Why don't you... spend the Wednesday before July 4th looking at photos of historical American wedding gowns? Let's reminisce about the days before strapless dresses, when everyone wanted sleeves so puffy they brushed both sides of the doorway.

The AP reports that Denton, Texas, has amassed an exhibit of American wedding dresses from the 19th century to the present, drawn mostly from the University of North Texas' Texas Fashion Collection. It's like that exhibit at the V&A, but featuring regular women's dresses and also #teamUSA. They've got early 80s Princess Diana wannabes, bustled 19th century contraptions and even a little cotton number from 1974, made from a Vogue pattern.

For those of us who can't make it down to Denton, the AP has provided plenty of photos. Look at this glorious monstrosity from 1985 (complete with photo-bomb from pink mid-90s misadventure):

Something this shiny would likely blind a modern wedding photographer:


Believe it or not, the one on the left dates from 1993. The wedding was in Scotland, so it's embroidered with thistles. (The one on the left is not courtesy Dita Von Teese but rather from 1878, the days when you just wore your best dress and called it a day.)

God, the 1970s were just a really weird time:


This flapper ensemble will probably appear on Style Me Pretty at any moment, though:

Photos via AP Images.