Wedding traditions with something old and new

Ann Mattimore and her late husband got married in St Columba's Church in Southwick on May 1, 1965, along with other wedding pictures taken over time.
Ann Mattimore and her late husband got married in St Columba's Church in Southwick on May 1, 1965, along with other wedding pictures taken over time.
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The latest exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens celebrates the tradition of tying the knot. Katy Wheeler finds out more.

A celebration and exploration of all things matrimonial will be on show until June at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.

Something Old, Something New provides an iwnsight into the many different customs and traditions that people from all cultures follow as they make their plans for a future together.

Wedding apparel from the past century will be the centre point of the display, as the exhibition features a selection of wedding dresses from the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums collections as well as photographs and memorabilia from weddings throughout the last 100 years.

One of those featured in the exhibition is Ann Mattimore and her late husband Bob who married in St Columba’s Church in Southwick on May 1 1965.

Ann, who was 26 at the time, has fond memories of being a bride.

“It was lovely weather which was as important for the guests as it was for the bride and bridesmaids,” she said. “We had our reception at the Masonic Temple on Burdon Road before we drove to London at about 3pm for our honeymoon. It was cup final day so it was chaos when we drove into the capital.”

Mum of two Ann, from Whitburn, added: “I went to see the exhibition on Saturday and I enjoyed it.

“One of the costumes which stood out for me is one of the male outfits which was either Persian or Indian, the detail and work which has gone into it is fantastic. Weddings can reveal so much about other cultures.

“Another interesting item were Pyrex dishes which had featured on a wedding list. They were from the time that Binns was bombed, these gifts had somehow managed to survive.”

Jo Cunningham, Manager of Sunderland Museums said: “I’m sure Something Old, Something New will be a very popular exhibition as the topic will resonate with so many people.

“Be it through marriage, co-habitation or civil partnership there is a rich history in this area of the many ways in which people show their commitment to each other.

“The many outfits, photographs and memorabilia in the exhibition will hopefully bring back many happy memories for our visitors.”

Themes explored include the planning for the big day, marriages within different religions, tradition and custom, family and love and romance.

The exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to think about some of the issues surrounding weddings and civil partnerships within Tyne and Wear, and encourage them to consider the role of marriage in society today.

Twitter: @sunechokaty