These wedding photos tell us so much that the fashion plates and extent dresses can’t quite convey: what the brides wore with their dress, the flowers they carried, how they actually looked in the dress, and what styles were popular (as opposed to what styles survived, and what styles the fashion magazines promoted)
Satin skirt, lace blouse, high neck. Roses and ferns for the bride, chrysanthemums for the bridesmaid. And I’m pretty sure the groomsman in the back is giving the photographers pretty assistant the eye
Lashings of roses all round, a very poofy veil, and adorable bobbles on the brides tunic, yoke, and sleeves.
A very fashionable bride in satin with some sort of embellishment near the hem. Her flowers look like fake studio flowers.
A groom in gloves, and a bride with beautifully pintucked skirt and a chrysanthemum bouquet tied with a huge bow.
A very elaborate and fashionable wedding, with a flower girl in a Kate Greenaway cap, pageboys in boaters, and bridesmaids in enormous picture hats with flower bedecked staffs. You almost loose the bride amongst all the pomp and splendor!
Our most fashionable bride, Lady Graham, wears a Juliet cap, a cascading veil, and a slim, almost clinging, dress.
And finally, Elizabeth Boyd in a fascinating wedding dress with a inverted yolk and lace trimmed skirt. This image is courtesy of TwoPennies 1 on flickr who has kindly allowed me to use all the images of the Boyd-Cowan weddings, so I’ll be blogging more about Elizabeth’s dress and wedding in a few days.
So what do all these photos tell us? Well, first of all, that real brides weren’t quite as fashionable as the fashion magazines! Except for Lady Graham, all of the brides are wearing slightly earlier, more conservative dresses with stiffer A-line skirts. This indicates what was already likely: that all the real wedding gowns I was able to show you are the dresses of extremely fashionable, wealthy brides, who picked up the latest styles.
Also of note is that quite a few of the brides aren’t wearing gloves: fashion magazines of the time made a point of discussing how brides were leaving off their gloves.
What all the brides are wearing is high necks: Lady Graham’s gown doesn’t have the stiff Alexandra collar of the other brides, but every one of the lot is covered past her collarbone, so the real wedding dresses were definitely worn with guimpes.