Oaklands Museum and Woman's Club of Murfreesboro Host Second Week of the Wedding Dress Exhibit Going

Jun 10, 2023 at 01:47 pm by WGNS News

MURFREESBORO, TN - The Wedding Dresses Across Decades and Cultures exhibit opened June 2 at the Woman’s Club of Murfreesboro and will continue for only two more weekends and closes on June 18. Oaklands Mansion and the Woman’s Club of Murfreesboro have partnered to bring back the beloved display of historical and multicultural wedding attire.


The Woman’s Club have welcomed visitors from our community as well as from Brentwood and Knoxville. The Brentwood couple was married at the Club 20 years ago and spoke about their wonderful memories of the ceremony in the parlor and grand reception in the ballroom. Other visitors have included sons and daughters whose mothers’ dresses are included in the exhibit.

More than 30 gowns are on display representing the years from 1870 until 2021. Visitors have enjoyed dresses from eras like the roaring twenties, the year of the stock market crash, World War II and the Korean War as well as a collection from the mid to late 1800’s. The variety of styles and fabrics reflects the times in which the marriages took place. Along with the gowns are photos of many of the brides as they originally wore the gown, as well as the story of the couple and their life together.

Dresses from China, Japan, India and South Korea and customs around weddings are in the exhibit. The Center for Chinese Music and Culture at Middle Tennessee State University has loaned a traditional Chinese example. The color red is a symbol of happiness and good luck in Chinese culture. However, only since the 1980s has the red wedding dress in Chinese culture become a tradition.

James Manning, Executive Director, and Mary Beth Nevills curated the exhibit for Oaklands Museum for almost a decade and provided their unique talents in coordinating with The Woman’s Club of Murfreesboro to continue this Murfreesboro tradition at its new location. Several historical period dresses are on loan from Oaklands.

Set among beautiful arrangements of fresh flowers provided by Murfreesboro Flower Shop and the antiques furnishing of the Club’s house, the exhibit is sure to please. This year, gowns include a cream brocade gown worn by Nemmie Jenkins Rucker when she wed Dr. J.J. Rucker on January 9, 1879, displayed among local family heirlooms in the parlor. Both the bride and grooms’ family were early settlers in Rutherford County.

All attendees appreciated the care and elegance with which the gowns are presented, as well as the variety and diversity of the curation. The Club’s 1856 built house, also known as the historic Baskette House, located at 221 E. College St. in Murfreesboro, proves itself to be a beautiful venue for various occasions.

The Woman’s Club values its many sponsors, volunteers, and partnership with Oaklands Mansion in returning the Wedding Dress Exhibit to Murfreesboro and Rutherford County.

Please make your plans to attend Fridays and Saturdays June 9-10 and June 16-17 from 10am-5pm, and Sundays June 11 and June 18 from 1pm-5pm. Located at 221 E. College St. in Murfreesboro, admission at the door is $15, cash and checks only please.

Sponsored By: Outlook Consulting, The Barrett Group, Oaklands Mansion, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Rutherford Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lanham Events, Murfreesboro Dental, Murfreesboro Flower Shop, Murfreesboro Wine and Spirits, MTSU Department of Human Services, Celeste Middleton State Farm, Nashboro Chic, Mary Beth Nevills, Stewarts Special Events, Stones River Dermatology, StudioCPhotography, Tasty Table Fine Events Catering, WGNS Radio



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