I went to my public library’s book sale this weekend and among other things, I picked up this book, first written in 1939 and updated in 1958 (you can actually get your own used copy on Amazon). As you can see, the illustrations are fabulous!
In some places the book feels surprisingly modern. For example, there are pages and pages of instructions on how to word invitations in the case of various kinds of situations, including divorce and remarriage. In other places, it feels as dated as it is. For example, the instruction that the invitation for a second wedding for a widow should use her married name, which at the time it was written would be "Mrs. John Doe." So the invitation would be for the wedding of Mrs. John Doe to Mr. George Smith.
But this piece of advice from the first chapter really struck me:
"Modern custom decrees that the engagement should be of short duration, usually from three to six months, so that the planning time is the least trying to all concerned."
I remember my grandparents telling me that they were engaged in April and married in June. My own engagement was only nine months, which seems pretty short by today’s standards. But have couples really done themselves a disservice by stretching out engagements? Does having a long engagement make things easier, or just put more pressure and stress on the couple?