The Modern Bride-a Duke's Daughter and Her Crested Train-colour in the Bridal Robethe Court Train have written about the wedding dress of old, and have described the all-important toilette in its. Eastern as well as its European aspect. I have dwelt upon gowns chosen by queens and their subjects, and of those worn by peasants in long-past times. Dresses of the nineteenth century have rustled through the halls of memory, and now we come to the twentieth century bride and her predilections, which are many in one pretty way and another.
The beautiful wedding dress worn by Lady Violet Manners, daughter of the Duke of Rutland, on her marriage to the Honourable Hugo Charteris. The crest of her house and that of her husband were embroidered on the train, a sumptuous affair of Rold tissue, brocaded with white velvet. The dress itself was covered entirely with old lace
Photo, Emary great congregation. She delights in a grand wedding, to her credit be it said. Why should the proudest and most joyf ul hour of a lifetime be passed in an almost empty church, without the moral support of friendly faces around one, and the beauty of fair frocks, flowers, and music to symbolise the happiness of the occasion?
I think it is a very auspicious sign of the times that the brides-elect of this day take a keen interest in the arrangements made for their wedding day, and that each one succeeds in individualising her own by some carefully thought-out and o r ig i n a 1 scheme affecting, as a rule, her own dress or the costumes of her attendant maids.
To dismiss the subject of the wedding dress of the moment with the brief announcement that it was a white one is not to give an inkling of the various modes of diversification chosen by the modern bride. To take an example, there was the case of Lady Violet Manners, the second daughter of the Duke of Rutland, whose marriage was a great event of the month of February, 1911. Lady Violet had a beautiful dress, covered with old English lace and furnished with a sumptuous train of gold tissue, brocaded with white velvet. Just a few days before her wedding the young bride had a very happy thought. She decided to have the crest of her own illustrious house and that of her husband-to-be embroidered at the foot of the train, and sent a message to that effect to her dressmaker, with rough sketches of the peacock of the house of Rutland and the swan of the house of Wemyss for her guidance. The result was an historic toilette which was greatly admired.
The Duchess of Rutland and her daughters are in every way artistic, and it was therefore not surprising to find that the bridesmaids' toilettes were copies of a robe in Botticelli's picture, " Primavera." To compose them crepe -de - Chine was dyed a special shade of parchment white-called sometimes, very impolitely, " dirty " white-and the material was covered with an application of silken flowers, here a pink one, there a green one, in another place a red blossom, and so forth. The skirt was scalloped at the hem, to show a red velvet petticoat, and the bridesmaids wore tulle caps the exact colour of the background of the dress, edged with gold lace, with a bunch of red roses over each ear. Their shoes, also, were decorated with knots of the beautiful flowers.
An exquisitely beautiful dress was made for Miss Trefusis, the bride of Captain Edgar Brassey, of silver broche, with a huge pattern upon it. The gown was designed in the Renaissance manner, with the utmost simplicity of line, and in order that a rare piece of point -de - Venise lace, which is a family possession of the utmost value, might be exhibited to due advantage, an em-piecement of it was applied to the corsage, and the silver broche was cut away upon the shoulders, so that the lace could also there be displayed.
The bride who chose this wonderful toilette for her wedding garment elected to wear sleeves quite in keeping with the rest of the design. Moulding the arms closely, they fell over the hands in mittens, with thumb-slits. In this case no gloves were worn. A ghost visiting these scenes might well be excused if she fancied the bride a fourteenth century maid.
Every bride is a law unto herself, not only in this matter, but in that of arranging her veil, and though it was deemed in past times the prerogative of Royal brides to go unveiled to the altar, so that all the congregation might see that no mere proxy was present, but the real and expected bride, many girls in these days prefer not to cover the face, and follow the excellent fashion of queens and princesses of having their veils arranged over the hair instead of over the face.
Highly important is the moment that arrives for arranging the wedding veil, and an expert's judgment and skilful manipulation are needed to secure perfection of effect. Should a lace veil be worn, it is a good plan to decide upon throwing it back from the face, though if the bride be modestly desirous of covering her face, she may wear two veils, one of tulle to fall over her face, and the other of lace pendant at the back. It is more customary, however, at the present time to choose a tulle veil, hemmed with crystals or pearls, and to use the lace one upon the dress or Court train, making a drapery of it, or a little hanging mantle falling from the shoulders.
On her wedding day Lady Gort honoured her nationality by having her dress embroidered with shamrocks of pearls and crystal, the foliage of which was tied up with true-lovers' knots
Photo. Central News
Then comes the question of the wreath. Tiny brides rather like the effect of the tiara-shaped ornament composed of spikes of orange-blossom, white heather, and myrtle, which gives them height; but for the tall and stately bride, the all-round chaplet is a suitable and becoming resource. It is passed over the veil so that that drapery forms a kind of cap, and the bride looks like the subject of an old-world picture. In a few cases lately two wreaths have been used with due effect, one to show when the veil covers the face, and the other beneath it, to come into view when the veil is turned back in the vestry.
Those brides whose names are Violet, Margaret, Myrtle, Lily, or Ivy almost invariably represent their names by the bouquets they carry, or by the way in which their toilettes are embroidered. A Margaret who was married this spring wore beneath her wedding-dress a petticoat ruched and wreathed with marguerites made of chiffon and satin, and very specially asked her dressmaker to supply a couple of pale blue rosettes for the skirt, ce n t r e d with turquoises, in order that she might wear the "something blue" that is considered a lucky choice for a bride.
At a recent Irish wedding the dress worn by the bride, who was the present Lady Gort, was marked by the embroideries upon the wedding toilette which represented shamrocks in profusion, some tiny, some natural size. For their making, fine pearls and crystal tubes were used, and the foliage was tied up with huge true-lovers' knots. The pretty thought occurred to Miss Gould, the bride of Lord Decies, of decorating the house and church with English ivy, symbolical of the bridegroom's nationality, intertwined with Alabama smilax, to signify the
Miss Drexel on her marriage with Lord Maidstone wore a superb gown of white satin, draped with lace, with a Court train of gold brocade. The train has returned to favour with recent brides after a period of disuse Photo, Topical union of an English and American couple. We may fall short of our ancestors in many matters symbolical, but of sweet sentiment the weddings of the present day are not bereft.
It was a beautiful idea that occurred to a wealthy bride of wearing an absolutely plain white crepe-de-chine dress, the material for which, by the way, cost a very large sum a yard, and of girdling her waist with a garland of myrtle blossoms, the German marriage plant, a pot of which is given to a girl upon her confirmation, and carefully tended by her until in time to come she wears the leaves and flowers at her bridal.
In all cases where heirloom lace is a treasured possession, it is handed from bride to bride from one generation to another all round the family, to be worn on the marriage day, and in many instances the satin used for the dress is dyed the special shade of the lace, though in others a complete contrast is preferred.
One of the most successful wedding frocks that I can remember was worn by a recent bride who wished to appear in lace the colour of ancient parchment. It was felt that to use satin with it of the same colour would be to give the bride too dark a toilette, and therefore satin of the purest white was chosen, with the result that everybody pronounced the dress perfection. Many brides now wear Court trains, in order that they may be ready for their presentation.
The opportunity is afforded in such cases of choosing a train in direct contrast to the dress with which it is to be worn. Miss Drexel, whose marriage to Lord Maidstone was an event of 1910, looked supremely beautiful in a white satin dress draped with lace, and a Court train of gold brocade, splendidly radiant, and yet in keeping with the purity of the marriage robe.