Monthly Archives: September 2011

Buttons and Bows

Some wedding dresses have millions of buttons.  Some have zippers.  Some have zippers and buttons.  The new thing is the bow or the corset type dress.  It ties in the back.  In our business, a Bridal Portrait is known as the “documentation of a costume.” 

I remember when bridal gowns first became strapless.  Everybody thought they looked like prom dresses!  Some bridal gowns have buttons so that you can tie up the back of the dress during the dancing.  Some gowns have buttons so you can remove the train entirely.  Some brides even change their dresses half way through the reception. 


Weddings performed many years ago were often more than just a union between two people. They could be a union between two families, two businesses or even two countries.  Many weddings were more a matter of politics than love, particularly among the nobility and the higher social classes.  Brides were therefore expected to dress in a manner that cast their families in the most favorable light, for they were not representing only themselves during the ceremony.  Brides from wealthy families often wore rich colors and exclusive fabrics.  It was common to see brides wearing bold colors and layers of furs, velvet and silk.  Brides today are beginning to wear colored dresses instead of white.

Ever wonder why men’s suit coats have non-functioning buttons sewn on the sleeves?  Maybe it’s because King Frederick of Prussia in the 18th Century ordered that buttons be sewn on the sleeves of his troops’ coats to discourage them from wiping their noses on them!

Today, there are wedding dresses available in every price range.  Traditions have loosened up to include a rainbow of colors and variety of lengths, which are now considered acceptable.  Women may purchase ready-made gowns, wear a family heirloom, or they may choose to have a dreammaker create one for style and orders one to be made to fit.

This is my own mother’s bridal portrait made at home on N. St. Mary’s St. in 1935.  She was 18 years old.  I was born when Mom was 20.  Brides were much younger then!



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Is my bag big enough?

What’s the deal with women’s purses?  I don’t get it.  They are sometimes bigger than my camera bag.  It seems as though these purses are getting bigger every day.  I expect to see them being pulled around on wheels pretty soon!

So far I have never seen brides and bridesmaids carry purses.  Maybe brides will carry purses with flowers in them.  They can be like the little children and throw out petals  as they go down the aisle.

I understand that a lady is supposed to carry a “bag” that matches what she is wearing.  I also understand that this “bag” is supposed to be a different size for each time of the day or night…..and a different color!  Some “tacky” women carry the same “bag” all the time.  Maybe that is because they haven’t read the rules!

I’m glad that men are not faced with that challenge.  Except in Europe where men do carry purses, oh excuse me, I mean “Man Bags!”  Come to think of it, a physical trainer told me that I should not put a wallet in my rear pocket because it would affect the way I sit…..and hurt my back.  My wallet doesn’t have enough money in it to bother my back!

Getting back to a woman’s purse.  I see small ones and huge ones.  The large ones must be heavy.  What in the world is in there?  A guy once said that if he had one that large he could live out of it for weeks!






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Who are you?

We all have a name that we should be proud of….some of us even have a “nickname.”  Most of us have a First name, Middle name and Last name.  Some of us are a “Junior” or “III” or “IV.”  We are all very proud of our names.

In any case, when we meet someone we should say our First and Last names.  I say this because I hear people at weddings when they are introducing each other.  They way, “This is Bob.”  Or, “I’m Nancy” and “This is Fred.”   Shouldn’t they say their First Name and Last name?  I guess that doesn’t count if you are Cher or Tonto.

I was photographing a wedding where twins were being married a few years ago.  It was a Catholic wedding and it was very formal.  The priest had a hard time remembering names so he had each name printed on masking tape and pasted them on the backs of each kneeler.  As a joke, the groomsmen switched the names all around right before the ceremony was about to begin.

Well, you guessed it!  The event began and the brides and the grooms were kneeling in their places after being given away by their fathers.  The priest started conducting the ceremony.  The only problem was that he called each of them by the wrong name.  At first, the couples started looking at each other funny.  Then they started shaking their heads.  The Priest didn’t understand what was happening.  When the priest said the wrong names they all used their correct names.  All I can say is, “You had to be there!”  It was funny!

If you are with someone at a party and a person walks up, introduce that person to your friend.  Or, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t remember your name.” 

I hope we never have to wear name tags!  By the way, if you’re over 40 and you have to wear a name tag your career is in trouble!

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