everyday women

Girls in White Dresses 2

Monday, January 07, 2013

        Growing up, my best friend lived in a giant old house with her brother, two sisters and her mom and dad. It was the kind of house that had doors that had been wallpapered over (where did they go?), creaky floorboards, windows in the closets and glass door knobs. It also had a winding staircase. Hanging along the wall on that staircase was a photograph, a wedding photograph from the 1920s of a couple who I presume were my friend's maternal great-grandparents.

        Every time I visited her house I would pause going up the stairs, just to gaze at this photo. The couple was just so elegant, dressed in the fashions of the time- this was the first photo I had ever seen from this era. It both fascinated me and disturbed me. They were like ghosts, the white of her dress and her skin seemed to glow against the dark of his suit and the backdrop of the photograph. His eyes, which must have been light in color, seemed to be completely white except for the pupil, and there was something slightly unsettling about the fact that neither of the newlyweds were smiling.
        My friend and her siblings weren't interested in the photo, it had hung there all their lives, but to me it was truly special and the memory of it stuck with me for a long time (I can still see it vividly in my mind). I'd like to blame, or thank, this photo for the fascination I have with old wedding photos of strangers, or really, the fascination I have with old photos in general.
         In the first Girls in White Dresses post I showed photos of the rich and famous on their wedding day- people who had the luxury of money, who had likely been dressed and groomed by others for the special occasion. In this post I present a similar but much more interesting collection of wedding photos- those of ordinary people. 
          The following photos have been borrowed from the infamous Shorpy Higginbotham and Forgotten Old Photos, a site that not only finds old photos but traces their origins (if you have not visited this site, please do, it's amazing).

Source: lh6.ggpht.com via Randi on Pinterest

This photograph is what jarred my memory about the photograph from my childhood.
What I particularly like about this one is the pleasant look they both have on their faces, he even looks like he is smiling!

Source: shorpy.com via Randi on Pinterest

Source: lh4.ggpht.com via Randi on Pinterest

This is how all of our wedding photos will be: against a forest backdrop. 
Hopefully we will be smiling.

Source: lh3.ggpht.com via Randi on Pinterest

Double wedding anyone? I have a hard enough time convincing my beau to go along with certain wedding ideas, imagine trying to convince another bride?!

Source: shorpy.com via Randi on Pinterest

A little less formal: this is it folks, this is true love.

Source: shorpy.com via Randi on Pinterest

Source: lh4.ggpht.com via Randi on Pinterest

And my favorite:
Source: shorpy.com via Randi on Pinterest

Isn't she lovely? And look at the neckline on that dress, oh how I love lace!

Which photograph is your favorite?

What I find so interesting about these photographs is that these (as far as I know) are ordinary people who probably, with help from family, chose their outfits and fixed their hair for this special occasion. And, they look fantastic!

It also amazes me that decades, and in some cases, nearly a century later, we are looking at and appreciating these old photos of complete strangers. Oh how I marvel at the magic of technology.

That's it for now, but look for one more round of old wedding photos coming soon!
Until next time, happy sailing!

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