Are there two brides in this picture, or one bride and a very well dressed matron of honor? The back of the photo gives no clues, reading only “Gail, Bill, Barbara, Ruth, 6/10/67.” The father doesn’t look happy, but who can blame him if he had to finance two weddings in one year.
It is the mother of the bride/s who caught my attention. How does an older woman pick an outfit for such an occasion? My own daughter shows no sign of get married anytime soon, and she is hardly the white dress type, but I still worry about what I might wear. This mother decided on a lacy outfit in light turquoise. It is hard to see the structure of her dress under the sleeveless coat, but it looks like it might be a sixties style sheath dress. The exactly matching lace hat must have been sold as part of the ensemble.
Note that the two younger women have covered their arms. The young bride in white has lace down to her wrists; the one in off white has sleeves to her elbow. By contrast, the mother has chosen a sleeveless outfit. You can see quite clearly that this was not her usual choice—the top of her arm is white, while the bottom is tanner. If she had asked me, I would have told her to follow the younger women’s lead and add sleeves to her lace coat.
I would have thought sleeveless look unusual for a mother of the bride then? but I am going on old wedding photos from irish weddings then…. there is a uk archive on the bbc called clothes that count -http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014bk5n – and in of the episodes a lady is being interviewed and she says how now she is in her 30s wearing a skirt that is above the knee is inappropriate…….. (whereas I think wearing an over the knee skirt is frumpy …..)
This is an odd photo. I would have thought the woman at the back was an older sister to the bride in front, but her flowers are huge, too big I think for a matron of honor. As for the mom, you are right, this is oddly sleeveless. I have never seen an ensemble like this because they always have sleeves. I would think that most mothers of brides opt for sleeves because photos won’t flatter their bare shoulders (as we can see here).
In the 60’s in the U.S., Roman Catholic brides were not allowed to show bare arms in a wedding dress (and obviously strapless wedding dresses were unthinkable.) Sometimes you see cap sleeves. The idea was that you wore a dress appropriate for making a solemn vow during the religious ceremony; some “barer” wedding dresses featured a sheer or lace jacket over the dress, so you could dress appropriately for making a vow in church and take off the jacket for the party that followed. I never heard a religion-based rule for the mother of the bride, however. (All women wore hats/head coverings in church back then.) The middle woman’s dress is not stark white; maybe the flash made a cream or pale peach look white? Dad certainly has that “losing a daughter” expression.
My first thought was a bride and a matron of honor in the pale peach color, yes the bouquet is really too big for an attendant and I don’t think I have ever seen a veil on anyone but a bride.
When I started planning what to wear to my daughter’s wedding, I ended up not using my first choice because I decided it looked too Black Tie & not enough Mother of the Bride. Then I chose a pale blue & silver floral brocade and made a suit. Somehow brocade seemed more suitable.
Second thoughts — since we’re writing fiction: Maybe it is a double wedding — but the blonde woman has been married before…. Jen O is right about the size of that bouquet. Such fun with found pictures!
Maybe the older bride is wearing her own wedding outfit to her sisters’ wedding? Maybe these are two separate parties who happened to meet at the church or wedding venue? Who knows? It is certainly an interesting picture and I agree that the MOB outfit seems uncomfortable in every way.
(btw: my own daughter is getting married in Feb, so I am taking your comments very seriously. No bare arms it is!)
Congratulations, Jen! Maybe you would like to do a post on your search for a Mother of the Bride outfit.