Extraordinary Wedding Photos Spanning 150 Years Chart The Dramatic Change In Bridal Fashions

This fascinating exhibition of wedding photographs show just how much the outfits have changed over the years. The exhibition – shown at Strode Theatre – was as a farewell tribute to manager Liz Leyshon on her retirement. Liz had asked for pictorial contributions and was amazed at the response she got.

Going back as far as 150 years, the collection shows how formal the wedding were, with very staid and unsmiling poses from most people. Dress was very formal, with men in top hats and ladies with high collars and long sleeves.

Early pictures show the development and change from Victorian corsets to 1020 dropped waist dresses. Morning suits and wartime uniforms were the style in the thirties and forties, while in the fifties the waist lines changed.

In the sixties dresses mini dresses were all the rage, and this was often carried over into the wedding dress style. The seventies boasted very lacy and floral arrangements, such as the Princess of Wales’ marriage.

Since then wedding dress has changed to informal styles in registry office events, and sleek looking, colour co-ordinated wedding we see today. Headwear has also changed from traditional veils, to hats, and then back to veils. Floral arrangements have changed from huge bouquets to smaller posies, with flowers in head wear occasionally.

Shorter hemlines and brighter colours are more the norm now, in fact it sometimes seems that anything goes! The collection is a great glimpse into the way weddings, and wedding outfits used to be.

This picture from 1870 shows the wedding of Anne Austin and Reginald Porch. Wedding Fashions Through The Decades, at Strode Theatre in the village of Street, Somerset showcases a collection of pictures showing wedding groups 
This picture from 1870 shows the wedding of Anne Austin and Reginald Porch. Wedding Fashions Through The Decades, at Strode Theatre in the village of Street, Somerset showcases a collection of pictures showing wedding groups
This picture from 1895 shows the wedding of Jane Murray and John Gillespie. The exhibition has been a farewell labour-of-love by long-serving theatre manager Liz Leyshon before she retires in March 
This picture from 1895 shows the wedding of Jane Murray and John Gillespie. The exhibition has been a farewell labour-of-love by long-serving theatre manager Liz Leyshon before she retires in March
This picture from 1909 shows the wedding of Margaret Clark and Arthur Gillett. When outgoing Strode Theatre manager Liz Leyshon looked for pictorial contributions from friends, she said she was overwhelmed by the response
This picture from 1909 shows the wedding of Margaret Clark and Arthur Gillett. When outgoing Strode Theatre manager Liz Leyshon looked for pictorial contributions from friends, she said she was overwhelmed by the response
How times have changed: This 1919 image shows the wedding of Rosetta May Evemy and Francis John Witcombe. Strode Theatre patrons, friends and colleagues brought in their own photos as well as those of their parents and ancestors
How times have changed: This 1919 image shows the wedding of Rosetta May Evemy and Francis John Witcombe. Strode Theatre patrons, friends and colleagues brought in their own photos as well as those of their parents and ancestors
Floral theme: This picture from 1921 shows the wedding of Linda Field and Clarence Perry. The exhibition comprises moving, funny and fascinating details of the lives of the people in the photographs, which emerged with virtually every picture
Floral theme: This picture from 1921 shows the wedding of Linda Field and Clarence Perry. The exhibition comprises moving, funny and fascinating details of the lives of the people in the photographs, which emerged with virtually every picture
Hats and hemlines: This extraordinary photo from 1932 shows the nuptials of Nell Clark and John Harley Young (centre). Some of the photos were kindly loaned by local archives, including the Alfred Gillett Trust
Hats and hemlines: This extraordinary photo from 1932 shows the nuptials of Nell Clark and John Harley Young (centre). Some of the photos were kindly loaned by local archives, including the Alfred Gillett Trust
Wartime wedding: This 1940 image shows the wedding of Reginald Webber and Margaret Sandy. The pictures are displayed chronologically, illustrating the huge developments and changes in photography as well as in fashion and society
Wartime wedding: This 1940 image shows the wedding of Reginald Webber and Margaret Sandy. The pictures are displayed chronologically, illustrating the huge developments and changes in photography as well as in fashion and society
Lace galore: A picture taken in 1943 shows the nuptials of Edward Moran and Margaret Hewitt. The stunning photographs show huge developments from Victorian corsets to twenties dropped waists and elegant ankles
Lace galore: A picture taken in 1943 shows the nuptials of Edward Moran and Margaret Hewitt. The stunning photographs show huge developments from Victorian corsets to twenties dropped waists and elegant ankles
Broad-rimmed hats and shorter hemlines: This picture from 1944 shows perhaps the biggest shift in fashions at the wedding of Joan Hobbs and George Goodenough
Broad-rimmed hats and shorter hemlines: This picture from 1944 shows perhaps the biggest shift in fashions at the wedding of Joan Hobbs and George Goodenough
Special day: A recently unearthed photograph from 1947 shows the wedding of Beryl Gould and Norman Tucker. Friends, family and patrons of the theatre contributed images from the weddings of their parents and ancestors
Special day: A recently unearthed photograph from 1947 shows the wedding of Beryl Gould and Norman Tucker. Friends, family and patrons of the theatre contributed images from the weddings of their parents and ancestors
Church wedding: This image from 1950 shows the wedding of Pamela Adams, dressed in a sweeping white gown, and Brendan Sadler, flanked by two adorable flower girls dressed in matching coats
Church wedding: This image from 1950 shows the wedding of Pamela Adams, dressed in a sweeping white gown, and Brendan Sadler, flanked by two adorable flower girls dressed in matching coats

