This antique sepia-toned photograph features a bride in a Victorian summer wedding dress. The dress is constructed of Chinese silk chiffon and has huge puffed sleeves. The young bride is adorned with orange blossoms draped over her shoulders and pearls sewn to the bodice of her dress.
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An Antique Photo of Victorian-Era Bride Wearing a Sweet Silk Dress

A Victorian Wedding Dress for a Summer Wedding

When hunting through piles of antique photographs at flea markets, I often find images that are over 100 years old. However, it is not often that I find images that display fashion history relevant to today’s trends. When I saw the sleeves on the wedding dress in this photograph, I melted.

This photograph is of Louise Moore Mead, an Ohio bride. Her dress features a square neckline, a natural waistline, and huge puffed sleeves! This late Victorian-Era bride has orange blossoms draped over her shoulders and is holding a rose. Even the wicker chair is ornate and stunning, putting all modern wicker chairs to shame for their simplicity.

This is the scanned back of a bridal photograph from 1895. It features a newspaper article from the same year describing the wedding festivities.
The back of the bridal photograph features an article from the Norwalk News describing the wedding festivities.

The History of this Gorgeous Bride and Her Wedding Day

I view those in the antique business as archaeologists who preserve the human story. Antique dealers rescue important objects of design, artifacts, and images and help them find homes that will keep them for the sake of posterity. Whether it’s a painting from a thrift store, a vase from an estate sale, or a picture of a pretty bride from a flea market, there is someone somewhere who will appreciate and preserve the artifact for future generations. Finding vintage treasures keeps our history out of the landfill and amongst those who seek to preserve our collective history.

This photograph cost $3 at a flea market. Initially, the man asked me to pay $50, which I absolutely could not afford, but on my second trip through the flea market, he went down to $3. (I didn’t even have to ask!) Of course, I walked away with this gem, and as a result, I was able to update this beautiful bride’s genealogy page on WikiTree.

Because the photograph has the article about her wedding taped to its back, I was able to find Louise’s family tree online. It appears that she was married the day after she turned eighteen years old to an Ohio businessman, and the wedding took place outdoors at her family home.

It is endlessly satisfying to fill in the gaps of memory and history with an image of this bride. 128 years ago, she sat in a wicker chair, dressed up for her big day. Today, her stylish and lovely image can be admired by many, including the family from whom she was separated for so long.

Do you love antique and vintage photographs?

On your vintage travels, I suggest you take a moment to sift through old photographs. Vintage images help us to put our own experience into perspective, whether it be modern fashion trends or filling in the gaps of a family tree.

Do you enjoy sifting through antique photographs? Tell me about it in the comment section below!

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