In the social pages of both the Australian and New Zealand press the nuptials of many couples were reported. In addition to descriptions of the couples, the church, the service, reception, gifts and bridal wear, references were also often made to their immediate travels or honeymoon plans. On occasion, these plans included intended travel aboard the SS Wimmera.
John MacRae and Freda Roberts – August 1906
“A quiet wedding took place at All Saints’ Church, Woollahra, on August, 17, when Miss Freda Roberts, eldest daughter of Colonel and Mrs. Roberts, was married to Mr. John MacRae, of Masterton, New Zealand. The ceremony was performed-by the Rev. Wallace Mort, and owing to the absence of the bride’s parents, the bride was given away by her brother-in-law, Mr. Vincent Ryrie. She wore a gown of ivory satin, with her mother’s wedding veil, ‘arranged over a coronet of orange blossoms, and carried a shower bouquet of white flowers. . The four bridesmaids-Miss Ethel Downward, Miss Elsie Fraser, .Miss Nellie Clarke, and Miss Alice Southey-were dressed alike in white chiffon taffeta dresses, with tuscan hats trimmed with pink roses and forget-me-nots, and as gifts from the bridegroom each wore a gold pencil bracelet. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Ryrie held a reception at “Orielton,” Woollahra. When leaving for her honeymoon, Mrs. MacRae wore a beaver cloth dress and a rose coloured hat, with feathers to match. The following day, Mr. and Mrs. MacRae left for their home in New Zealand by the Wimmera, and were seen off by a number of relatives and friends.”
Australian Town and Country Journal, 22 August 1906, page 43
Thomas W. Thomson and Carrie Armstrong – April 1907
“A wedding of much local interest (says the Forbes Times) was celebrated at the Manse, Dobroid, Sydney, on Wednesday, 3rd inst, when Thomas W., second son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. J. Thomson of Forbes, was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Carrie, third daughter of Mrs. M. Armstrong, also of Forbes. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Dr. Mclnnis. The bride, who was given away by her brother, Mr. William Armstrong, looked charming in a frock of pale heliotrope with white felt hat, trimmed with white tulle and shaded heliotrope feathers. She was attended by Miss M. Armstrong (sister) and Miss Deane as bridesmaids, who were becomingly gowned. Mr. J. Thomson (brother of the bridegroom) acted as best man. The newly married couple left in the afternoon by the Wimmera for New Zealand, which will be their future home.”
The Grenfell Record and Lachlan District Advertiser, Saturday 13 April 1907, page 2
John Walker Hudson and Rebecca Mary Oxenham – July 1909
“At the residence of Mr S. W. Oxenham, the Rev. J. A. Lochore officiating, a pretty wedding took place to-day, when Rebecca Mary, eldest daughter of Mr S. W. Oxenham, was united in matrimony to John Walker Hudson, eldest son of Mr J. Hudson, of Yorkshire. The bride looked’ pretty in a cream taffeta voile, trimmed with silk and lace insertion, with the orthodox wreath and veil, and carrying a shower bouquet of snowdrops and ferns. She was given away by her father, and was attended by Miss Flo Ambridge as bridesmaid, who was prettily-attired in a pale blue crepe de chene dress, and she also carried a handsome bouquet of roses. The bridegroom was attended by Mr Reg. Qxenham. The bridegroom’s present to the bride was a gold cable bangle, and to the bridesmaid a gold brooch, whilst the bride’s gift to the bridegroom was a silver-mounted wallet. The happy couple leave by the Wimmera to-night for their future home in Blenheim. The bride’s travelling dress is a green cloth tailormade costume, and pale blue toque. Miss Wilkinson officiated at the organ, and played the wedding march. After the ceremony, afternoon tea was partaken of in a large marquee, erected on the lawn for the occasion.”
Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXVI, Issue 11913, 28 July 1909
John Smith and Beatrice Stanmore Tronson – July 1909
“A quiet but pretty wedding was solemnised at Holy Trinity Church at 2 p.m. to-day, the contracting parties being Mr John Smith, youngest son of Mr. Henry Smith, of Masterton, and Miss Beatrice Stanmore Tronson, fourth daughter of Mr Gerald Tronson, of Meanee, Hawke’s Bay. The Rev. H. Wyatt was the officiating clergyman. The bride, who was given away by her father, was becomingly attired in a cream taffeta dress, with beautiful Oriental lace trimmings, and wearing the customary veil and wreath of orange blossoms. She carried a pretty shower bouquet of maiden-hair fern and snowdrops. Miss L. Robson, the bridesmaid, wore a cream costume, with silk trimmings, and steel-blue “Merry Widow” hat, and also carried a bouquet of snowdrops and camellias. The bridegroom was attended by Mr J. Downes. A handsome greenstone brooch was the bridegroom’s gift to the bride, and her present to him was a gold pendant. The bridesmaid’s present was a neat work-box. After the ceremony the guests were entertained by Mr and Mrs G. A. Perry, West End. The happy couple leave by the Wimmera to-night for their future home at Masterton.”
Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXVI, Issue 11913, 28 July 1909
Kenneth David Webb and Ellen E. Tate – March 1910
“A quiet wedding was, solemnised at the residence of Mr Lewis Tate this afternoon, the contracting parties being Mrs Ellen E. Tate, widow of the late Denton Tate, and Mr Kenneth David Webb, of Petone. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. W. Grant. Mr and Mrs Webb leave by the Wimmera this evening for their future home at Wellington.”
Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXVII, Issue 12692, 9 March 1910
Herbert William Hugill and Nina May Fraser – June 1910
“On Monday last, at All Saints’ Church, a quiet and pretty wedding was celebrated, the contracting parties being Mr Herbert William Hugill, son of the late Mr D Hugill, of Auckland, New Zealand, and Miss Nina May, second eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs J C Fraser, of Carey-street, Tumut. The ceremony was performed by the Rev W D Kennedy. As the bride entered the church on the arm of her father, the choir (of which she was at one time a member) sang the hymn, ‘ The voice that breathed o’er Eden.’ The bride was daintly dressed in a frock of Swiss muslin over white glace silk, wore the customary wreath and veil, and carried a white ivory prayer book (the gift of her mother). Miss Millie Fraser (sister of the bride) acted as bridesmaid, and was prettily gowned in a dress of pale blue silk voile, and wore a white felt hat trimmed with violets. During the ceremony the choir sang The Deus, and as the happy couple were leaving the church Miss Kennedy (organist) played Mendelssohn’s ‘Wedding March.’ After receiving the congratulations of the numerous friends assembled on the happy occasion, amid showers of confetti, the bridal party adjourned to the residence of the bride’s parents where the wedding breakfast was served, and in the afternoon the happily united ones left by train for Sydney, whence they sailed by the Wimmera on Wednesday last for Auckland, New Zealand, where they intend to reside. Both Mr and Mrs Hugill, during their short sojourn here, made many friends, and we, with them, join in wishing them a happy and prosperous future.”
Adelong and Tumut Express and Tumbarumba Post, Friday 24 June 1910, page 2
Charles Aufrere Julius Fenwick and Iris Gwendolyn Maclean – June 1911
“A fashionable wedding took place at Holy Trinity Church this afternoon, when Miss Iris Gwendolyn Maclean, youngest daughter of Mrs Geoffrey Maclean, was united in the holy bonds of matrimony to Mr Charles Aufrere Julius Fenwick, eldest son of the late Mr L. G. Fenwick, of Waitati, Dunedin. Bleak weather prevailed. The ceremony, which was witnessed by a large congregation, was performed by the Rev. L. Dawson Thomas. The church was beautifully decorated for the occasion by the girl friends of the bride. Mr E. N. Sidebottom presided at the organ.
The bride, who was given away by her brother-in-law, Mr F. B. Barker, was attired in a handsome gown of white duchesse mousseline satin. The corsage and tunic were composed of exquisite Brussels point De Gaze lace, edged with pearl fringes and caught with plaited girdle and pearl tassels.
The court train, which was suspended from the shoulders, was held in place by ropes of pearls, the corners being embroidered with large raised sprays of Iris lilies (the bride’s flower name) in silver tissue and true lovers’ knots of pearls. The veil was draped from a Juliet cap of pearls, and was worn in the new cap effect. It was also embroidered in er name flower. The bride wore a beautiful amethyst and pearl necklace, the gift of bridegroom, and carried a pretty shower bouquet.
