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Edwardian Wedding Photo

C20th Fashion History
Photos of Real People Wedding Fashions
1900 Bridal Group Wedding Photo

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


1900 Photos of Real People in Wedding Fashions
1900 Edwardian Wedding Photo - Bridal Group


An Edwardian Wedding Photo from September 1899

Wedding of 1899 at Lake House Farm, East Jarrow, in North East England. This wedding photograph is my choice to start the C20th selection of 100 years of wedding photographs. 

The old photo was taken just 3 months before the new C20th century dawned and has the known date of 13th September 1899. 

It was taken at Lake House Farm, East Jarrow, in North East England.  The names are stated in the footnote.

It really is a delightful picture.Typical Bridal Fashions of the 1900 Era

Because of the known late 1899 date we can define this photo above as both a very late Victorian photo or as an early Edwardian photo. Yet it is fair to say it has more in common with Edwardian fashion than Victorian modes.

Typical Wedding Fashions of the Era

This wedding photo most certainly belongs in either late Edwardian or early Victorian period, but perhaps a better phrase to use would be to call it a true Belle Époque photo.  It has all the fundamentals of gaiety hall dress of the naughty nineties.

As with so many old photos the majority of garments in this photo have fashion minutiae that were all part of style in clothing within the 5 year period 1897 to 1902. The sleeves have all moved just beyond the leg of mutton style full sleeve shown in the wedding dress at the 1896 Van Cleef wedding.

The white wedding dress right is a design taken from 1900 and has lots of lower sleeve fullness that blouses into floppy droopy sleeves. The neckline is a high dog collar neckline and of course the corseting is tight and S-bend.1902 Sailor Dress

1899 HatsWhilst I would instantly date this wedding photo at an approximate year of 1900 due to the two women on the far back left, the bride and other women are really wearing dress styles of a few years before.

The lady at the back of the picture wearing a dark suit wears a tailored style with sailor elements which is highly representative of one of the looks of the Edwardian fashion era. Dress 1900

It's not a strict sailor style, but the contrast braid and darker fabric was a frequent trim of the time and is in keeping with fashion designs of the day.

The woman beside her wears the bloused sleeves of later years which have more generally distributed fullness.

These wide collars which draped on the shoulders or which created matador epaulettes were all a variation on a theme in this fashion era.  Collar interest was important and often morphed into massive lace bertha collar styles.Bride 1899

By contrast the bride (left) wears sleeves which could date back to 1896 style wise.   They are not the most massive of leg o'mutton sleeves of 1895, but they do have substantial fullness which is moving down toward the wrist. 

This sleeve is commonly confused with the gigot sleeve of the late 1820s and early 1830s.  One way to check the date on a picture is to put more than one element together.  In this case the hats are quite definitely late 1890s early 1900 in style.Hats of 1899

Her bridesmaid's bodice has sleeves which have a look of sleeve heads of 1897/9. 


Hats of 1899

However their hats are very much in line with hats of the turn of the century such as these hats of 1899 shown right here.  They are nothing like the wide hats of the 1830s.

Children and Photos

Finally the dress of the children may be helpful when you date an image. Children 1898 

These dress styles for children far right are from an 1898 Delineator magazine and are styles seen at the turn of the century for more fancy wear.

C20th - The Dawn of a New Century

The dawn of a new century is always an exciting phase as every society feels they are on the brink of an even better century.   Society always hopes for greater discoveries, an end to wars and a better standard of living for everyone.

The reality of the twentieth century was that it encompassed many major wars where millions died, spawned incredible medical developments, brought a revolution in modes and manners and created a technological revolution that would change communication forever.

No page on 1900 fashion is really complete without a short timeline of some facts of the moment.  Far too many countries were involved in political strife for a listing, but you may be amused by the Hershey Bar and the camera, two items that continue to hold fascination for many of us.


1900 Key Facts and Events

  • Kodak introduced $1 Brownie hand held cameras (1900) to the masses.
  • Women first took part in Paris 1900 Olympics.
  • USA population over 76 million, but with unemployment at 5%
  • German physicist, Max Planck wins Nobel Peace Prize with his quantum theory energy.
  • The Commonwealth of Australia is established.
  • Oscar Wilde died.
  • The first Zeppelin was test flown.
  • Hershey's chocolate bar introduced.
  • The modern escalator was reinvented by Charles Seeberger after an idea by Jesse Reno's escalator.
  • Puccini's Tosca premiered in Rome.
  • Hanging Rock, Australia.  Girls from the Appleyard College go missing mysteriously on a picnic. (Film Picnic at Hanging Rock)

Footnote on Top Photo of an Edwardian Wedding

My sincere thanks to Patrick Brennan of Tyne and Wear for use of the top photo which includes his great-grandfather John.

The people in the top photo are -
Sitting - James Watson : Hugh Kelly : Peter Kelly : Hannah Rooney : Sarah Rooney
Standing - Margaret Jarvis : Elizabeth Watson : John Rooney : Elizabeth Rooney : Mary Ann Rooney : Harriet Jarvis
Children - Janet Rooney : Elizabeth Rooney : George Rooney

Elizabeth Rooney was the tenant of the farm; her son John was the farm foreman.  The bride was her youngest daughter Hannah. The best man and bridesmaid later married each other.

These wedding photos must not be published/used elsewhere - 
Copyright  2006

You can read more about 1900's fashions in the Edwardian section.  You can read how to date an old photo in this section here.  Click thumbnails


Page added 12 November 2006 Ref P616

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These wedding photos must not be published or used elsewhere - © Copyright  2000-2010.

For more information about Wedding Photos click below:-


Old photos can be useful when tracing family members and narrowing down search dates. These photo pages may help you put an era to your undated images. If you have old wedding photos please send them to me and if suitable I will add them to this pictorial section of social history.



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