Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bridal Fashions

My blogging friend CM, of MyRealitty and Leftcoastmini, is going to be the Mother of the Bride this month. She invited me to take some photos of my bridal pairs - you might remember Bridezilla from the second pair, who was determined to win the game of musical chairs at the fancy dress party last year!

Several of my Erna Meyer dolls are getting married:

18th century style

1950s or early 1960s


Thinking about bridal fashions made me think of the wedding photos I have of my parents, grandparents, and earlier ancestors.

The earliest wedding photo I have is one of my great-great-grandparents. They were both Scottish, although one was born in Jamaica and they lived in India; they married in Munich, in Bavaria (Germany), in 1859.

While this bride opted for the full white silk and lace deal, her daughter, my great-grandmother, had a rather different kind of wedding. My grandmother described it like this:

“My mother was married in her best green costume to her cousin Henry Dunlop one day in 1895, with no-one knowing. She went out for the day, came home as usual; a week later her mother found a note in an empty room saying - “I have gone to America with Henry; Gracie”

Not surprisingly, I don't have any photos of the best green costume!

My grandmother (this great-grandmother's daughter, and my mother's mother) also had a slightly unconventional wedding. Neither the bride's parents, nor the bridegroom's, were present; the bride was given away by her brother. I only discovered some photos of the wedding among a distant cousin's collection inherited from my grandmother's father - my grandmother didn't keep any.

Here they are in 1927, cutting the cake - I believe the dress was pale pink.

My mother had been a bridesmaid at several weddings:


ca 1945


But when she herself got married in 1961, she chose a nice gingham frock for her wedding dress. Like her mother, her brother was present but not her parents, but she refused to be given away, saying she was a person not a present.

That's Mum and Dad on the right, with my godparents on the left.

Here's a photo of my father's parents on their wedding day:

Casino, NSW, Australia, 1935

I've already shown you my maternal grandfather's parents' wedding, in Calcutta in 1903:

Another white lacy wedding dress! This is my Californian great-grandmother, who married an Englishman; her father refused to attend the wedding, so only her mother was present. (Both the groom's parents had already died.)

So, two of these brides went for the white silk, satin and lace - the others were dressed in green, blue, pink and (I think) brown & white. Some were solid colours, one flowery and one check ... Really, based on my family's traditions, I could photograph any of my nicely-dressed dolls as bridal couples!