Wedding Dresses through the Ages

We recently had a small display stand at Wedding dresses through the ages display held at the St. Nicholas Church, Hornsea organised by Louise Dry of Ella D Bridal in Roos to raise money for the church and Meningitis UK.

Louise kindly granted permission to use some photographs and details for our blog so I could share it with you.

What was so beautiful was how there were dresses from several generations of particular families which is unusual due to them being discarded over the years or the tradition of making the Christening gown from the wedding dress fabric.

The most recent dress on display was that of Katie Page (was Jones) which was made by Louise for Katie’s wedding to Jonathan in September 2009. Thai silk with a Swarvoski crystal encrusted bodice, a twinkle tulle full skirt and lace up back, finished with Thai silk roses, leaves and more crystals:

This was beautifully displayed next to Katie’s mother’s (Susan) dress from her wedding to Alan Jones in September 1979

 Alongside this was the oldest piece in the exhibition which was Susan’s grandma’s (Eunice Emma Colley) which she made herself for her wedding in December 1910:

The 1930’s

Following the trend for shorter dresses of the 1920’s the 1930’s saw a drop in hemlines to mid calf length and a more feminine fitted bodice trend.

Violet Roydhouse’s dress for her wedding to Edward in 1931 (A satin dress with a matching waistcoat)

The head dress worn by Jenny Fothergill in November 1932 was made of green wire embellished with wax flowers and drops and accompanied by a silk net veil with chain stitch embroidery:

Lillian Booth’s dress for her marriage to Leonard Booth December 26th 1939 (satin fabric with lines of seed beads):

The 1940’s

Due to the wars the 1940’s saw brides often wearing their military uniform or borrowed a dress from someone who was already married as there was a shortage on fabrics.

The 1950’s

This era saw the fashion of dresses becoming a little shorter again and often with teamed with stiff petticoats or little lace jackets with fitted bodices. Below are some examples from the exhibition of 1950’s dresses the first being a rose brocade dress with a front pearl fastening and mandarin collar:

 The second worn by Betty Bentley on her wedding day in 1957 is a satin slip with lace overlay in a leaf design with tiny lurex flowers:

The 1960’s

With the 60’s came the trend for simple dresses with much less if any embroidery and a wider variety of headwear – from traditional veils to hats.
The below dress was worn by Angela Dry on her wedding to Peter Dry and is made of a cotton lace with a daisy chain trim:

The following dress was worn by Kathleen Owen on her wedding day 4th March 1969 and is a crystal organza with cotton guipure lace and pearl beads:

The 1970’s

The 1970s saw more boho dresses with daisy trims, big sleeves and organza overlays:

1970: Sandra Drop’s wedding dress with an organza overlay and daisy chain trim

1971: Joan Broom’s wedding dress – hand crocheted in wool yarn with drawstring ribbon cuffs and waistline:

1973: Rita Berriman’s wedding dress in polyester crepe and teamed with a wire hat

1977: Mrs Greenwood’s jersey wedding dress with angel sleeves, mandarin collar and 4 panelled skirt:

The 1980’s

Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles in 1981 started a trend for the meringue style, princess for the day, wedding dresses with her sequin and pearl encrusted dress and 25 foot train designed by British designers Elizabeth and David Emanuel.

1983: Laura Ashley cotton seersucker dress with cotton crochet lace was worn by bride, Caroline for her wedding to Gary:

1988: Lynne Dodgson’s wedding dress – Moiré taffeta, lace bows and ribbon rosebuds:

The 1990’s

The 1990’s saw a slow move back from the big meringue dress to sleeker, more elegant straighter designs

The 2000’s

The new millennium saw the continuation of the more modest dress with vintage style simplicity and also the rise of the coloured wedding dresses notably gold, reds, and pinks.

Below is the dress Louise herself made and wore on her wedding day to husband Richard in December 2006. The dress is lined in plum coloured silk satin with a chantilly lace overlay and has a fish tail skirt and train:

Thank you to Louise for putting on such an excellent exhibition and allowing us to use it on our blog

Louise’s dress making website Ella D, can be found here


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