I recently bought a second-hand book about wedding fashions, which got me thinking about all the wedding photographs I have of various family members from over the years. Wedding fashions tend to come and go and it can be easy to date a wedding to the 1960s, 1970s etc from looking at the wedding dress. I realised I have never seen a photograph of my grandparents wedding, and had assumed that to be the lack of photographs back then.
My paternal grandparents, Joseph Taylor Dinnis and Annie Cleeve were married on 9 December 1915 in All Saints Church, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire.
On reading a chapter from the book ‘Wedding Fashions 1860-1980’ by Avril Lansdell she mentions that wedding dresses seemed to disappear for a while during 1915 and 1916 (due to World War 1). Couples would wear their best clothing for a portrait representing marriage. If men had a uniform they would wear this. For women, collars were often wide, leaving the neck bare with the blouse coming only to the collar-bone. A slightly flared skirt would be worn, a practical design allowing easy movement.
In an article from ‘Family Tree’ magazine this month where they investigate old family photographs, they talk about wedding photographs from this period. They state that one would be standing with the other seated and the bride would deliberately display her wedding band.
This led me to look back at a couple of photographs of my grandparents, taken (I believe) in 1916.
One standing, one seated, Joseph in his uniform, Annie in her slightly flared skirt and wide collar with bare neck. Focussing on Annie’s hand I notice that she has a ring prominently displayed on the ring finger of her left hand.
She also appears to be wearing a large watch, I don’t know if this is unusual or not. She is also wearing a necklace, which my cousin, Sue still has. This suggests it was a special piece of jewellery and perhaps a gift from her fiancée which she wanted to wear in her wedding picture.
So, I have no proof of these being their wedding pictures, but the evidence is piling up!