This lovely wedding portrait is of the double wedding of Mary Mirota to James Doran and Stefania Mosch Mitak to Joseph Mirota. It’s from November 25, 1948, and was taken in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Credits go to Lou’s Photo Studio, 98 Park Ave., Flemington, NJ. Although a black and white photo, the studio added traces of color, such as Stefania’s wedding dress. All four look so serious, and they are standing somewhat stiffly. Wedding portraits were like that, before today’s digital age when hundreds of photographs are taken, and then picked over for the best ones for a wedding album.
When my sister and I researched this double wedding, we thought to look for a newspaper article, and we struck pay dirt. We were at the New Jersey Archives in Trenton NJ, and knowing the date, decided to look through the list of newspapers available on microfilm. When we saw the local newspaper of this area was listed, The Whitehouse Review, we quickly loaded the film and scrolled to the date. We were rewarded with a front page article from November 30, 1948, “Double Wedding Held On Thanksgiving Day – Ceremony Is Performed In Catholic Church.” Later in the Hunterdon Historical Society in Flemington, NJ, we printed a better copy, since they also have this newspaper archived. Here is the part of the text of the article:
Miss Mirota, given in marriage by her father, wore a white velvet gown, fashioned with full skirt ending in a long train and trimmed with beaded midriff. The illusion veil was fingertip length with beaded coronet. She carried a white prayer book adorned with white camellias and bouvardia.
Mrs. Sefania Mosch Mitak of Whitehouse served as matron of honor and Joesph Mirota, Jr., served as best man.
Mrs. Stefania Mosch Mitak wore a turquoise lace gown, styled with peplum and sweetheart neckline, with dusty rose accessories. Her head-piece was dusty rose feathers trimmed with meline. She carried a white prayer book adorned with camellias and bouvardia. Mrs. Doran served as her matron of honer while James Doran served as best man. The bride was given in marriage by her father.
In this photograph above everyone looks more relaxed and happy. On the far left are the parents of Mary and Joseph – Joseph and Sophia Szczerba Mirota, Sr. Next, is James’ mother, Mary Mahoney Doran of Harrison, NJ. His father, Bernard Doran, had died the previous year in Harrison, on April 11, 1947. On the far right are Stefania’s father, Rudolph Mosch and her step-mother, Anna Brebis Mosch. Stefania’s mother had died the previous year in Whitehouse, NJ, on March 28, 1947. Stefania’s first husband, Paul Mitak, had been killed in action during World War II in France, on his 30th birthday, August 21, 1944. Stefiana kept a photograph of her first husband, Paul, on display in her living room for the rest of her life. The photos above and below were taken in the Parish Auditorium, of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, in Whitehouse Station, NJ.
The newspaper article also states that after the wedding reception, Mr. and Mrs. Doran left for a wedding trip to the Pocono mountains, and Mr. and Mrs. Mirota left for a motor trip through the Southern states.
Here below are two of the postcards they saved, with the second one showing the one cent postage stamp on the back.
My sister and I really enjoyed reading the last line of the newspaper article: “Both couples will reside with the bride’s parents upon their return.” For genealogists, that’s the kind of facts you want to read. Both married couples later built homes on acreage of the Mirota farm, and stayed next-door neighbors until their deaths.