 

The veil makes a comeback while guests opt for elaborate headgear in this picture from 1961 showing the wedding of Rachel Small and Malcolm Humphries, part of the stunning collection of images which will go on display this week
The veil makes a comeback while guests opt for elaborate headgear in this picture from 1961 showing the wedding of Rachel Small and Malcolm Humphries, part of the stunning collection of images which will go on display this week
Changing fashions: This picture from 1966 shows the wedding of Bert Bryant and Sandra Lane. The fascinating photos show lavish high society unions to cheerful family parties, with adorable bridesmaids and stern-looking mothers-in-law
Changing fashions: This picture from 1966 shows the wedding of Bert Bryant and Sandra Lane. The fascinating photos show lavish high society unions to cheerful family parties, with adorable bridesmaids and stern-looking mothers-in-law
This picture from 1968 shows the wedding of Valerie Redwood and Petty Officer Richard Appleby, with the bridesmaids and flower girls showcasing elaborate hairstyles
This picture from 1968 shows the wedding of Valerie Redwood and Petty Officer Richard Appleby, with the bridesmaids and flower girls showcasing elaborate hairstyles
Purple theme: This image from 1972 shows the wedding of Dinah Tucker and Rodney Gifford with guests dressed in bold purple prints and the bridesmaids in paisley
Purple theme: This image from 1972 shows the wedding of Dinah Tucker and Rodney Gifford with guests dressed in bold purple prints and the bridesmaids in paisley
Draping, ruching and puffy sleeves feature heavily in this quintessentially 1983 image depicting the wedding of Meryl Sian Davies and Ross Everson, with guests sticking to a pale blue colour scheme
Draping, ruching and puffy sleeves feature heavily in this quintessentially 1983 image depicting the wedding of Meryl Sian Davies and Ross Everson, with guests sticking to a pale blue colour scheme
And the bride wore... pink! This picture from 1987 shows the wedding of Sue Hart and Mark Nicholson-Lailey
And the bride wore… pink! This picture from 1987 shows the wedding of Sue Hart and Mark Nicholson-Lailey

 

This picture from 1990 shows the wedding of Sandra Walker and Mark Healey. The exhibition opens to the public on Valentine's Day and will run until April 8
This picture from 1990 shows the wedding of Sandra Walker and Mark Healey. The exhibition opens to the public on Valentine’s Day and will run until April 8
This picture from 2000 shows the wedding of Shirley Cary and Graham Theedom. The pictures are displayed chronologically, showing every detail and illustrating the developments and changes in photography as well as in fashion and society
This picture from 2000 shows the wedding of Shirley Cary and Graham Theedom. The pictures are displayed chronologically, showing every detail and illustrating the developments and changes in photography as well as in fashion and society

 

Shorter hemlines: This picture from 2000 shows the wedding of Shirley Cary and Graham Theedom. When Liz looked for pictorial contributions, she was overwhelmed by the response
Shorter hemlines: This picture from 2000 shows the wedding of Shirley Cary and Graham Theedom. When Liz looked for pictorial contributions, she was overwhelmed by the response

Source: Daily Mail