Welcome to our past exhibit on wedding traditions. This page is a work-in-progress as we’ll be adding photographs, articles, and references to lectures held on the topic.

Florence Lockwood's Wedding Dress

Florence Lockwood’s Rich Ivory Satin Gown, 1894, the most fashionable of the wedding season in San Francisco, CA. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Grote Photography.)

Wedding Traditions and Fashion from the 1860s to the 1930s

April 5, 2017 – November 12, 2017

Curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz

This exhibit featured lavish gowns modeled on Queen Victoria’s wedding and highlighted in nuptials of young American heiresses of Gilded Age fortunes, as well as simple dresses and artifacts of at-home ceremonies of immigrant brides who, once settled in the United States, desired to follow American customs and fashions.

Displays included Lockwoods’ daughter Florence’s rich ivory satin gown with its distinctive sleeves and three-foot long train, which was considered the most fashionable of the 1894 wedding season in San Francisco, CA; a collection of wedding shoes reflecting the popular trends of the times and the women who wore them; and a rare Coffee and Tea Service with a dense repoussé floral motif made by Reed & Barton for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876. By the 1870s, brides would create a detailed list of their wedding gifts and put them on display in their home with a small tag noting the name of the giver. Luxurious gifts of crystal and silver were a way to indicate the couple’s economic status to those who called upon the newly married couple.

Collection of Satin Wedding Shoes, 1830s-1930s. (Photo Courtesy of Sarah Grote Photography.)

Historical wedding dresses and accessories generously loaned by Darien Historical Society, Wilton Historical Society, Westport Historical Society, Stamford Historical Society, Greenwich Historical Society, Mary A. Findlay and Kathleen Craughwell-Varda. Wedding floral bouquets courtesy of designer Danna DiElsi owner of The Silk Touch, Norwalk, CT.

The Museum’s 2017 cultural and educational programs made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown, LMMM’s 2017 Season Distinguished Benefactors: The Maurice Goodman Foundation, 2017 LMMM Distinguished Benefactors for Education: GE and Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

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