The bridesmaids were Miss Vierre Symes, Miss Cathie Cook (of Christchurch), and Miss Daisy Bennett. They wore becoming dresses of pale shell pink satin charmeuse, veiled with pink ninon de soie over bands of handsome crystal and silver trimming. The tunics, opening at the left side, were edged with crystal fringes, also with rouleaux of the satin, the same being on the corsages, finished with girdles of silver. They wore large picture hats of grey velvet, lined with pale pink satin and finished with pink plumes and carbonchons of silver ; also very handsome gold cable bangles, the bridegroom’s gift, and carried pretty white and pink bouquets.
There were two little maids, Miss Audrey Barker and Miss Jocelyn Barker, who were prettily dressed in long picture frocks of pink charmeuse satin; collars of tucked white chiffon, edged with real pint lace, which also finished the sleeves; silver girdle with tassels, silver shoes, Dutch bonnets of real satin, covered with point lace, and carrying pink satin muffs. They also wore pearl brooches, the bridegroom’s gift.
Mrs Maclean, the bride’s mother, wore a grey chiffon velvet dress, with a a cross over the bodice ; vest and sleeves of cream lace, trimmed with grey cord, and a handsome steel grey girdle, vieux rose scarf, trimmed with steel beading, a becoming toque of grey velvet, trimmed with large vieux rose plumes.
Mrs F. B. Barker, sister of the bride, wore a grey charmeuse trained gown, bodice and tunic of grey and black striped ninon ; sleeves of silver nett, and waist caught with silver girdle ; grey velvet hat lined with pink satin and trimmed with pink and grey feathers.
Mrs Fred. Parker, (cousin of the bride) wore a black velvet coat and skirt, white lace scarf, and black toque.
Mrs R. H. Stevenson (of Auckland) wore a black silk coat and skirt, black lace scarf, and velvet toque.
Mr A.G. Fenwick, of Waitati, Dunedin, attended his brother as best man, and Mr Hugh B. Williams and Mr Robert Maclean, of Napier (brother of the bride) were groomsmen.
After the. ceremony, the bride and bridegroom repaired to “Te Hapara,” the residence of Mr F. B. Barker, in a carriage drawn by Mr J. R. Redstone’s fine greys, and they were followed subsequently by a large concourse of guests, who were entertained by Mr and Mrs F. B. Barker. The spacious billiard room was the scene of the wedding breakfast, ,and the sumptuous repast was partaken of by the large company amidst great merriment and felicitous speeches. The room was nicely decorated with white jonquils, snowdrops, and camelias, and streamers of white satin ribbon. Occupying a prominent position on the table, and mounted on a silver pedestal, was a beautiful three tier cake, whilst suspended over the centre of the table, was wedding ball of white satin.
During the afternoon Messrs Vita Brothers dispensed delightful music. The very large number of beautiful and costly presents was an evidence of the popularity of the young couple. Gifts came from all parts of the Dominion and from Home. The presents were laid out in the ballroom, and were much admired, the inspection of them forming quite an important part of the proceedings. A ball is to be held to-night at Mr F. B. Barkers residence, Messrs Vita Brothers supplying the music.
Amongst the guest were the following from Hawke’s Bay: Mr and Mrs and Miss Nat. Kettle, Mrs Morris Mason, Mr and Mrs Henry Tiffen, and Misses Humphreys (2).
The happy couple leave by the s.s. Wimmera to-night, and join the s.s. Maheno at Wellington for Australia. They return to Christchurch for the Grand National race meeting, and afterwards go to Dunedin on a brief visit to Mr Fenwick’s relatives, and then return to Gisborne, where their future home will be located.
The bride’s travelling dress is of mulle velvet, trimmed with Oriental gold tissue, neck and sleeves of Paris net, and edged with velvet cord ; girdle of mulle cord and gold tassels ; large mulle velvet hat piped with saxe blue velvet, turned up off the face, and finished in silver carbonchons and saxe blue plumes.”
Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 12492, 28 June 1911
Fredice Claude Flyger and Mary Louisa Price – April 1912
“A wedding was celebrated at St. Andrew’s church, Summer Hill, on Easter Monday, when Miss Mary Louisa Price, daughter of Mrs. E. L. Price, and the late Mr. Alfred Henry Price, Summer Hill, was married to Mr. Fredice Claude Flyger, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Flyger, of Auckland, New Zealand. The church was tastefully decorated by the choir, of which the bride was a member, and the service was choral. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Canon Vaughan, assested by the Rev. K. Robinson. The bride was given away by her brother, Mr. Alfred Henry Price, and wore ivory ?silk? ninon over white silk, trimmed with Irish lace and pearls. The veil was lent by the bride’s sister, Mrs. John Cook, and was arranged over a coronet of orange blossom. She carried a shower bouquet of white chrysanthemums and roses, and wore a gold ruby bracelet, the gift of the bridegroom. The bridesmaid, Miss Maude Price (sister of the bride), wore ivory silk crepe. Her bouquet of pink chrysanthemums and gold bracelet were the gifts of the bridegroom. Mr. Ernest Webb was best man. After the ceremony a reception was held in the Masonic Hall, Smith-street, about 50 guests being present. Later Mr. and Mrs. Flyger left for the mountains, and sailed for New Zealand by the Wimmera on the 24th inst.“
The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 27 April 1912, page 12
Frederick Clarence Kendall and Florence Mabel Adams – February 1914
“A wedding was celebrated at St. Andrew’s Cathedral on February 24, when Florence Mabel Adams, fourth daughter of the late Mr. Robert Henry Adams, and Mrs. Adams, of Chatswood, was married to Frederick Clarence Kendall, eldest son of the late Henry Kendall (poet) and Mrs. Kendall, of Sydney.
The cathedral was decorated with white flowers and palms, and Mr. Massey, the cathedral organist, presided at the organ. The ceremony was solemnised by the Rev. A. G. Stoddart, of Manly, assisted by the Rev. W. S. Howe, of Chatswood. The bride, who was given away by Mr. G. T. Cross, of Killara, wore a gown of ivory duchesse satin, draped with rose point lace and ninon, the court-train being trimmed with handmade water lilies and orange blossoms. Her hand-embroidered veil was arranged over a wreath of orange blossoms, and she carried a shower bouquet of water lilies and roses. The Misses Ada Adams (sister of the bride) and Evelyn Kendall (sister of the bridegroom) acted as bridesmaids. They wore frocks of ivory crepe de Chine, with pale pink hats, veiled in tulle, and carried shower bouquets of pale pink roses, which with pearl and tourmaline pendants, were the gifts of the bridegroom. Messrs. J. H. Wearne and Bevan W. Neave were best man and groomsman respectively; and Messrs. Charles Robinson and Stanley Cross acted as ushers. After the ceremony the bride’s mother held a reception at Baumann’s Cafe, where she entertained about 100 guests. The hostess wore a gown of black crepe de Chine, finished with point d’Alencon lace and a black bonnet, ornamented with a lancer feather, and a posy of shaded mauve flowers. The bridegroom’s mother wore black charmeuse and a turquoise tinted bonnet. Mr. and Mrs. Kendall left by the Wimmera for Hobart. The bride’s travelling dress was of Persian blue crepe de Chine, and a velvet hat, finished with a long white plume.”
“SOCIAL.” The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954) 14 March 1914: 6.
Web. 26 Oct 2019 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15469134>.
