52 Ancestors #30 – Colourful – 4 Generations of Colourful Weddings

Color or Colour? Well, being an Aussie, I say Colour! Sometimes prompts jumps out and I know who I’m going to write about, other times, I sit and ponder for a while, sometimes days, then the thoughts start accumulating in my head and before I know it, I just have to sit at the computer and start punching them out. So, to add a bit of colour to the newsletter this week, I’ll share with you 3 generations of women who were married in the days of black & white photography and introduce you to my daughter whose wedding was a huge step forward into the age of coloured digital photography. And this newsletter will have me ahead for the 52 Ancestor challenge.

Photography was first introduced in 1839 by William Henry Fox Talbot although similar processes were first discovered in the late 18th century. It was a black & white medium and remained that way for almost 100 years. Photography was a fragile, cumbersome and expensive process.

People wanted colour in their photos. By 1880, portrait photographers began experimenting with colour. They employed artists to tint photographer’s daguerreotypes and calotypes by hand.  I have seen many collections of photos that use this type of tinting and have some of my own.

Some years after I started delving into the family history, I was sent this wonderful black & white photograph of my maternal grandparents’ wedding. James Harold Herbert and Constance Annie Caddy were married in 1910 at the Wesley Church in Perth.  The wedding write-up in the Northam Advertiser gave a good description of what the bride and bridesmaids were wearing. Now with the advent of computer technology and very clever people, we were able to see what this wedding looked like in colour. The article read “the bride wore a pretty cream lace dress, which was a gift from her grandmother and aunt, in Nottingham, England.” Ah, yes, Nottingham lace! I wrote about my great-grandmother Anne Carson in this story and have only just realised the significance of the wedding dress.  That’s what I love about this challenge, it is revealing information that I hadn’t picked up on before. I did try to zoom in on the photo to add a picture here, but it doesn’t do it justice. It certainly looks like very fine lace with an intricate pattern.

Wedding of James Herbert and Annie Caddy

Caddy, Constance Annie and James Harold Herbert's wedding coloured

When my parents, Charles Thomas Cripps and Dulcie Patricia Herbert married in 1949 at St Francis Xavier Church in Geraldton, their photos were also black & white. I found in amongst the collection of my father’s photos after he died, a tinted photo of my mother with her bridesmaids Rita Cripps [Bridgeman] and Brenda Cripps [Parker]. Once again, the wedding write-up gave exceptional detail as to what the wedding party wore and the colour of the bouquet of roses, carnations and gladioli. Similar were the bridesmaid’s bouquets with colourful gerberas matching the mauve and lemon lace dresses.

Charlie Cripps and Pat Herbert

Pat Herbert, Brenda & Rita Cripps

Coloured photography didn’t become the norm until the 1970s. When I married in 1973, colour film was starting to come into vogue but was very expensive. My wedding was photographed in black & white by Lou Checker of Gilda Studio. We chose to have one tinted by an artist working for Gilda Studio at that time, to help preserve the memories of my favourite colours, mauve and pink.

Jenny and Bobs wedding


Robert MacKay and Jennifer Cripps

Wedding party, Laurie Steel, Garry Criddle, Maree Clune, Liz Kristel, Amanda Cripps 22 December 1973. Photo Gilda Studio

By the time our second daughter married in 2005, digital photography had taken on a new meaning. There was not just a dozen photos taken of a wedding, there were now hundreds. The colours are absolutely stunning and bring our photos into the present. The difference with digital photography is the photographer now includes a CD (or a memory stick) in the fee, with the images. One can then create their own personal photo books as I did for Melissa’s wedding. It is a wonderful keepsake.

Melissa and Jasons wedding

About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
This entry was posted in 52-Ancestors-52-Weeks, Blog, Caddy, Cripps, Herbert and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to 52 Ancestors #30 – Colourful – 4 Generations of Colourful Weddings

  1. What a fabulous slant on “colour”…. it would never have crossed my mind. I have 4 colour pics from my wedding day because someone took them as a slide. But otherwise, we just have to imagine the red dresses of my bridesmaids and Mum’s black and orange dress. Mum was very unsure about wearing a partly black dress on her daughter’s wedding day- now we wouldn’t flinch at all. And my wardrobe is full of black. Maybe my blog will be the reverse- reverting to black and white will no qualms.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      I’m glad you liked my “slant”, it seemed to fit, although not about one ancestor as such. The photo of my grandparents was done by someone on a group called “Random Acts of Kindness Photo Restoration”. They do some amazing work for no charge. As for black, I only have it as a tour guide uniform for the winter. 🙂

  2. tstatton says:

    Jenny you continue to amaze me with all your research, skills and enthusiasm to put everything together in these challenges. Yes, I too sit down at the computer wondering what I will write about. Sometimes things just pop into your head and others, take a while to jell and then develop into stories. You have done a fabulous job with this week’s challenge. Your endeavours are most certainly appreciated.

  3. carolwheat says:

    Love the colour tints, what a difference they make

  4. Eilene Lyon says:

    A wonderful use of colour for this prompt! I agree that doing these challenges brings new information to light. Any time we write up a story, we find we are missing some detail or there’s some contradiction. Then we have go on a new search to solve the problem or fill in the blanks.

  5. pamjoanb says:

    Oh Jenny! So glad I made time this morning to read your ancestor challenge blog whilst having a leisurely Sunday morning in Kununurra. What treasures you have, having started your family history research so many years ago. Family members are surely indebted to you, because not only have you researched, collected and recorded, you are now writing such interesting stories that are so easily accessible to everyone. You have always addressed technology and encouraged others in their family history journey, to make the most of the options available through the digital world. Fabulous! What a difference that bit of ‘colour’ has made to those three treasured wedding photos.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      Thank you Pam. It was you telling me to use my mojo, at “that” worksop, a word I hadn’t heard of before, that’s encouraged me to keep going and Jan at pixels2Pages for having the courage to put me in charge of IT. I’m sure many of my rellies appreciate the stories too. 🙂

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