Wedding Season at the History Center
The most popular months for weddings are from April to October, and that means that wedding season is right around the corner! The History Center serves as a great location to make your wedding day a historical event whether you are having an indoor or outdoor wedding. We are also home to over 100 wedding dresses.
The most popular months for weddings are from April to October, and that means that wedding season is right around the corner! The History Center serves as a great location to make your wedding day a historical event whether you are having an indoor or outdoor wedding. Our collection is also home to over 100 wedding dresses.
The traditional white wedding dress that we are so familiar with did not become widely popular until Queen Victoria wore one to her wedding in 1840. Since then, wedding dresses have gone through many popular styles and have fascinated us deeply. The fascination can come from television shows like Say Yes to the Dress that have highlighted how important (and stressful) looking for a wedding dress can be. Celebrities and Royals make us wait in anticipation with our breath held as to what dress they will walk down the aisle in. Here at the Valentine, there are fascinating dresses as well as bridal accessories.
Charles Frederick Worth is considered to be the Father of Haute Couture and thought of dressmakers as artists rather than artisans. This silk wedding gown from circa 1865 was designed by Worth and worn in 1942 by Mrs. William A. Paddock. The dress features a full-length skirt with a train and a wide off shoulder neckline.
Starting in the 1920s, wedding dresses became shorter. This 1955 pink organza wedding dress by Ceil Chapman strays from the norm in its color and decoration but continues the trend of a higher hemline.
In the 80s everything was big; the sleeves, shoulder pads, and adornments. This satin and lace dress from 1983 features large puffy sleeves, pearl beading, lace appliqués, and flat bows.
Brides often wore orange blossoms on their wedding day either on their dress or in their hair. The orange blossom symbolizes fruitfulness and the white of the flower more specifically symbolized innocence. Less affluent brides began making orange blossoms out of wax rather than buying the actual flower. This particular wreath was worn in 1906.
Today, brides carry their bouquets down the aisle with the flowers sitting inside a foam cup to insure that they do not fall out. In the 1800s, bouquet holders were made out of metal and the flowers were secured with a pin inside the holder. Each holder also had a chain with a ring on the end that the bride could slip on her finger. The first of the following bouquet holders is circa 1870 and made out of silver. It features intricate metalwork in the form of leaves and flowers. The second holder is from the late 1800s and features washed gold hearts and a pearl handle. The third bouquet holder, also from the late 1800s, is gold-colored metal is carved in the shape of pumpkins.
Costumes & Textiles Intern
Valentine Richmond History Center