VIEW-7657 | Lt. Hayhurst and bride, Halifax, NS, about 1905
Lt. Hayhurst and bride, Halifax, NS, about 1905
Halifax Notman Studio
1900-1910, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords: informal (1120) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
Keys to History
Romance novels usually ended with a wedding. Weddings were important rituals in middle-class Maritime families, especially for the bride. Most middle-class brides in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were married in white wedding dresses. The wedding was likely to be followed by a honeymoon trip for the newly married couple. Mrs. Hayhurst, pictured in this photograph, had chosen a military officer as her husband-a social coup for any young Maritime woman.
Peter Ward, Courtship, Love and Marriage in Nineteenth-Century English Canada (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999).
The white wedding dress was popularized by Queen Victoria (1819-1901) who wore a white satin dress during her wedding to Prince Albert (1819-1861) in 1840.
Although Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were married in England, the popularity of white wedding dresses quickly spread to North America.
A few brides began to wear white wedding dresses in the late 1700s, but it was Victoria and Albert's wedding in 1840 that marked the turning point for this fashion.
Until well into the 20th century the white wedding dress-designed to be worn only once-remained an expensive status symbol for the wealthy. Poorer brides often chose blue dresses that they could wear many times.