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Gwen's Wedding Dress

Wedding of Cyril Albany Braund and Gwendoline Catherine Smith

The Wedding of Cyril Albany Braund and Gwendoline Catherine Smith 1947

My parents got married in 1947, when clothing was still on ration. A certain amount of ingenuity was required to create her wedding dress, which she made herself. It is made from parachute silk and there are tiny sprays of blue flowers embroidered on it, with sequins and tiny beads as additional decoration, each one painstakingly sewn on by hand. Each spray of flowers is slightly different.

 

The silk is very fine and there must have been some kind of underskirt, which hasn’t survived, nor has the veil. The bouquet was made up of deep red roses, I believe they were the variety Josephine Bruce, which was my father’s favourite, perhaps because of the association with the bouquet. This variety of rose grew round an archway in our garden at Firsby Avenue, my childhood home. On the wedding day, mum cut her hand on the wire that was holding the bouquet together. You can still see the blood stains on the dress. I did very carefully wash the dress to see if it would remove the stains but they remain and perhaps that is how it should be, as a reminder of the occasion.

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