History Matters || Wedding day in 1908

HUSBAND AND WIFE: George and Mabel Kempton on their wedding day in Glen Innes in March 1908.

HUSBAND AND WIFE: George and Mabel Kempton on their wedding day in Glen Innes in March 1908.

The Glen Innes Examiner of Tuesday, March 3, 1908, reported Mr Geo Kempton of Red Range was joined in the bonds of wedlock to Miss Mabel M Fletcher, second daughter of Mr C Fletcher Mann River.

The bride's sister, Miss S Fletcher was bridesmaid, Miss A Spatch was the organist thundering out the Wedding March and during the service the choir sang The Voice that Breathed O'er Eden.

As was the custom of the day this photo shows the groom seated - there are various suggestions why wedding photos were staged this way.

One is because he was the head of the household, and probably for the occasion he was wearing uncomfortable and unaccustomed shoes.

The bride may have preferred to stand so her frock and bouquet could better be seen in their entirety, and maybe her corsets were too tight to let her comfortably sit down.

Mabel's wedding gown was white muslin with valenciennes lace and insertion, and a wreath held her veil.

This photo does not bear a photographer's name, but from the backdrop it would be a studio portrait, and at this time there were several local photographers.

As for the stony faces - possibly because they knew they had to keep very still for it to be a good clear photo.

Sometimes the official wedding photos were taken elsewhere at a later date.

The paper often listed the wedding gifts, either describing them as 'numerous and useful' or as in this case 'numerous and costly'.

The Kempton's presents included cheques, sewing machine, house linen, silver mounted riding whip, jelly dish, ruby glass and silver honey jar, looking glass, cut glass and silver butter dish (every couple seems to have been given butter dishes!), wine decanter, glasses, fruit stands, silver dinner cruet, bedroom lamp, a dozen cups and saucers, album, ruby glass and silver honey jar, silver tea pot, etc., and from Kwong Sing War, pair of vases and F Utz, breakfast cruet.

Maybe some are still in the family?

The wedding breakfast was held at Mrs McBride's and later the newlyweds left by the afternoon train for a honeymoon in Armidale.

The bride's travelling costume (jacket and skirt) was pale blue fancy voile with guipure lace trimmings and she wore a matching hat.