oa South African Journal of Cultural History - Victorian weddings in South Africa: evidence from personal recollections, letters and photographs

Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



Most girls dream about the day they will walk down the aisle, dressed in white lace and satin to be united with the man of their dreams. The wedding day must surely be one of the most important days in a person's life. No wonder people remember details about it until their dying days. Many narrations about this highlight survive in the memoirs of people who have long since passed on. They make interesting reading and show how some traditions have remained while others have changed or been forgotten. The present article draws attention to some of these accounts from which comparisons can then be drawn. It is not a general survey, nor does it claim to purport that all weddings were celebrated as the ones described. Even so, many similarities can be found among the cases described. Also no attempt has been made to distinguish between Dutch and English Weddings and customs. Three references to weddings from the first decade of this century have been included. Though strictly speaking not Victorian, they were still celebrated in that style.

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