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)
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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).

  • What

    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.

  • Where

    Although Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were married in England, the popularity of white wedding dresses quickly spread to North America.

  • When

    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.

  • Who

    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.