The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores will open a new exhibit next month to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Edsel and Eleanor’s marriage, called Down the Aisle: 100 Years of Ford Family Weddings, highlighting the evolution of wedding traditions and trends over the past century.
“Weddings are a unique and intimate experience for everyone,” says Kathleen Mullins, president of the Ford House. “Down the Aisle will guide visitors through generations of this iconic American family’s weddings, from bouquets and wedding cakes to gowns and accessories. We hope guests will feel a sense of nostalgia and reminisce about their own cherished memories while they view this rare collection.”
Mullins says the exhibit, which opens June 26 to Nov. 6, will feature never-before-seen images from the family’s personal collections; footage from Edsel and Eleanor’s rehearsal dinner; wedding favors and accessories from throughout the decades; and an original slice of Edsel and Eleanor’s wedding cake.
She says at the center of the exhibit is 14 bridal gowns worn by generations of Ford women. The dresses include Eleanor’s Russian-style, turn-of-the-century gown created by the designer House of Lucile; Josephine Ford’s hoop skirt gown from 1943; Martha Firestone’s luxurious Carrie Munn-designed gown from 1947; Cynthia Layne Neskow Ford’s 1974 Priscilla of Boston gown; and 10 other examples of gowns from the 1940s through 2015.
Special programming throughout the duration of the exhibit will offer visitors a more detailed look at unique traditions and customs, including floral arrangements, ballroom dancing, gown preservation, and wedding china.
Mullins says the exhibit will kick off with a vow renewal ceremony in the estate’s garden, followed by a strolling dinner, a wedding cake, and dancing on June 25. Tickets cost $225 per couple.
Entry into the exhibit is included in the estate’s general admission fee. The Ford House, located at 1100 Lake Shore Rd., was built in 1915 and designed by architect Albert Kahn. The house resembles an English cottage with a stone roof, vine-covered walls, and lead-paned windows.