Bridal 2011: A century ago, wedding dress cost $18.50

This photo was taken of Annie Beatrice Huggard before she was married, but it’s not known if this is her wedding dress.

by Joni Astrup
Associate editor
A century ago, Annie Beatrice Huggard compiled her wedding trousseau list in a little notebook. In neat handwriting, she listed her wedding dress, a gray suit, two hats, a chemise, a petticoat, two pairs of gloves, shoes and other items.
Linda Lee of Elk River has that list now since Annie Beatrice Huggard was her grandmother.
The list includes the items and how much they cost. Her wedding dress, for instance, was $18.50. The entire trousseau totaled about $100.
By comparison Theresa Scott, owner of the Little Bridal Shop in Rogers, said the average amount her customers spend on a wedding dress today is around $1,000. However, Scott said the amount brides spend varies by location. In downtown Minneapolis, she said the average is more like $1,700, while in New York City, brides may spend as much as $25,000 on a dress.
The Little Bridal Shop, located at 21135 South Diamond Lake Rd., carries wedding dresses ranging in price from $400 to $1,800, but there are lines Scott doesn’t carry that she said could bring the cost of a wedding dress to as high as $5,000.
Huggard, meanwhile, married John Sherwood in 1911 when she was 31 years old. Lee isn’t sure where they were married.
By the time Lee’s mother was born, the family was living in Boston. They later moved to Maine.
Annie Beatrice Huggard Sherwood died in 1944 at her home in Mexico, Maine. Her husband died in 1967.

Trousseau list
Clothes for myself
3 shirts $1.05
3 shirts $.75
1 pair stockings $.35
5 pair stockings $1.25
1 pants $.98
2 pants $1
4 night dresses $4.50
Wedding set
night dress $3.00
petticoat $3
pants $1
chemise $1
trimmings $2
brown silk goods $10
making trimmings $1.50
brown hat $3.32
gray suit $26
wedding dress $18.50
hat (white) $10
waist white silk $4
shoes $3.50
gloves white $2.50
gloves gray $1.50

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