For Valentine's Day, The Historic Columbia Foundation's Hampton-Preston Mansion is hosting an exhibit on Wedding artifacts and customs. According to Fielding Freed, the Foundation's Director of Houses, the idea for the exhibit came from a curatorial assistant who found a wedding dress from the 1880s in the Museum collection. This dress, which belonged to Lelia Bernard Meredith, who married a relative of the Hamptons, along with several other items, comprises the wedding exhibit.
According to Freed, the white wedding dress as we know it comes from the Victorian era. In England, they date from the 1860s. Because of the Civil War, which caused a slowdown in areas of fashion, they did not become fashionable until the 1870s and 1880s. Prior to then, wedding dresses came in many colors. A blue dress dating from the 1860s is one of the items on display,
Freed also explained that wedding cakes first became evident around the 1820s. The cake on exhibit would be found in the 1860s.
There is also a display of other wedding artifacts such as invitations, shoes and other items as well as a small display of African- American wedding items.
The exhibit is part of the regular tour of the Hampton-Preston Mansion and will be on exhibit until March 3.
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