A new exhibition, Bridal Bliss, will fill Museum Milavida with joyous wedding celebration on the 31st of March.
The Bridal Bliss exhibition journeys into the history of wedding customs. What is an announcement stick? Why was the bridal crown made of myrtle and orange blossoms? How did the bride prepare for her wedding night? The exhibition’s many artifacts and photographs have all been compiled from the collections of Tampere’s historical museums.
The wedding day is often loaded with great expectations and emotions. Weddings need to be memorable and unique, often mixing traditions with a personal touch. The bride wishes to wear something new, something old, something borrowed, and something blue.
For a long time, marriage was a transaction between two families, and the church was not needed until 1734. The entire village and even distant relatives gathered to witness the deal. In recent decades, weddings have become a celebration of the love that the couple entering into marriage share, and marriage has become an agreement between the spouses.
In past centuries, marriage was a major milestone in a young woman’s life and even a turning point that raised her status in the community. The role of the wife was attractive, even if the groom wasn’t perfectly ideal.
As the wedding celebration’s queen, the bride’s dress has been afforded special attention. The bride’s dress has also been a symbol of a family’s wealth and status. Back in the 18th century, the color of the dress followed the trends of the time. The bride could be identified from the wedding party by her jewelry and crown.
The white wedding dress became standard during the 19th century and came to symbolize purity and innocence. A white veil, a myrtle crown and wax flower decorations were also added to the bride’s outfit. What is perceived as the traditional wedding look was completed in the 1860s, when the bride swapped her handkerchief for a bouquet.
The bride is, of course, the exhibition’s main character. Magnificent wedding dresses recount the stories of fashion and women. Voluminous crinoline dresses from the 19th century, short knee-length frocks from the 1920s, hourglass-shaped dresses inspired by Christian Dior’s 1950s collection New Look, and dresses from the 1970s proclaiming freedom are all displayed. The wedding dress doesn’t always have to be sparkling white either. A bride’s black, fervent red or variegated dress can easily be worn after the wedding celebration as well.
The Bridal Bliss exhibition opens at Museum Milavida on 31.3.2023.