1943 White Satin and Lace Wedding Dress


Wedding gown. Round neckline with sheer tulle or mesh fabric in upper bodice. Lace unit, 1.5" wide, around neckline in a peter pan collar effect but stitched to mesh base. Similar lace design outlines lower edge of mesh where it connects to lace bodice. Lace over satin drop waist bodice from bust to skirt seam with bodice seam lower in back and gradually higher at center front. Narrow piped seam outlining under bust and forming inverted V at center front. Lace area over bust is gathered at side seams and center front.
Center back closure with 36 satin covered flattened ball buttons and satin loop closures.
Set- in full cap gathered lace sleeves, wrist length. Seam from arm muscle to wrist in which back of sleeve is fuller and gathered to sleeve front.

Skirt gathered to bodice with narrow satin piped seam. Skirt front, floor length at center front with approximate 8' train extending at center back on gown. Satin skirt with lace over satin around hip and thigh area. Lace medallions with stain cut away throughout lower areas of skirt and train. Fold up satin hem on garment and two and one-half inch mesh facing on train area (not horsehair, just flexible mesh fabric facing).

Veil. Dated 1987 by donor. Round, shaped head piece with open section in middle. Lace adorned with small pearls over buckrum. Five foot long veiling from headpiece.






This dress was first worn by Nelly Ann Ricci in 1943, and later by her daughter Ann Marie Salimbene in 1987 without alteration. Nelly Ann Ricci wore the dress upon her marriage to Lt. Col. Rocco Carmelo Salimbene on September 18, 1943 in Camp Shelby, Mississippi where he had recently been stationed. Nelly was born on October 12, 1919 in Columbus, Ohio to Mary and Tullio Ricci. Mary Ricci was born in Ohio, and Tullio had emigrated to the U.S. from Italy. While he originally worked as a car repairman for a railroad, he eventually opened his own men's tailoring business. Later in his career, he worked as a tailor at The Union department store in Columbus. Rocco Salimbene was born on February 22, 1913 in West Virginia to Mary La Neve and Joseph Salimbene, who had immigrated in 1903 and worked as a machinist. Rocco is an Ohio State University alumni who joined the Army in July, 1940 and was released in January, 1947. After the war Rocco was a mechanical engineer. It is unusual to find a dress with so much fabric in it during WWII. Order L-85, first announced in 1943, dictated that only one and three-fourths yards of fabric be used per dress. However, the wedding dress industry lobbied for an exemption, arguing that the white wedding tradition was one of the things the soldiers were fighting for and it was important to the overall morale of American citizens. Rocco and Nellie's daughter, Ann Marie Salimbene, would wear her mother's dress unaltered when she married on December 5, 1987. Her headpiece and veil, however, were something new

Design Elements

Leg-O-Mutton Sleeve






Nelly and Rocco Salimbene Wedding 1943.jpg
Nelly Salimbene Wedding 1943.jpg
Ann and Michael's Wedding 1987 - 43.jpg
Cake Topper.jpg



“1943 White Satin and Lace Wedding Dress,” Fashion2Fiber, accessed September 27, 2021,

Item Relations

Item: And the Bride Wore depicts This Item