This Bride Broke Societal Wedding Dress Norms Way Back in 1935

When Helen Fritz married in 1935, ”she could hear the gasps and whispers as she walked down the aisle” in her blush satin gown.
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Photographs Courtesy of Ellen Heimert

Photographs Courtesy of Ellen Heimert

Helen Fritz married Richard Eschmeyer on Wednesday, June 5, 1935, at St. Boniface Church in Northside. Breaking with tradition, Helen wore a blush satin wedding gown she purchased for $19 at downtown department store Gidding-Jenny. “She claimed she could hear the gasps and whispers as she walked down the aisle,” says her daughter, Ellen Heimert. Before marrying, Helen worked as a comptometer operator, but was asked to leave once she wed, which was standard for the time period. Richard was a typewriter salesman by day and a musician in a three-piece riverboat band on the weekends. He first met Helen when he stopped by her mother’s house to purchase her brother’s clarinet, listed in the classified pages, and boldly asked her out. The couple had three children (two girls and a boy) and were happily married for 45 years until Richard’s death in 1980.

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