What was ‘Tom Thumb’ wedding?

By JANET H. TAYLOR
Friends of the History Center contributor

Tom Thumb weddings were reenactments of a formal wedding by children. They were popular events in Rockport for many years. I don’t know exactly when they started, but my mother, Verna Brundrett, was a bridesmaid in one in 1921. Various groups sponsored them.

On Sept. 27, 1949, the Tom Thumb Wedding, which was performed in the auditorium of the Rockport School, was sponsored by the Catholic Altar Society under the direction of Ruby Hart. There was a contest to select the bride and groom. Whoever collected the most votes, at a penny per vote, won. Janet Grant, who received 4,006 votes, was named the bride.

Steirly Rozzell, with 2,341 votes, was the groom. The runners up, Azalea Shivers and Bubba Armstrong, won the roles of maid of honor and best man. I was a bridesmaid. The bride wore a white satin gown with long, pointed sleeves and a veil while the groom wore a tuxedo. In addition to the wedding party, there were guests including lots of relatives of the bride.

According to a newspaper article about the wedding, a catastrophe occurred when the groom refused to embrace the bride at the appropriate time because the ring bearers lost the ring; so the groom didn’t think they were really married. If you look at the program, you will see that many of the participants still reside in Rockport. Members of the Tom Thumb Wedding party were entertained at the home of Mrs. Joe Johnson on Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. in 1949.

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