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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A Society Wedding 1913 - with a Poignant End: Sepia Saturday Week 2

Looking through old newspapers gives us such a picture of another age,  and here is a poignant tale of a wedding in 1913 - with a sad ending.  

In the "Berwckshire News" of 4th March 1913,  I  came across a full page account of a society wedding,   and great detail given on the guests,  the costumes worn, and the lavish  gifts.

The bride wore "a Princess robe of ivory velvet, with falling sleeves of applique, with pearl tassled ends.   The square decolletage being embroidered with pearls and Rhinestones.  The skirt drapery was caught up at one side showing an underskirt of lace. The train entirely of Brussels lace was lined with ivory chiffon.  The bridesmaids wore frocks of daffodil yellow satin, with soft ruffles of chiffon and sashes of blue to match blue suede shoes worn with shite silk stockings.  The costumes were comnpleted by white mob caps  tied with blue ribbons and they carried posies of daffodils." 

The list of presents  painted a portrait of the age, ranging  from an opulent platinum and diamond watch,and crystal cigarette case set with rubies, to the slightly more mundane - a pair of cartridge pepper pots, an ivory tusk corkscrew (now very  environmentally incorrect!),  a fitted motor valise,  an  Irish bog oak carved inkstand, a dark green Russian leather blotter. a mounted antelope  horn cigarette lighter, purple silk cushions embroidered in gold, a mauve parasol, a silver egg stand and  silver filigree  fan.  Of a more utilitarian nature were an umbrella, set of waistcoat buttons. a biscuit warmer, set of thimbles, paste shoe buckles,  and a dog's biscuit tin. 

Like many newly married couples, the bride and groom ended up with lots of duplicate  gifts -  blotters, inkstands, photo frames, cut glass bowls, and butter dishes with knives. 

The marriage had been delayed a few weeks, because the groom had suffered appendicitis. 

Perhaps this could be regarded as a portent.  For given the date of 1913,   further research gave this happy occasion a  poignancy in marking the end of an era.  Within three years the groom had been killed in Flanders, leaving a young widow and child. 

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are celebrating this months's prompt of  Love and Marriage




  1. Just noticing the widely different wedding presents such as the platinum and diamond watch and a dog's biscuit tin.

  2. Well, I guess you have to look at it from the standpoint of their at least having had SOME time together and perhaps the child was of some comfort?

  3. I *like* this couple! It seems they may have had friends at all socioeconomic levels. (Or maybe people who didn't even know them sent simple gifts.)

  4. That is pretty sad. I often wonder what happens after the wedding.

  5. Those detailed descriptions of wedding fashions and gifts required a good reporter, whose notebook must have been an encyclopedia of the period styles. Sadly the tragedy of 1914-18 from our future perspective looking back on the events, is that we can't warn anyone. We know the storm is coming but can do nothing. And similarly we can't see what's coming for our generation either.

  6. There must have been so many weddings with sad endings at that time, and being a baronet was no protection from the horror of war. I have one just like it on my tree, and the baby born after his father's death in WW1 did the very same thing in WW2 - married and was killed a week later. No baby from the second marriage, which perhaps was just as well.


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