Wedding Fashions (1941-1971) 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.
Dorothy Lilla Oldham (1915-1989) married Desmond Stacey in New Zealand in 1941. A branch of the Oldham family had emigrated to the country in 1906. Look at the fancy flounces, ribbons and rosettes on the bridesmaids' skirts, echoed in the frilled puff sleeves. Dorothy and Desmond had seven children, the eldest son, Peter, born in Fiji.
A magnificent array of dresses for the wartime wedding in New Jersey of Ruth A. Urtstadt and Edward J. LInke - the parents of my American third cousin Bonny - descendants from my Lancashire Rawcliffe family. I doubt if you would see anything like this in Britain then, when clothing was rationed.
A wintry austerity Britain in December 1946 when my uncle Charles Weston married his bride Vera. I am the tiny shivering bridesmaid, dressed, so I was told, in dusky pink, and holding a big posy, with my elegant mother standing behind. My mother often used to relate how difficult it was to get shoes to match and she ended up dyeing them - clothes rationing continued in Britain until 1949. This was a happy day for the family as Charles had suffered harsh experiences as a prisoner of war in the Far East.
A beautiful portrait of the happy couple - my third cousin Stuart Smith and his wife Jennifer Williams who married in formal style May 1963
The wedding of my mother's cousin Irene Danson to Raymond Pickup in Blackpool. A typical 60's look for the bridesmaids with princess-line dresses, short skirts, and bouffant hair styles.
Neil and I married in Edinburgh at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Here is the family group with my parents on the right, Neil's parents on the left and my aunt and uncle (my mother's sister and brother) at each end. My dressmaker mother made my dress and her own outfit.
A few nights before, I had this awful dream where I turned up at the church in all my finery to discover it all shut up and there had been some mix up over the date. Was this an awful portent?
Then the evening before, we had a wedding rehearsal at the church. On the way, with my mother and aunt in Neil's car, we had a blow out on the main A1 road into Edinburgh. We managed to get a taxi and left Neil to change the wheel. He arrived late at the church with oil over his cream Arran sweater. He had to spend the morning of his wedding getting the tyre repaired ahead of us driving north to the Highlands for our honeymoon.
Wedding day dawned and I was with my mother and bridesmaid fitting my headdress on, when the phone rang It was the car hire firm to say in the heavy rain one of their cars had broken down on its way. It seemed to be left to me to suggest that the one car would have to do a double journey for the wedding party and of course I was late at the church. We never did get any money back on that missing car.
As for photographs, all taken at the reception - do you notice somebody's trouser legs above our heads in the group picture? The legs came from a portrait of Edinburgh writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Not quite the composition you expect from a professional photographer who had been recommended to us.
Still we survived - and have just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary - and it rained again!
***********In Case You Missed in this August series:
- Dreaming of Love and Marriage
- A Society Wedding 1913 - with a poignant end
- Wedding Fashions (1865-1938)
Click HERE to see how other Sepia Saturday bloggersare celebrating this month's prompt of Love and Marriage