more. Next I added the butter and flour mixture, which I pre-mixed together. I set the oven at 350 degrees, and baked for 20 minutes, “and no more.”  The cupcakes are light in color, and turned out very nice. They are similar in texture to a pound cake, and a bit sweet.  I put vanilla butter icing on top of mine. No complaints from the family! :)


oct-ancestry-challenge-001The October Ancestry Challenge 2013 is 23 posts in 23 days (Monday through Friday) about 23 ancestors. Hop on the ancestry train and join us. Hosted by



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6 Responses to “The “Family” Wedding Dress”
  1. Lori Crane says:

    I’ll be doing some baking today!

  2. Dina says:

    Lovely reading, Mrs. Padilly!
    I like your new gravatar! :-)
    Greetings from the Rhine Valley, big hug to you

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