Time of wedding

For Zélie, there was no rush to get ready! The couple had their civil ceremony at 10 p.m. on July 12, 1858, and their religious ceremony was then celebrated at midnight. This meant the ceremony could be quieter and more prayerful, and the couple would be able to receive the Eucharist after the midnight fast that was common at the time.

The guests

The couple stuck to just a few guests, including close family and a select number of friends. The focus was entirely on celebrating the sacrament of marriage surrounded by loved ones. So if the coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on a large wedding celebration, consider yourself in good company, and find the beauty in an intimate gathering.

Photos courtesy of http://www.louisandzeliemartin.org.

The dress

Zélie didn't opt for today's traditional white dress (indeed, the white dress was only just beginning to become popular at the time of the Martin marriage). Although her wedding robe was not preserved, it would have been similar to the one in the image. The modern Christian bride may still want to choose something beautiful that hearkens back to the days when white wasn't the only option.

Photo courtesy of http://www.louisandzeliemartin.org.

The bridal gift

At the time, it was common for husbands to present their new bride with a marriage medallion blessed by a priest. Louis used his craftsman's skills to fashion a beautiful design with the theme of Sarah and Tobias' story from the Bible. After Louis placed the ring on Zélie's hand, he placed the medallion in her other hand. While the modern groom may not have the same talent, the internet offers many beautiful religious medallions to choose from.

Photos courtesy of http://www.louisandzeliemartin.org.

The honeymoon

While honeymoons on beautiful tropical islands are popular today, back in the 19th century things were very different. On the actual day of their religious wedding, July 13, the couple took the train to visit Zélie's sister who had just entered religious life. It was more important for the couple to make sure all their family was involved in their union than having time alone right away.