If I had been a bride in 1800

I would wear this dress:

Wedding dress, about 1799, MFA Boston

I’m not sure about the hairstyle, but the dress?  I’m so there!  The over robe, the wrapped sleeve trimmings, the pleated ruffle, and the metallic gold trimmed petticoat.  *swoon*

I guess I would prefer if it were a little more white, and a little less oyster

I think I’d wear it with these shoes:

Pink slippers, 1795-1810, Met

Or a pink and white version of the bridesmaids shoes (below)

With the necessities taken care of, every well dressed bride needs a fan:

Painted fan with mother of pearl sticks, circa 1800, MFA Boston

Do you think a suitably romantic pastoral scene, something with nymphs and roses, would be too much to ask for?

For my groom, I’m trying to decide between this coat:

Coat, 1790, French, Metropolitan Museum of Art

And this one (only in black, which may be the colour it was to begin with anyway):

Suit, late 18th c, Metropolitan Museum of Art

(in a totally imaginary wedding it’s OK that he doesn’t get a say, right? right?)

For bridesmaids, this robe, in grass green.  Divine!

Robe, 1800, Manchester galleries

If I were the evil bride, I’d make them wear these dresses.  Hehe.

Since I’m not though, I’m even going to let them wear these shoes.  *drool*

Slippers, 1790, Metropolitan Museum of Art

And since I adore children, how’s this for an utterly darling ring bearer outfit (only in grass green)?

Child's suit, 1770-1790, Tidens Toj

And for flower girls (only with big fat trailing pink satin sashes):


Anne Isabella Milbanke, later Lady Byron, 1800, by John Hoppner

And for the littlest ones shoes:

Child's shoes, late 18th c, MFA Boston

Sound good?  Whose coming?  What would you wear as my guest?


  1. Ooh. I am coming.

    Let me find a suitable dress…….

  2. I have seen that dress in person and it is totally swoon worthy! I’ve spent a good half hour drooling on the glass case it’s in. It’s currently on display in the new “Art of the Americas” Wing at the MFA Boston. The sleeves are what get me! And the petticoat! If only they still made fabric like that…

  3. Elise says

    Ohhhh! This is turning into a favorite dress game! I know I’m not always on the period-mark, so maybe I will horrify you with my dress. I want to come wearing Emma Thompson’s ballgown from Sense and Sensibility! I’ve always loved that dress and that periwinkle color. I wonder if it would survive the voyage to New Zealand…

    Fun post! I love the sleeves of the white dress. And I love the jacket of the ‘attendant’ dress.

  4. I’m putting the first tailcoat (white with pink) in my tailcoat inspiration file. One day I’ll live in a coat-ier climate and I will have a tailcoat.

    Your dream 1800’s wedding sounds delightful- what a cool way to present the information. 🙂

  5. Those sleeves are fabulous. But, alas, the shoes you’d like to wear don’t show.

    Favourite dress game, then? This:
    Awful hairstyle, too, but I LOVE the fabric and the colour and the grande aissettes! (hehe) The back in general, actually. And the shawl.

    Or this one:
    The colour is rather drab, but I love that it’s the closest to home I’ve found online, and I like the cut and the embroidered roses a lot.

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