Aisle be there: Garvagh Museum invite the public to ‘The Big Day’

The white blouse from a 1910 wedding ensemble.
The white blouse from a 1910 wedding ensemble.

Some describe it as the most important day of their life.

And next month Garvagh Museum is set to stage ‘The Big Day’ a fascinating month-long exhibition of vintage wedding dresses and photographs which is sure to capture the imagination of the public.

A view of the Indian turquoise cloth used for the bride's gold jewellery as given by the groom's family.

A view of the Indian turquoise cloth used for the bride's gold jewellery as given by the groom's family.

The exhibition will largely cover styles throughout the entire 20th century right up to the 1980s.

“Some of the dresses come from a private collection and some others from local people who wanted to exhibit them,” explained Angela McMeekin, a member of the curating team responsible for the exhibition.

“The oldest dress is one from the early 20th Century that has come from a local lady just outside Garvagh.

“It’s a dark styled suit with black cape and she has also given us her mother’s blue satin wedding dress from 1935 for the exhibition.

Cards etc from a 1948 wedding. The box is covered in original wedding paper - it was the only paper kept and is American. The bride had a friend who married and moved over to live in California. This paper came from her gift. Possibly she was a GI bride.

Cards etc from a 1948 wedding. The box is covered in original wedding paper - it was the only paper kept and is American. The bride had a friend who married and moved over to live in California. This paper came from her gift. Possibly she was a GI bride.

“We should have around 40 to 50 wedding and bridesmaids dresses dating from the 1920s, 30s and Second World War years right up to the 1980s.”

Although there will be many ‘local’ dresses from bygone days, the exhibition will also have a multi-cultural, international feel with dresses and suits worn by different cultures, including a Japanese Kimono.

“We have a dress from Grand Rapids, Michegan, 1910 which came from a friend of two American ladies who visited here in the autumn.

“Their friend didn’t have children and they sent it over to us. It’s white cotton lawn dress with high neck collar, long sleeve blouse and matching white skirt.

A handmade wool and paper bridesmaid cake decoration from 1948.

A handmade wool and paper bridesmaid cake decoration from 1948.

“And we also have something from traditional Indian weddings - a beaded and decorated wedding top, skirt and shawl and a groom’s outfit, a long below the knee coat and trousers.

“There’s also a turquoise silk cloth that a bride would display the jewellery given to her by her prospective groom’s family.

“We actually have a pink wedding dress with pink veil dating from the 1950s and wedding cake decorations of a bride and groom and four bridesmaids which were made out of wool and crepe paper for a couple who were married in Wolverhampton.

The Museum put out a request to local people to send in their wedding photographs and these will also form a central part of ‘The Big Day.”

The exhibition will take place at Garvagh Museum, 142a Main Street from Saturday, May 7 to Saturday, June 4.

The museum is open Wednesdays 3pm to 8pm and Saturdays 11am to 4pm.

The mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Michelle Knight-McQuillan will officially open the exhibition on Frirday evening, May 6. For further information e mail info@garvaghmuseum.com or visit the museum website at www.garvaghmuseum.com