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Funny Wedding Words of Advice for the Bride in 1942

Updated on March 6, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

A Wish for Your Wedding

This is the title of a little Hallmark booklet with blank pages inside that was utilized during a wedding shower for my husband's mother prior to her wedding.

This was long before my husband appeared as a bouncing baby bundle of joy on the scene.


The year was 1942 and both the soon-to-become bride and groom had graduated from Drake University College of Pharmacy in Des Moines, Iowa.

In fact...that is where these lovebirds met and where romance blossomed.

Who says that pouring over books and test tubes can't be romantic?


This short little 4 foot 10 1/2 inch cutie was one of few women students studying to become a pharmacist back in that era. In 1942 the pharmacy classes were predominantly male oriented.

Times have certainly changed since then!

Today a good percentage of pharmacists (in fact, almost half) are women.


While there is still a slight pay disparity between men and women practicing the same exact profession (in favor of the men) the income is good and working conditions are generally in air conditioned or heated comfort inside of drug stores or large clinics or hospitals.

It is a very responsible job and in addition to dispensing medications, counseling of patients is an important aspect of what pharmacists regularly do.

Professional Pharmacy Organizations

Here is her photo from the professional pharmacy sorority Lambda Kappa Sigma at Drake University in 1941.
Here is her photo from the professional pharmacy sorority Lambda Kappa Sigma at Drake University in 1941. | Source

There was a professional pharmacy sorority at Drake University of which my future mother-in-law was not only a member, but held the position of president one year. It was called Lambda Kappa Sigma.

The counter-part to that was the professional pharmacy fraternity (Phi Delta Chi) of which her future husband was also a member and who had also held the position of president one year.

An organization to which all pharmacy students automatically belonged was called the Mortar and Pestle. Back in 1941 it was the only organization of its kind with just 2 chapters. Lecturers from various drug houses would regularly address members on subjects relating to pharmacy and medicine.

Of the 30 members at Drake University, only 4 that year were women in the Mortar and Pestle club. A highlight for the 27 members who were able to attend was a trip to Eli Lilly drug house in Indianapolis, Indiana that particular year.

Eli Lilly drug company trip for soon-to-be pharmacists in 1942.

The four women pharmacy students going on that Eli Lilly trip in 1942.  My future mother-in-law is the shortest one!
The four women pharmacy students going on that Eli Lilly trip in 1942. My future mother-in-law is the shortest one! | Source

Where these lovebirds met & studied to become pharmacists:

A markerDrake University, Des Moines, Iowa -
Drake University, 2507 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505, USA
get directions

1942 Wedding Words of Advice

Handwritten words of advice to the bride.
Handwritten words of advice to the bride. | Source

This was the marriage advice given to Emma prior to her nuptials.

A selection of the handwritten pages will be shared below (copied in print form) and gives a reference to the thinking back in 1942 when offering sage advice to new brides.

Some of it is humorous and some of the advice would be as good and relevant today as it was back in the 1940s.

Be you own sweet self always and don't work too hard - remember your husband will love you just the same.

Aunt Mary

Dear Emma,

Count ten before an angry reply then you will continue being that happy cheerful little girl.


Positively never get up first in the morning.

Auntie Peg

Don't be afraid to admit your own mistakes. Making up is Lots of Fun.


Never talk to the husband about former good times and boy friends - (Maybe this is not new advice.)


Be sure your husband makes the fires (if you have any to make.)

Best Wishes Dora (fat Aunty)

Dear Emma Lu,

When Jack comes home be sure and have your self nice and clean and the Beef D. (dinner?) done to a turn like you had when I ate with you.

Grandma Beyer

Streight from my heart to you

Speed all my thoughts and all my love.

And all good wishes added to,

For happiness for you and yours.

Grandma Beyer

Emma and her Grandma Beyer

Labeled "Grandma Beyer and I"
Labeled "Grandma Beyer and I" | Source

Keep your own view points as a friendly little argument spices up life.

Maxine White

Dear Emma,

Always have a smile for Jack when he comes home.

Aunt Dina

Dear Emma,

Don't be to possessive and tie him to your apron strings, also don't henpeck.

Aunt Mildred

Emalou - Remember

It is a 50-50 partnership from now on.

Aunt Ada

Never forget to come to family reunions and keep everyone informed of all additions to the family.

Edith Ver Steegh

P.S. Remember that the Lord has pronounced a blessing on the "Home."

The newlyweds in 1942.
The newlyweds in 1942. | Source

'Til Death Do Us Part'

My husband's parents in 1942
My husband's parents in 1942 | Source

This budding university romance between two pharmacy students culminated in marriage. But World War 2 was raging and after attending OCS (Officer's Candidate School) in Columbia, South Carolina, Jack was shipped off to England where he worked in a hospital setting.

My future husband had been conceived in South Carolina, was born and was 16 months old before his Dad returned from the war and saw him for the first time.

The very next day, Jack was killed in an auto accident! It was exactly 3 years to the day of their marriage!

My mother-in-law never remarried. The memories and pictures of their shared experiences, while short remained with her always to warm her heart and remained frozen in time.

My husband's father in army officer uniform, 1942
My husband's father in army officer uniform, 1942 | Source

Hope you enjoyed this wedding advice for the bride from the 1942 era. Some of it is funny and some of it is sage. Do you agree?

Which of these is the best advice?

See results

Our Love Will Never Die - Beautiful Love Poem

© 2011 Peggy Woods

Comments are always welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi poetryman6969,

      People did work harder on average back then than many do today. Just doing the laundry was more of a chore as compared to today as just one tiny example. Appreciate your stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      And interesting viewpoint on the history of the times. You know that they had much harder lives than the words reflect but people did not complain as much in those days.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Patricia,

      It is too bad that my husband never got to know his dad as he was growing up (due to his death) but his grandpa became his male role model. Glad you liked some of the advice given brides back in the 1940s. Some of it is humorous! Thanks for the votes and share.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      O a tragic story included among some 'humorous' but sage (in some cases) advice.

      Keeping track of our family stories is so important I believe. It keeps us connected to where our family came from, the journeys they made.

      Thank you for sharing this article with us...the photos are superb.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

      voted up++++ and shared

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi aesta1,

      So very true! :)

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