Thursday’s ad is entitled Preview Of The Wedding Presents, and the illustration was done in 1953 by Haddon Sundblom. It’s #82 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, a social event is taking place that I confess I don’t really understand. I always thought wedding gifts were wrapped so that no one, except the giver, knew what the gift was. But this is a “Preview Of The Wedding Presents” and people are drinking beer and looking at the gifts for a wedding. Were they wrapped? Will they re-wrap them? Why on Earth would you want to see your presents before you open them? That’s assuming that the bride and groom are even there, but I assume that’s supposed to be the bride front and center wearing white with a pen and notebook to list every present at the table next to her. This is one I really don’t understand.
Gary Gillman says
Jay, it was a custom, often in “society” families, to “show the presents” ahead of the wedding. I don’t think they were re-wrapped, but am not 100% of that part. This account explains it: https://books.google.ca/books?id=Wu_uw8aUE5wC&pg=PA340&dq=wedding+presents&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=wedding%20presents&f=false