Monday, June 09, 2008

Wedding Bells for June

The Footnote Maven has asked for submissions for her 2nd edition of Smile for the Camera. I'm happy to comply! I know from reading her posts that FM collects pictures of women in glasses, but her request this month fits my collecting profile perfectly. She asked for images of belles and beaus and I had a hard time choosing an image from my collection of wedding photos. I have pictures (and some memorabilia)of brides and grooms from the 1860s to the mid-twentieth century. I think this orphan photo is my favorite though. Here's why:

  • On the back it says, "Aunt Ella in her brown corded silk wedding dress, 1876". That's right. It's great example of how not all brides wore white. In fact, this mysterious Ella (last name unknown) picked a stylish color for wedding gowns in the 1870s.
  • I love the bustle. There is no way that Ella could sit down in this dress. During this period photographers begin photographing women standing and leaning on rolled high back chairs with their bustles visible.
  • Her hair piece is brunette but she has natural blonde hair. Take a close look at her hair. You'll see what I mean.
I like this photo so much I use it in my lectures on identifying family photos. Someday I'd like to write a book about wedding portraits....


Tipper said...

I love Ella's dress-although it doesn't look very comfortable. Very interesting picture.

Jewelgirl said...

I have a few German wedding photos where they wore black? as a bridal dress, I was shocked. Thank you for the lovely submission and info!

Maureen A. Taylor said...

ooh! I'd love to see your wedding photos. Black?? My email is

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