This marvellous 1920s wedding photograph, with flapper
bride and bridal guests, was emailed to me by a site visitor called June and from the USA.
On most pages I like to show old wedding photos from both the USA and the
UK. My aim is to help visitors identify and date unknown photographs. There are
often small, but unmistakeable national differences in bridal dresses, wedding
bouquet styles, bridal veils/headdresses. Americans and English even pose differently.
The Sweder group is clearly very fashionable, with all the women wearing the
latest flapper fashion trends of 1927. My general advice for dating any photograph, is always look for the
most fashionably dressed person for the era. These women all wear the
short dress, the important fashion style of 1927. In this old photo every woman is fashionably dressed!
The groom, Stephen Sweder of Russian/Ukrainian Austrian descent was born in 1906 at Mayfield, PA, USA. Thus the bridegroom is about 20 here, and some of
the men in the photo are his brothers.
Take particular note of the two 'halo' male guests at either end of the
back row; I enquired if they had somehow been added to the picture. Indeed, it was confirmed that stand-ins had been used, and the two family members who were unable to attend the wedding were
cleverly inserted later.
Stephen's bride is Katherine Hoiditz
(or Hoiditch) and she was approximately 18 when they married at St. John's
Russian church. A year after marrying they had a son. The groom sadly died
in 1943, 16 years after the picture was taken.
This is a very big bridal party. The older woman standing to the near left of
the bride may be her mother. Several of the other women look as if they are
genetically related. The men are a handsome bunch too. They look like
they all had fun.
of the women right are clearly attendant bridesmaids, you can tell because they wear
matching headbands. The woman sat at the front end wearing a contrast
colour dress may have been the matron of honour as she seems to have been
given a special seat, but she also wears the ornate bridal headband.
All the female guests
wear flapper style dropped waist dresses and every dress is typical of
the 1927 wedding styles. Most of the women also wear pearl
necklaces, and apart from the bride, each woman wears a floral corsage pinned
to the front or side of her dress. None of the bridesmaids holds a
floral posy, whereas the bride has a beautiful spray filled with
The fabrics in all the dresses are very characteristic of 1927, in that they
float and lend themselves to circular, bias, or crosscut skirt styles.
These materials would most likely have been satin, silk georgette,
chiffon and lace. Most of the dresses have a smattering of sequins, or
are lifted with some minor beadwork.
Take a closer look at the Bride Katherine's wedding headdress, it's in almost
follows the exact line of 1920s hats, but is made from stiffened organdie, or
tulle, and is embellished with pearl beads. Every generation of brides
seems to be attracted to the creamy whiteness and flattery that pearls lend
to the complexion.
It is such an ornate bridal headdress that this lovely fresh young bride, obviously felt no need to decorate herself further with a necklace.
The hat picture right is from La Mode of 1921 and it's clear that early 1920
millinery design and style elements had crept into later bridal veil
headdresses of 1927.
One thing that is noticeable in many 1930s and 1920s wedding
photographs, is the number of brides and bridegrooms that sit regally, almost like
king and queen, whilst surrounded by their standing guests.
The seated pose was also used a great deal in fashion plates of the era like
this 1927 wedding image above right.
The seated pose also allows the bride to reveal those legs.
silhouette for 1927 was straight down with the waist set low on the hipline.
Skirt lengths were short but offered room for manoeuvre for the wary, with
the ever useful handkerchief hem or the scallop hemline. Necklines were
boat, scooped or V shaped.
The majority of female bridal guests here wear sleeveless dresses,
so one can assume this was a summertime wedding as no wraps, stoles,
cardigans, shrug, furs, feathers or jackets are in evidence.
A couple of dresses have a hint of a cap sleeve, but the 1927 vogue was
for sleeveless dresses such as these McCall's styles of 1927 right.
This all added to the 1920s frisson of the novel appearance of so much
bare skin - bare legs (albeit in flesh tone or light stockings), bare arms
and bare necklines all added to the undressed look.
Everything about the relaxed styling of the twenties bare look was in
total odds to the trussed up Edwardian cinched waistlines of just 20 years
The C20th was well under way, and women wanted to get as far as
possible away from clothes they associated with the last century and their
grandmothers. Clearly this bridal party achieved their aim. No woman would
look out of place wearing these gowns in the early 21st century.
Family History Tip for Dating Old Photos - Compare your photo with
comparative images of a known date to arrive at a year for that old photo.
Dating costume pages.
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1927 Celebrity Weddings
Prince Amedeo Duke of Aosta married his cousin HRH Princess Anne of Orléans in Naples.
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
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.
OLD WEDDING PHOTOS
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