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Tom Thumb (fairy tale)

What is a Tom Thumb Wedding Program?


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Answered 2008-08-28 23:28:37

A "Tom Thumb wedding program" probably refers to a wedding pageant in which all of the major wedding roles are played by small children, usually under ten years old. In a Tom Thumb wedding, there would be children assigned to portray the bride, groom, attendants, and sometimes the minister. Smaller children would sometimes play the flower girls and ringbearers. Everyone would be costumed, and there would usually be many photographs.

Staging Tom Thumb weddings was a big American fad during the 1920s, but they were also staged fairly regularly until the 1970s, often as fundraisers for schools or churches.

The term "Tom Thumb wedding" comes from an actual wedding, the marriage of the famous little person General Tom Thumb (born Charles Stratton) to Lavinia Warren, another little person, in 1863. The wedding attracted considerable publicity and was a major event of the time. Tom Thumb was a celebrity promoted by the circus entrepreneur P.T. Barnum, who gave him a stage name inspired by the folk hero Tom Thumb and managed his career starting at an early age.

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