Archive for the ‘Wedding Photographs’ Category


This wedding photograph is a rich resource for anyone interested in the history of Irish costume or in wedding styles. It was taken ca.1910 by John McCrae who ran a studio in Phibsborough, opposite the Mater Hospital and another at 113 Grafton Street, Dublin.


The ostentatious hats come in a variety of styles and materials including velvet, straw, lace, ribbons, ostrich feathers and even fur! Hats were definitely a means of conspicuous consumption for wealthy Edwardian women. Bonnets and caps were often favoured by the older ladies. Even the little girl at the back of the photograph wears a coif cap decorated with lace, a large ruffled collar and a full skirt. She is also wearing leather gloves!


The bride and her bridesmaid wear fashionable ankle-length skirts and matching cream bodices with a slim pinstripe. The bodices are embellished with cutwork at the neck and three-quarter length sleeves. Both wear lace blouses with high elongated necklines and sleeves of Guipure lace.


All the ladies wear gloves and jewellery with most displaying brooches fastened at the neckline of the their lace blouses. Two of the guests wear the highly popular tailor-made suits which included long narrow skirts and matching three-quarter length jackets. The young girl is the only female at the wedding without a hat and the little boys are wearing typical knee length white jersey suits with black shoes.

In contrast to the elaborate nature of the women’s outfits, there is little variation to the men’s attire. All wear single breasted sack or lounge suits with waistcoats. These are matched with stiff white rounded collars which were probably detachable – see here for a detailed outline of their use in the 1900s.

The photographer has succeeded in taking a good group photograph in which all of the party are clearly visible and calm looking. See here for another example of his work which I have blogged about previously. Unfortunately, I do not know whereabouts in Dublin the photograph was taken nor the name of the family!

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This wedding photograph marks the marriage of Alice Maud Ellen Sutton and Daniel Christie Beggs which took place on the 4th of January 1900. The guests come in many ages, shapes and sizes as do their magnificent hats. The bride looks rather ghostly behind the sheer gauze veil as dapper Mr. Beggs peers through a fine pair of pince-nez spectacles. 

Alice was originally from York and was a well educated young lady. She was the Modern Language Mistress at Darlington College before teaching at Victoria College, Belfast when she met the solicitor Daniel Christie Beggs. In the 1901 census Alice describes herself not as the usual ‘housewife’ but as a Bachelor of Arts. However, by 1911 she leaves the ‘Profession or Occupation’ section of the form blank. At this stage, she had three children: Mary, Stanley and Marjorie, born in 1906, 1907 and 1908. 

The couple lived in this beautiful house called Ollar Lodge on Main Street, Ballyclare, County Antrim. Alice and Daniel’s married life was not a long one as he died in March 1912 at the age of 50. I don’t know what became of Alice and the children. Perhaps they went to England or maybe she returned to teaching? Another view of the house, which is still standing today, can be seen at the following local history site.

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