Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #18

Couple: Josephine Willson and Blanche Bruce

Date of Wedding:  June 24, 1878

Place: 228 Perry Street, Cleveland, OH (Home of the Bride's Parents)

Officiant: Rev. N.S. Rulison

Fun facts

Sixty guests attended the private ceremony.

The groom's family was not invited to the wedding because of their enslaved past.

The bride's parents closed the heavy velvet draperies throughout the house to prevent the crowd gathered outside from being able to peek at the ceremony.

The bride wore a white silk gown trimmed in satin.

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a catered supper while a local orchestra provided music.

The couple sailed to Europe on June 27 for a four-month honeymoon but returned stateside in time for the next session of Congress.

The groom was the second African American to serve in the  United States Senate and the first African American to be elected to a full term.  He represented the state of Mississippi.