Jan 25, 2016

1951 Article About A Wedding

Mariana Martínez Rodríguez
An article by Alfredo Correoso Quesada with the headline “Mariana Martínez Rodríguez” appeared in the Sunday, June 10, 1951 issue of El Camagüeyano, Camagüey’s daily paper.  The photograph to the left accompanied the article. Here is the translation to English.

Yesterday in the morning, before a select audience that gathered in the handsome temple of the Piarist Fathers — the Church of the Sacred Heart — there took place the marriage of the charming young lady Mariana Martinez Rodriguez to the young gentleman and talented physician, Dr. Benito Prats Respall.

For the ceremony the church was adorned in sober elegance. Miss Martinez Rodriguez made a very beautiful bride, dressed in an exquisite duchesse satin wedding dress trimmed in Venetian lace. Complementing the dress is a Brussels lace veil and heirloom jewelry used in previous Rodriguez Casas family marriages.

The bouquet she is holding, custom ordered from the Milagros Gardens in Havana, is created from imported white carnations and white orchids.

To officiate this ceremony the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, The Right Reverend Doctor Enrique Perez Serantes, traveled to Camaguey.

After the nuptial benediction, the Veiling Ceremony Mass was celebrated.

The matron of honor and best man for the nuptials were Mrs. Eduvigis Respall de Prats, mother of the groom, and Dr. Joaquin Ventura Martinez, father of the bride.

For best man and matron of honor for the Mass of the Veils stood his father, Mr. José Prats Amat, and her mother, Mrs. Elia Rodriguez de Martinez.

For the religious ceremony the witnesses for Miss Martinez were Messrs. Federico Castellanos, Dr. Bartolo Selva Leon, Alfredo Sanches, Julio Mario Otero and Jose Catellanos.

And the witnesses for the groom were Doctors Manuel Beyra, Fernando Martinez Lamo, Jorge Caballero Rojo, Alberto Fernandez Medrano and Mr. Toto Fernandez, Jr.

At the civil ceremony, signing as witnesses for the bride Messrs. Federico Salvador, Dr. Rafael Rodriguez Casas, Carlos Santayana, Dr. Henry Dols, Jose R. Peralta and Federico Salvador.

And the witnesses for Dr. Prats were Dr. Rogelio Santos, Dr. Luis R. Sala Cespedes, Dr. Humberto Figueras, Colonel Jose Acosta y de la Fuente, and Dr. Raul Respall.

Our best wishes for Mariana and Benito as we heartily repeat the saying that, in a home that is open to life you will find complete happiness.

Below are photographs from the wedding album, captioned as best as possible after the passage of time.

The bride and her father, Joaquín Ventura Martínez y Martínez, 
wait to walk down the aisle.
The lady to the right must be a late arrival.
This photograph shows some water damage.
The bride approaches the altar.
The flower girl is her youngest sister, Natalia, and the ring bearer her youngest brother, Juan Antonio. To the left of the bride in the black shawl is the groom’s grandmother, Rufina Pereira, the widow Respall, known as Paita; and next to her in white is Paita’s granddaughter, Bertha Respall Pereira. Directly above Paita, smiling, is José Calderon, the bride’s cousin. Behind her father in a white coat and tie is Joaquín Cane. There is more about him in the Songorrongo article.

The groom, the bride, the groom’s mother, Eduvigis Respall de Prats, 
and the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, the Most Reverend Enrique Pérez Serantes.
He was the Bishop of Camaguey for many years and a friend of the Martinez family. He kindly (and for a generous donation, it is said) traveled back to Camaguey to officiate at the wedding, as the bride was not only a Martinez but was also the niece of a number of old-money Camaguey ranch owners.

Best men and matrons of honor flank the groom and bride.
The bride’s father; the groom’s father, José Prats Amat; the groom and bride; the bride’s mother, Elia Rodriguez Casas de Martínez, and the groom’s mother.

Holy Communion
The veil over husband and wife
The bride signs both wedding licences (religious and civil)

Groom, his mother, bride, the Archbishop, bride’s father

Groom’s grandmother, Julio Mario Otero (background),
groom, bride, bride’s mother, bride’s brother Juan Antonio

José Julio Martínez, Osvaldo de Varona, unknown
witness signing, bride, groom.

Bride, groom, his father and mother, José Julio Martínez, seated,
 (her father’s cousin and the Notary Attorney who performed
this brief private civil ceremony), and Dr. Raul Respall

Under arched flags, wife and husband parade down the aisle.

Husband and wife.

In an automobile en route to the reception

Pulling the charms and cutting the cake at the reception.
Unmarried guests are holding ribbons attached to silver charms that were baked in the cake. Each charm was different and was said to foretell the future. A ring meant an upcoming marriage. A heart, new love. An anchor indicated that adventure awaited. A star, a wish will come true. A butterfly, eternal beauty. A thimble, spinsterhood.
To the right of the groom are two of the bride’s cousins, Alicia and Josefina Martínez Alvarez. To the left of the bride is the groom’s cousin, Bertha Respall and the bride’s sister Ofelia Martinez. The reception was held three blocks away at the bride’s family home, on Republica Street, No. 208.

Dressed in their traveling clothes, the bride and groom exit the reception.
Among the well wishers directly to the left of the bride is her sister Ofelia.
The honeymoon was a night in Havana and a tour of the U.S. and Canada, including
Niagara Falls, Detroit, Montreal, New York, Washington, and Miami Beach.

This is the last page of the album.
In later years the bride added the newspaper
clipping and these two additional photos.