It seems that some of the most defining moments of our lives are dictated by tradition. Important events, like marriage, are often conducted through an endless list of customs people feel compelled to do, regardless if they know why. However, Fife History Museum’s newest exhibit, “Wedding of the Decades,” allows visitors to find the source of these traditions, and how they have evolved today. In conjunction to this exhibit is a mini exhibit called “Love and War,” which addresses couples being separated during WWII and not being able to tell their loved ones where they were or what they were doing due to censorship procedures they had to follow.
Opened on Feb. 2, this large exhibit is located in the former home of Louis Dacca, a member of the original Fife City Council. This farmland is now the site of Dacca Park, and the home has been renovated to serve as the history museum, where the exhibits change on a regular basis.
Every exhibit features legitimate wedding dresses dating from the years 1890 to 2000. In addition to the dresses, each exhibit is partnered with the various pieces of that time period to paint a picture of the time period.
The idea for the exhibit was sparked by a few wedding dresses that were from a previous collection at the exhibit. “I thought it would be an excellent idea to show the decades, show the evolving tradition of not only the wedding dresses over the decades but also the characteristics of the time periods they were in. It was something different,” said Jocelyn Goldschmidt, managing director of the museum. “It was fun researching and now being able to display the origins of traditions we are now kind of blasé about nowadays.”
Currently in the exhibit, which will be up for an estimated time of about a year, there are 21 donated dresses. Paired with pictures of the original owner, rare artifacts from the era and an informative exhibit panel, the observer will have a vivid experience. From the difference in materials, the necklines, and even the color of the dresses, the values and traditions of the time period can be ascertained. The dresses range from a handmade garment made from a parachute during WWII to a traditional Japanese kimono.
Each dress has its own amazing story. Some dresses were made custom for the occasion, like a handmade veil made purely from beeswax, while other dresses reflect the struggles and circumstances of the era in which they were made.
In addition to the exhibits, which will be up for approximately a year, Fife History Museum will sponsor an opportunity to experience the wedding dresses on a whole different level. The Goodwill Golden Oldies Vintage Wedding Dress Fashion Show, an opportunity to touch and see more unique and rare wedding dresses from throughout the ages in a fun setting, will be on April 25 at 1 pm. Details will be forthcoming.