A Wedding Party in the 1920s

The bride and groom sit informally on the grass in front of a home, surrounded by a group of young men and women in late-1920’s clothing. (It does look like the bride was trying to avoid grass stains on her light dress.)

While sorting my Aunt Dorothy’s huge collection of photos, I found these charming pictures of an informal wedding in the nineteen twenties. The skirt lengths suggest 1927-28 to me.

Happy faces (for the most part) and real-people hairstyles and clothing from the late 1920s. Left side of group photo. The men’s hair looks natural, not slick or oily.

More wedding guests, this time from the right side of the photo.

Although my aunt knew a great many women called “Dot,” — and she herself was called Dot — I haven’t been able to match “Dot the Bride” to any other photos, so I can’t find her last name, or date her wedding exactly.

Dot Richardson and Dot Robinson, on an office outing to Monte Rio, California, circa 1921.

Dot was the usual nickname for women called Dorothy.

There’s a good chance that like my aunt, the bride or her groom and most of the wedding guests worked at the Southern Pacific Railroad Headquarters in San Francisco. They all seem to be in their twenties or thirties.

Dot and her husband. I love his pocket square. Like the bride, many of the female guests are wearing their Marcelle-waved hair loose, longish, and full. Dot wears dark lipstick, too.

The bride and groom have a sense of humor, judging by the toy bulldog on a leash in the foreground.

Her pale, short dress, worn with almost opaque white silk stockings, has a lace “bolero” jacket and lace flounces. Her feet are swollen; brides don’t get to sit down much at weddings. [When their feet hurt, people used to say, “My dogs are barking.”]

Here the newlyweds pose with the honeymoon car, decorated with a “Just Married” sign and several big, tin cans to make noise as they drive away.

Their friends have tied several cans tied to the bumper to ensure that everyone notices the “Just Married” sign on newlyweds car as it clatters down the road.

Her huge corsage must mean “Maid of Honor.” She wears a light coat over a knee-baring print silk dress; big bows trim her shoes. As sometimes happens with informal weddings, not everyone got the “not too casual” message. (Yes, I mean you, Mister Sweater and No Necktie.) His boutonniere says he’s part of the wedding party.

Even this guest caught in the background wears a dress with a graceful, curving pleated flounce:

I wish we could see more of this dress on a Bette Midler look-alike….

Whether she’s gaining a son or a daughter, this mother looks happy.

The mother of the bride (or groom) looks very up-to-date in her short dress, worn with dark stockings and low shoes. The bride’s dress appears to be waistless, possibly a princess style with a bow and drape at her left side.

The white-haired lady’s dress has a V-shaped lace insert in the bodice, and a two-tiered skirt that just covers her knees. She hasn’t bobbed her hair, however.

I hope this bunch of pleasant-looking young people had very happy lives, and many equally pleasant celebrations.

It’s easy to imagine enjoying their company.


Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, Coats, Dresses, evening and afternoon clothes, Hairstyles, Hosiery, Hosiery, Makeup & Lipstick, Menswear, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, vintage photographs, Wedding Clothes

8 responses to “A Wedding Party in the 1920s

  1. I love this! Especially the real-world marcels!

  2. Porcelina

    Gorgeous photos! The bride looks almost modern, as though she’s recreating a ’20s style. So happy, great to see – so many people in vintage photos stood stock still and with serious expressions because of the problems with blur from any small movement. These look much more spontaneous than your average wedding snap.

    • My aunt Dot isn’t in the photos, but I don’t think she took them, just because the quality is so high… Perhaps Dot the Bride mailed them to her because she couldn’t attend.

  3. What a fabulous photo. My thanks again to Aunt Dot. The mother’s dress looks like its not quite in style–a little too high for the later twenties. And she is wearing the stylish older woman’s choice for the era–the strappy shoe!

    • I thought of AmericanAgeFashion as soon as I saw the photo, and hoped you’d use your eye on it. I agree that her dress reflects a style that was on its way out, but the length shows she was trying to be timely. Maybe she just didn’t want to buy a whole new outfit — so used a dress and the shoes she had.

  4. Mom was very stylish for those times, I have family photos of the same era, and the white haired women were wearing long dumpy dark colored dresses. Also looks like a nice bungalow neighborhgood!
    bonnie in provence

    • I remember attending a Greek festival in San Francisco around 1963. All of the older women were in mourning for someone. It was jarring to see so much black, because this was an outdoor picnic — music, food, dancing and lots of fun. I’m not really up on mourning habits, but during WW I so many European women were in mourning that it was discouraged in England: bad for morale.

  5. thetactfultypist

    Wonderful to see so many young, happy faces! There are indeed moments worth celebrating that never go out of style…

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