Choosing a hat for your daughter’s wedding is an absolute joy! Of course the age-old question is ‘What comes first? The dress or the hat?’ If the dress comes first, the decision on the colour of the hat is made easier. There will only be a few hats available in the shade you require, so trying them on will be a pleasure and a choice made fairly quickly.
It got me thinking, was this always the case? When my great grand-Aunt Charlotte heard her daughter, Maud Beatrice was to be married, did she worry about choosing a hat? Her sister, Fanny was a Milliner, maybe she helped with some advice.
On seeing the photograph of the wedding, I can’t help but focus in on Charlotte’s hat!
It’s very feathery, and some of the other ladies in the photo also have prominent feathers in their hats.
I assumed this must have been the fashion in 1914, but it never hurts to check, so I got out one of my favourite books, ‘How to get the most from Family Pictures’ by Jayne Shrimpton.
This book mentions “An appearance of luxury was accentuated by the exuberant style of Edwardian women’s clothing and accessories, especially the vast hats of the era” and goes on to say “the vogue for sweeping feather-trimmed hats and exotic boas and stoles lending an exotic air to regular garments.”
The Edwardian era officially ended with the death of King Edward VII in 1910, although it is generally considered to have ended with the beginning of WWI in 1914.
All this talk of hats took me back to my own daughter’s wedding, three years ago. I went shopping with my daughter in Milton Keynes. I had already bought my dress, so it was just a case of matching the colour to the hat.
I loved it the moment I saw it, tried it on, and it was the perfect match.
Looking at the photo of Charlotte at her daughter, Maud’s wedding I suddenly feel such empathy. The wedding of your daughter is so special, and although it’s not about you at all, the fact remains that you don’t want to spoil the photos. You know that these photographs are going to be looked at for … generations.
And great grand-Aunt Charlotte – I just wanted to tell you that from here in 2015, you look great! The hat is terrific, the outfit sublime, you did your daughter proud. I just wish the photographs were in colour.