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Wedding dresses and admin

(8 Posts)
Prokupatuscrakedatus Wed 13-May-20 21:45:05

We sadly had to clear out DMIL's flat where she had been living her whole live (95 years). She moved into care and I collected all papers, fotos and letters. There were letters when her parents were courting - very polite! and lots and lots of wedding fotos. White wedding dresses started from 1950 onwards, before that it was a black dress that later served as 'the good dress'.
She was a secretary - all fotos are dated and namend - a dream!

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BackforGood Thu 14-May-20 00:10:40

Think that is unusual to your family - not many wore black to get married in the first half of the 20th Century.

However, what a wonderful treasure trove of family history - particularly all already named and labelled smile

Prokupatuscrakedatus Thu 14-May-20 06:51:54

I looked through the fotos from the other sides of my family (caveat: I am in Germany) and white seemed to be linked to wealth/status, city life and 'being modern' but not to region. I must look into this some more.
All wedding fotos from 1950 onwards show white dresses, all before that show black unless the bride wore a traditional costume.

I also found a Kindergarten foto from 1929 - all those solemn looking 4 year olds smile

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Riv Fri 29-May-20 13:58:55

Are you certain that the dresses are actually black? Most darker colours can look black in the black and white photos taken before colour was available.
In Britain white dresses were usual, even before the First World War- I have family photos of many brides from this period showing white or cream but none showing black.
My great grandmother (Born in 1878) told me that white was to show the brides purity. A clergyman would not marry a bride in white if her “virtue” was in question in any way. She also had a saying “Mary in white, your lover is right; Marry in blue your love is true; Marry in green you’re ashamed to be seen; If married in yellow you’re ashamed of your fellow; marry in red, better off dead and married in black you’ll ride in a hack (funeral cart).

Riv Fri 29-May-20 14:04:31

In 1929 having a photograph taken was a special and solemn occasion. A smile would be seen as frivolous- you wouldn’t want people to think you took learning lightly, so solemn was the required expression in photos (and its always best not to show rotten teeth- dentists were astronomically expensive so older people kept their mouth shut in photos anyway!)

Pipandmum Fri 29-May-20 14:06:28

My mothers family are Irish and some of the women who got married in the 40s and 50s wore white wedding dresses - my mother wore a gorgeous pale grey silk tea dress with blue flowers. Her sister wore white wedding dress but her brother's wife wore a suit when they married. The men all wore tails though - everyone was so elegant!

Councilworker Mon 01-Jun-20 18:02:50

Fascinating. My grandmother married in blue but it was 1942 and I suspect she was wearing what was available to her rather than following a rhyme. White dresses for weddings only became fashionable post Victoria marrying. White was such an impractical colour that it showed wealth if you could buy a white dress for just one purpose.

Black was quite customary in places, as women were often expected to wear black to Church. There is a reference to it in this museum exhibition and it also was a custom in Scandinavia in the 19th century.
More information here on bridal clothing

Prokupatuscrakedatus Sat 06-Jun-20 10:34:05

I didn't expect more posts, sorry.
I did more research and found more wedding fotos - if not black than very very dark, but the closer we get to the fifties a white veil starts to appear.
Thank you for the links, I only just saw it.
Yes, a dark dress was the proper attire for church for a married woman and could be used for all kinds of occasions. They used to leave enough room at the seams to allow for weight gain, same as they did for growth in childrens clothing.

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