Essex Belles

Over the weekend we visited Valence House Museum in Dagenham to take a peek at the last 100 years of the borough’s brides in the current exhibition ‘A Century of Local Brides‘. It all started when volunteers from Valence House Archives and Local Studies set up a display on the history of royal brides to mark the wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William whilst simultaneously appealing to the borough for family wedding photos for their follow-up exhibition.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the bridal fashions and wedding ephemera from the past century…

Clockwise from left to right; wedding ring and corsage with original newspaper article cutting, 2012 wedding dress surrounded by photographs of brides past and present, and a 1961 wedding invitation created on a typewriter.

Clockwise from left to right; photograph of a ‘Paper Bride’ (an old custom where by colleagues would dress a bride-to-be in the materials of their trade on the eve of their wedding), and an original 1958 receipt for wedding flowers.


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