Monday, March 02, 2015

Womanless Wedding

A favorite fund-raising event for civic organizations in North Carolina and other southern states in the first half of the twentieth century was the Womanless Wedding. Community members came out to see their friends and neighbors starring in a mock wedding. All of the participants...including the bride and all of her attendants (even the mother of the bride) were men.

This first photo, probably from the mid-1950s, is of a Womanless Wedding on Ocracoke. It is part of the Billy Ely Collection at the Ocracoke Preservation Society. I think the bride is Chris Gaskill, and the groom, Calvin O'Neal, but I'm not sure. Are there any islanders who can identify these folks?

This next photo was taken just before our re-enactment of a Womanless Wedding in the 2011 July 4th Parade. Any idea who these folks are?

If the Ocracoke Civic & Business Association ever sponsors another Ocracoke Womanless Wedding I will be sure to let you all know.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is research into the origin of the Ocracoke Island Wahab family. You can read the article here:


  1. Anonymous8:19 AM

    So much for the "all brides are beautiful" saying.
    If the second lovely little thing is you, Philip (and I do believe it is.) Then I have to admit, the first 'bride' does make you seem kinda cute. ��

  2. I do recognize Jim Fineman, looking good in his fashionable hat and coveralls.

  3. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Now all these fun activities on OI, all were planned and carried out Before Television sets arrived on the island, correct? If this is true and other fun activities from the past rarely occur due to staying home and watching TV. Now I suppose with the availability of Netflix and various other services that allow one to view a tv show at your choosing, it will far easier to engage in future good old fashioned fun from the days before tv curtailed the community social calendar.

  4. I loved that July of my favorites. Of course I know all of the women!! For all of you readers, I actually got to follow along behind their float on my bike wearing a white dress and a signed that said "Jilted!" I won first place...who knew? It was a great time.

  5. Anonymous8:45 AM

    I was on the island for that 4th of July parade! What a fun time!

  6. I believe the groom was Charlie Ahmen, not Calvin O'Neal.

  7. Anonymous9:20 AM

    Shakespeare had men dressing up as women or was it the other way around. The fact of the matter is, the dress designers responsible for the garments should be shown this image. It would bring tears to their eyes.

  8. Anonymous6:04 PM

    Nice, delete all the moral supporters comments, I would have expected more of you Mr. Howard. Lost my respect on that one. Disappointed, thought you would appreciate open dialogue. But of course liberals aren't open to debate.

    1. Please read my post tomorrow morning (Friday, March 6, 2015). It explains why I deleted four comments. In the meanwhile I offer to personally reply to your comments as I have time. Simply send an email to Village Craftsmen (put "For Philip" in the subject box). The address is on our web site.I only request a civil dialog and your name, city, and state (you have at least that much information about me).

  9. Anonymous8:46 PM

    Fair enough, I will look forward to the post tomorrow.


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