Friday, 30 August 2013
"...either Lizzie & Jack or Arthur & Lillian..." said the ambiguous note accompanying this family wedding photograph.
But as I knew the surname of the Jack and Arthur in question, the surname of Lizzie and an approximate date based on their ages, a browse through the free data base of births, marriages and deaths http://freebmd.org.uk gave me two possible dates, 9 years apart - 1894 for 'Lizzie & Jack' and 1903 for 'Arthur & Lilian'.
In the middle of the 19th century, wedding photographs were generally taken in studios, often with the bride and groom wearing smart every-day clothes rather than a specific outfit for the occasion. Only more affluent families could afford such indulgences as a special dress for the day. It wasn't
until the early 20th century that white weddings became customary throughout society.
By the 1880s brides were beginning to use ribbons and other accessories to decorate their wedding clothes, with flowers and a formal bouquet introduced towards the end of the decade.
This wedding photograph demonstrates the increasing popularity of outdoor photography from the late 1890s onwards, possibly outside the bride's parents' home.
As for whose wedding this is, I can't help being swayed by those wonderful wide-brimmed and feathered hats fashionable in the Edwardian era, which convince me that this is Arthur GRIFFITHS and Lily CLAY's big day in 1903.
In 'Ask the photo expert' on this month's blog of Find My Past, photo detective, Jayne Shrimpton, has dated a wedding photograph from the late Victorian period. There's also an invitation to submit your own photos for Jayne to date for you.