It early summer sometime in the mid-1890s. The flowers are in bloom and the leaves are in their full glory on the trees. A young bride poses with her new husband on their wedding day. She is dressed in the fashion of the time – a dress with full leg-of-mutton sleeves with a long train at the back of the dress. She clutches her beautiful spray of fresh flowers, and poses with her wedding party for the camera-man, Stacey of Great Dunmow.
Stacey of Great Dunmow – late Victorian wedding party
One of the female guests lightly rests her hand on the seated older gentleman. Father and daughter? Sister of the bride or of the groom? Is the elderly gent the father of the bride or groom? The bride has two bridesmaids who are both wearing matching dresses and hats, and are holding sprays of flowers (the second bridesmaid’s bouquet is hidden behind the bride’s head). Who are they? Unmarried sisters of the bride and groom, or childhood friends? Who is the woman sitting next to the groom? Is she the mother of either the bride or groom – she’s not wearing a corsage. Or is a corsage for the mothers, a modern-day tradition?
So many questions. The main question being: whose wedding is this? It looked to have been a beautiful sumptuous wedding with all the wedding party in all their full splendor.
That well known internet auction site yielded up this picture but with no clue as to who these people were – apart from the signature of the photographer, Stacey of Great Dunmow. In the Victorian era, Stacey the photographer was also a nurseryman, so it is highly possible that it was his shop who made up the beautiful floral bouquets for the bride and her two bridesmaids, and made the beautiful buttonholes for the males of the wedding party. A beautiful summer’s event captured over a 100 years ago. Someone’s great-grandparents (or great-great?) consigned to the anonymity of the modern age’s internet. It always saddens me when I see these photos of families from long ago times. They had probably been kept by the bride and groom’s descendants for 100 years, but now thrown out with the rubbish in a house clearance. The picture is excellent condition so has been stored safely for over 100 years – but probably not put out on display because age has not marked the picture.
Here they are now out on display into the modern world of the 21st century. The Great Dunmow wedding party of summer sometime in the mid-1890s – captured forever by Stacey’s of Great Dunmow.
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You may also be interested in my post on the
WordWide Genealogy blog about my great-grandparents wedding
- Family history is like a box of chocolates… You never know what you’re going to get
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