Wedding Fashions (1865-1938) is the theme of my latest post in Sepia Saturday's August theme of Love and Marriage, with photographs from England, Scotland, New Zealand and the United States, including grateful contributions from my two (third) cousins who first made contact through my blog.
My cousin Stuart's great grandmother was Isabel Edward of Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Her sister Jessie married William Dower and they are pictured here with their respective parents. William was appointed by the London Missionary Society as a Wesleyan Missionary in South Africa and he and his new wife Jesse sailed there shortly after their wedding. In March 1870, William and Jesse set out on an ox wagon journey to East Griqualand and the town of Kokstad, where he was asked to take on the role of pastor. The original of this photograph is in the Kokstad Museum.
Unless the bride came from a wealthy family, it was generally not the custom to have a special dress for the wedding, but to wear the finest the bride owned. For her wedding to Price Albert in 1840, Queen Victoria wore a white dress and the early photographs taken of the occasion helped to popularize the custom of a white bridal gown.
Another Oldham wedding, but this time in New Zealand as James William Oldham married Edith Keymer. I do like the simple classic lines of Edith's dress, but here is the style for magnificent bouquets.
1915A simpler style for the wartime wedding for my husband's great aunt Violet Hibbert, daughter of a miner. She married Frank King in South Shields, County Durham.
The wedding of Florence Adelaide Mason to Charles Urstadt in New Jersey, USA.
She is wearing such a distinctive headdress that I wondered if it had any links to Charles' German background. And again what huge bouquets!
Florence (1898-1963) was the eleventh child of James Mason and Alice Rawcliffe - my great grandmother's sister. They emigrated, with six children from Fleetwood, Lancashire to New York City in 1888, where they had a further five children, before settling in Jamesburg, Middlesex, New Jersey.
Beatrice Oldham (sister of Sarah in the second photograph) married Jack Clarke in 1919 in Blackpool, Lancashire. I feel the significance of the date after the First World War is not lost in this photograph where there is a air of informality (shorter skirt, trilby hat etc.), compared with the opulence of Sarah's dress above.
Jennie was " stylishly gowned in French grey georgette, veiling silk to tone. The bodice which was shaped to the figure was quite plain, with a spray of orange blossoms at the shoulder, while the skirt, which was ankle length, was composed entirely of five picot edged scalloped circular frills, and the long tight sleeves had circular picot edged frilled cuffs in harmony. Her hat was of georgette to tone with uneven pointed dropping brim, having an eye veil of silver lace and floral mount. She carried a bouquet of pink carnations with silver ribbon and horseshoe attached."
The wedding of my uncle Fred to Fanmces Green in Leicester in ghe English Midlands. My father is the rather stern looking man on the far left, carrying the trilby (or panama?) hat, with, I think, his brother Charles behind him. My grandmother is in the cloche hat next to the bridegroom and unfortunately I have been unable to identify my grandfather - he could be the man hidden at the back. Fred's sister could well be one of the bridesmaids and I have no idea who the young boy is. I presume the older couple on the right of the photograph are the bride's parents. This is one of very few photographs I have of the Weston family, prior to my parent's own marriage.
The wedding of Albert Leslie Williams and Hilda Florence Coombs in London, the parents ff my cousin's Stuart's wife. It is two year's after my great aunt's wedding above and in another part of the country, but Dutch style hats for the little bridesmaids are still in fashion.
The wedding of Henry Robinson and Florence Riddell in Blackpool Lancashir, with Elsie Oldham (niece of Sarah and Beatrice above) the second figure on the left - I presume as chief bridesmaid. I feel rather sorrow for the girl on the right on her own, looking rather spare.
A low key April wedding for my parents John Weston and Kathleen Danson at St. Chad's Church, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire. My grandmother Weston is weeing her fox fur a popular accessory in the 1920's-1950's.
A telegram sent to my parents on their wedding day.
Part Two of the Love and Marriage series will look at Wedding Fashions 1941-1971
In Case You Missed: