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Funny Wedding Words of Advice for the Bride in 1942

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

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.

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.

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!

Where these lovebirds met & studied to become pharmacists:

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.

Handwritten words of advice to the bride.

Handwritten words of advice to the bride.

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

Aunt Mary

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"

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.

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 parents in 1942

My husband's parents in 1942

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?

My husband's father in army officer uniform, 1942

My husband's father in army officer uniform, 1942

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Peggy Woods

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