This bride and groom were married in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in about 1903. Women’s fashions in the early 1900s were very formal with everything being covered up, from her high neck collar to her floor touching skirt. It wasn’t considered proper to even see a lady’s ankles.
The bridal gown has a high neck collar. The whole bodice is made from a fabric with vertical bands of netting. The bride’s long sleeves are also made of the same fabric. Across the bodice is a wide satin ribbon gathered in the very center and again at the sleeves. The same ribbon goes over the shoulders and probably across the back in the same design as the front. Not only does this decorative ribbon go over the shoulders, it also drapes around the upper sleeve. Below this ribbon on the front of the bodice are two triangular pieces decorated with lace.
The skirt of this bridal gown drapes smoothly over the hips down to the three layers of lace edged ruffles. The skirt brushes the floor. At the bride’s waist she wears a belt with a ribbon rosette at the front.
If you have read the FREE 10 Wedding Ideas from Vintage Brides ebook, you would know that this dress is a Triangular shape. You can see how this shape compares to other bridal dress shapes in the ebook.
The bridal bouquet is 6 red roses and greenery tied with a white satin ribbon.
The bride’s veil reaches all the way to the ground. She is also wearing a short “blusher” veil. A blusher veil was usually flipped over the bride’s face as she came down the aisle before the wedding ceremony. It was often not flipped back until the couple was pronounced married in the ceremony. The two layers of veil netting are gathered together at the top of her head, along with a few flowers.
If you want to see more Bridal Gowns in this style, check out this 1904 Bride.
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5 thoughts on “1903 Bridal Gown”
I love how you notice and explain so many details!
Thanks. I am totally fascinated by how these historical dresses were constructed and decorated. It’s often difficult to see in the old photos, especially on the internet, so I try to point out what I can see using a magnifying glass. Glad someone else likes it too. Hope to get back to posting more blogs and pictures soon.
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With the old pictures I have, I scan them at 600 dpi, and then really increase the contrast in Photoshop, and a lot of the time, I still can’t make out details. I recently read that it is better to take a new photograph of an old photograph than it is to scan them, but I haven’t tried that yet.
I scan my vintage bridal pictures using my Epson scanner. It has a feature that can restore a sepia colored photo into it’s original black, white and grey tones. A lot of things show up then. But I still like to go to the original photo and use my mega magnifying glass. I also have an old Opaque Projector that project the picture onto a wall very large scale.