July 2019

Wedding Gowns Through the Decades

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

In preparing for our bridal issue this year, CH2 & CB2 stylist Kaila Jeffcoat thought it might be fun to track down vintage bridal gowns from various decades to see how the fashions have changed with the passing of time. We reached out to our readers via Facebook, and they graciously agreed to let us borrow their gowns to present them to you. Special thanks to all of the women who shared their special day with us; you’ll find their wedding day photos included in this spread. Be sure to visit our YouTube channel (CH2-Celebrate Hilton Head) to see the behind-the-scenes video of our shoot.


On Oxana
Bride: Elizabeth Hartman
Wedding date: Oct. 25, 1940
Wedding location: Emmanuel Church, Baltimore, Maryland.
Fun detail: The original cap, shown in the vintage photo below, was a family tradition, worn by her grandmother and mother and then passed down for her daughter to wear later in life as “something borrowed.”


On Ashley
Bride: Beverly Ann Fonseca
Wedding date: Oct. 29, 1950
Wedding location: Brockton, Massachusetts
Fun detail: The couple was headed to Niagara Falls for the honeymoon but only made it to New Hampshire.



On Ashley
Bride: Diane Pattison Donio
Wedding date: February 18, 1969
Wedding location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Fun detail: The couple decided on a Monday they were going to get married that Friday and called their families to tell them they were welcome to join if they wanted. It wasn’t supposed to be anything big. The dress was one she found at a local shop for $20 and thought it would do the trick, not knowing that years later it would be featured in CH2 magazine to commemorate the styles of the ’60s.


On Oxana
Bride: Cindy Saba
Wedding date: July 20, 1975
Wedding location: Baptist church in Savannah, Georgia
Fun detail: This stunning gown, with all of its gorgeous lace detailing was purchased at The Hitching Post in downtown Savannah. The bride’s four sisters and one brother were all in the wedding.



On Ashley
Bride: Kay Henderson
Wedding date: April 26, 1986
Wedding location: Gadsden Manor in Summerville, South Carolina
Fun detail: The wedding was the first one held at the renovated Gadsden Manor and included her five-year-old stepdaughter as her flower girl. Kay’s mother’s co-workers catered the event for free since they all worked at the Sheraton in Charleston.


On Oxana
Bride: Jeannie Fonseca Bellman
Wedding date: April 8, 1990
Wedding location: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Fun detail: If this dress looks slightly familiar, it’s because you just saw it. Jeannie wore her mother’s dress from 1950 when she was married on Hilton Head Island four decades later.



On Oxana
Bride: Holly Feltner
Wedding date: March 31, 2001
Wedding location: The Hilton (now Omni) hotel on Hilton Head Island; bridal portraits at Dolphin Head.
Fun detail: Holly saw the Suzanne Neville gown in a bridal magazine and knew it was the one. She took a train into London from Newmarket, walked into the designer’s shop and told her which one she wanted. Measurements were taken, and about two months later, she had the dress.


On Ashley
Bride: Colleen Bills
Wedding date: October 23, 2010
Wedding location: Sea Pines Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Fun detail: This blush pink shantung silk gown by Romona Keveza features dramatic ruching, which sold Colleen on the dress.

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