With a video of their wedding featured in the Bartow History Museum’s newest exhibit, Minor and Elizabeth Shadburn’s marriage ceremony is gaining a new set of viewers.
Airing on the television program “Bride & Groom,” the wedding was filmed in New York and initially broadcast across the country in 1952. Along with supplying a gown, the show also provided the couple with household gifts and a paid honeymoon trip.
“I was a bookkeeper and I worked down on Main Street. … The TV was on all the time and I used to see at 10 o’clock a program that came on called ‘Bride & Groom’ and that’s how I got curious,” said Cartersville resident Elizabeth Shadburn, whose husband passed away more than 10 years ago. “I thought, ‘Well, let’s just see what you have to do to get on there.’ So I wrote and they sent me the information. You had to write a story of your romance and different things like that. So we worked on it I guess for about a month to get it lined up. So I did send it and one evening, we hadn’t even really set a date … they brought a special delivery letter to me.
“We had been accepted as one of the contestants. So we had to pay our own way there and back but after the wedding everything was furnished then. It was quite an experience. At that time, the stores closed and they had parties all over town. … My mother didn’t have a TV so she went down the street [and watched it] with a group down there. So it was an exciting time.”
Presented by Stiles Jewelers and Tonsmeire Studio, “To Have and To Hold: Wedding Customs and Traditions” is on display through Aug. 31. Along with Shadburn’s wedding video, the exhibit features wedding attire and objects from the 1850s to 1970s.
“The idea for the wedding exhibit, we’ve had for several years,” said Trey Gaines, director of the BHM, 4 E. Church St. in Cartersville. “It’s something that we’ve wanted to do to highlight … wedding dresses we have in our collection as well as some other wedding-related items — jewelry, wedding stories, those kinds of things — that we have and haven’t been able to put on display. So we wanted to do an exhibit around those items.
“… We chose this time of year to do this exhibit because it’s quote-unquote the wedding season. So we wanted to really highlight the collection and give people the opportunity that are out — either they’re getting married or they’re attending weddings this summer — [to view this exhibit]. They have weddings on their minds. So it’s a good opportunity to come out and learn more about these wedding traditions and customs that we have as well as see some of these great items that the museum can show.”
In addition to viewing the exhibit each Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., patrons also can participate in a raffle featuring various prizes donated by local individuals and businesses.
Tickets for the drawing — to be held June 19 during the museum’s Lunch and Learn lecture from noon to 1 p.m. — are $15 apiece or three for $40. Ticketholders do not have to be in attendance to win.
For more information on the exhibit or raffle items, call 770-382-3818, ext. 6286, or visit www.bartowhistorymuseum.org. Tickets can be purchased in the museum’s gift shop or by calling 770-387-2774.
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