Here comes the bride — and all of the centuries-old traditions that come along with weddings.

From the rings to the white dress, Lackawanna Historical Society seeks to celebrate the historical and cultural significance of weddings with “Say Yes to the Dress: Wedding Trousseau Past and Present.” The weekend of events takes place Friday, Sept. 27, through Sunday, Sept. 29, at POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave.

“It’s neat to look at how things have changed and, also, how they really haven’t changed,” historical society assistant director Sarah Piccini said. “Weddings have always been weddings. They’ve always been a big deal back from the beginning.”

The weekend begins with a “rehearsal dinner” cocktail party Friday at 7 p.m. that will unveil the exhibit. On Saturday, the exhibit will be free and open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the events will conclude with a “post-nuptial” brunch Sunday at 11 a.m. Tickets cost $40 for the cocktail party and $30 for brunch, and reservations are required by calling 570-344-3841.

The idea came from an event by former Scrantonian-Tribune social writer and NEPA Wedding Day magazine founder Maureen Hart. Together with Tina Bechaver, the two put together an event showcasing historical wedding dresses along with a bridal tea at the Scranton Club. Piccini said this weekend’s event expands on the idea.

“It’s also a way to bring out some of the cooler dresses and items in our collection to showcase,” she said.

Guests can peruse the dresses of Scranton’s “first ladies,” which Piccini explained is a play on words. It points to wives of Scranton mayors as well as brides of the founding Scranton family, including the dress worn in 1835 by Jane Hiles, the wife of city founder George Scranton. Traditional wedding gifts and mementos from LHS’s collection will be on display.

More recent gowns also will be displayed at the exhibit, such as the dress worn by Donna Doherty, wife of former mayor Christopher Doherty, and that of former Scranton first lady Susan Blum Connors. She kept the dress she wore to marry former mayor Jim Connors 29 years ago as well as other pieces from that day.

An informal “Meet the Curators” question-and-answer session will take place Saturday at 1:30 p.m. During Sunday’s brunch, Elizabeth McDonald will present a program on the history of wedding attire, detailing brides’ and bridesmaids’ styles from the year 1305 into present day.

“It’s cool to delve into that history of something that’s a part of our culture,” Piccini said.


If you go
What: “Say Yes to the Dress: Wedding Trousseau Past and Present,” presented by Lackawanna Historical Society
When: Cocktail party, Friday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m.; exhibit with question-and-answer session, Saturday, Sept. 28, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; brunch with program, Sunday, Sept. 29, 11 a.m.
Where: POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave.
Details: The exhibit is free and open to the public. Tickets cost $40 for the cocktail party and $30 for brunch, and reservations are required. To make reservations, call 570-344-3841.