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1930s Wedding Dresses

1930s Wedding Dresses
Wedding Photos of 1931 Brides

By Pauline Weston Thomas for Fashion-Era.com

C20th Fashion History 1930s Wedding Dresses

Wedding Photos of 1931 Brides

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1931 Cardiff White Wedding1931 Cardiff White Wedding

This wedding took place in 1931 in Cardiff, Wales.  Sadly the bride died in 1934, probably during childbirth.

In this 1931 wedding photograph, the bride's bouquet was made from locally grown fresh orchids provided by the bride's father who grew them in his greenhouse.  The bridesmaids' dresses have skirts cut just like that worn by the bride in the top photo and all show the same swing flare and sway. 

In both images the drop waists suggest that 1920's fashion styles are still more important to the ordinary women than the styles we associate with the later 1930s and Wallis Simpson who epitomised the era.  By 1930 the waist had generally risen to its normal position and the bride followed this new fashion.

The bride's headdress is an extravagant almost Tudor affair and shows it developing volume after 20 years of close mob cap veiling styles popular from c1913.

See more 1931 photos.

Wedding of James Paton and (Mary) Veronica Standen 1931 - GortonWedding picture of grooom and bride- James Paton and (Mary) Veronica Standen 1931 - Gorton

Right - This old 1930s wedding photo is from Kathleen and is of James Paton and (Mary) Veronica Standen.  This photo was taken on May 23, 1931 in Gorton, Manchester, England.

Note how the bride's wedding dress has lengthened and is the truly fashionable ankle length of 1931. The shoes however are still the Mary Jane style that had been in favour for many years.

One very nice touch is the bride holding a prayer book rather than carrying a floral bouquet.

This ensemble shows a move away from 1920s styling.  The longer fuller skirt with the  bodice on the waist is firmly set in the newer fashion for 1930s wedding dresses.

Features that you see in later decades are not present in this 1931 wedding photography, for example, the bride is not wearing earrings, neither does she appear to be 'painted' with make-up.

Pretty accessories like Veronica's headdress are very striking, with the veil substantially shorter than many 1920s veils.  You can see in the photo below the detailed work that went into sewing the pearls.

Wedding veil headdress worn by (Mary) Veronica Standen 1931 - Gorton

Old Wedding Photo 1931 St. Paul's Church, Jarrow

Irene's Wedding Photo 1931This photo shows the fashion history of an everyday Church wedding of 1931.

Although this a 1930s wedding dress, the bride's dress still has a 1920's look.  Apart from the use of bias cut fabric in the skirt and sleeves which create rolling drape, this dress is not that representative of 1930s fashions. The bride wears ankle strapped Mary Jane style shoes.  The brimmed felt hat is very typically late 20s.

The wedding photo features Irene's parents.  Irene is a site visitor.  The wedding group photo was taken at a really old church called St. Paul's Church in Jarrow which was where St. Bede studied with the Monks.

The Venerable Bede

...(v4r)

The Venerable Bede was born in 673 near Sunderland, and at age 7 commenced a Benedictine education. This education was at St. Benet Biscop at Wearmouth Abbey and later at Jarrow (Tyne). 

Modest and humble, he spent the whole of his life as a monk.  He never travelled away from the locale, although he was in tune with the world and in 735 wrote an appealing letter suggesting reform ideas to halt the troubles of the Church in Northumbria. 

His erudite works for which he is remembered were dependant on the superior libraries of St. Benet Biscop.  Bede wrote on many subjects including the Scriptures, poetry, mathematics and timekeeping.  Bede is famous for his unbiased historical viewpoint and writings, especially 'Ecclesiastical History of the English People'.  The latter historical work has been a source of guidance for the progress of Christianity in early Britain.

According to St. Cuthbert, who documented Bede's death, Bede died just after he had dictated the last sentence of his translation of St. John's Gospel.  50 years after his death in 735 he was declared a Saint and his body moved from Jarrow to rest at Durham Cathedral and it lies in the Galilee Chapel.

Celebrity Weddings in 1931

  • Margaret Sullavan and Henry Fonda  (Only lasted 3 months!)
  • Gloria Swanson and Michael Farmer
  • Clara Bow and Rex Bell
  • Maria Ria Franklin and Clarke Gable
  • Emilia Earhart (Aviator) and George Putnam

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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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