Of course, serving officers and crew members of the SS Wimmera were also identified as being married during their period of service aboard the ship, eg:
Robert Darroch and Frances Anne Thomson – February 1905
A very pretty wedding was celebrated at “Otterburn,” Elwood, the residence of the bride’s parents, on Saturday February 18th, between Mr R. Darroch, 3rd officer of S.S. Wimmera, and youngest son of the late Mr J. Darroch, and stepson of Captain Neil Darroch, of Scotland; and Frances Anne, eldest daughter of Mr J. M. Thomson, of Elwood, and eldest grandchild of the late Thomas Baldock, Esq., ironmonger, of Geelong. The ceremony was performed at 7 o’clock, the officiating clergyman was Rev. F. Clemens (Richmond.) The verandah, where the ceremony was performed was artistically decorated with flags, evergreens and flowers, a white bell being suspended in the centre. As the wedding party took their places, “The Voice that breathed o’er Eden,” was well sung by Misses Simpson, Abbot, Nicol and Messrs Abbot and Thompson (pastor) and members of Crimea Street Baptist Choir, to which the bride formerly belonged, Miss Simpson presiding at the Piano. The bride was given away by her father, and was tastefully gowned in ivory silk, pretti!y trimmed with lace and chiffon ruchings, the bodice having lace yoke over which a bertha of line silk and lace was draped, and sprays of orange blossom were entwined, veil and wreath were also worn (the silk and lace bertha was a gift from Scotland), a New Zealand greenstone brooch and pendant were also worn (the gift of the bridegroom) ; she carried a shower bouquet of tuberoses, heath, carnations. and maiden hair fern, with white satin streamers. The bridesmaids were the Misses Eva and Beatrice Thomson (sisters of the bride), and Miss Lily Batten, and were tastefully dressed in cream voile and silk costumes, trimmed with point lace and chiffon, and carried posies of red dahlias and autumn leaves, with ribbon streamers of navy and blue (the steamer’s colors), and wore New Zealand greenstone brooches, the gift of the bridegroom. The best man was Mr F. Chambers, of S.S. Wimmera, and the groomsmen were Messrs A. Thomson and E. Nicol. As the register was being signed, the wedding march (“Hail to the Bride”) was played by Miss Simpson. After the ceremony a reception was held in the drawing-room, followed by a wedding tea, about 70 guests being present. The toasts included bride and bridegroom, bridesmaids, bride’s parents, bridegroom’s parents, absent friends and relations. Mr W. Taylor made an efficient M.C. The youngest guest present was Miss Phyllis Legge, 3 week old neice [sic] of the bride. The honeymoon was spent at Croydon. The wedding cake was the gift of Mr and Mrs. Fred. Herbert, and was most appropriately ornamented with ships, life buoys, anchor, lighthouse, ropes and spars, and was a most beautiful work of art, as Mr Herbert spent much time and labor to make it perfection. The flowers were from the nursery of Mr Smith, of Riddles Creek, and were a gift. The bride’s bouquet was the work of Miss Nicol, florist, St. Kilda. The bridesmaid’s posies were the work of Miss R. Taylor. The following is a list of the presents —
Bridegroom to bride, New Zealand greenstone brooch and pendant ; bride to bridegroom, gold (Albert) chain ; bride’s parents, household goods ; bridegroom’s parents (Scotland), table linen and dressing case ; Mr and Mrs Robertson (bridegrooms sister, ScotIand), handsome tortoise-shell brush ; Misses Eva and Beatrice Thomson (sisters of bride) trinket set and fancy work ; Mr and Mrs Legge (sister of bride ) set of hall brushes ; Mr Arthur Thomson (brother of bride), ebony cathedral gold mounted clock ; Miss Lily Batten, cookery book ; Mr and Mrs E. Baldock, Hawthorn, and Masters Don and Lionel, a silver cake dish ; Mr and Mrs A. Baldock, Geelong, carpet arm chair ; Masters R. and L. and Miss V. Baldock, carpet door mats ; Employees of Mr W. Taylor and fellow workers of the bride, silver desert knives, forks, and spoons ; officers, engineers, purser and steward of S.S. Wimmera, silver desert knives, forks and serviette rings ; Mr W. Taylor, silver and cut glass breakfast cruet ; Mrs W. Taylor, silver teapot ; Misses Elsie and Olive Taylor, silver jam dish ; Miss R. Taylor, toilet candlesticks and fancy work ; Mr and Mrs E. C. Nicol, green and gold dinner set ; Miss Nicol, electra bread fork ; Mr E. Nicol, junr , set of carvers ; Mr R. W. Thompson (pastor of Crimea street Baptist Church) a beautiful Bible ; Mr and Mrs McKinnon, jardiniere and vases ; Miss S. Barclay, ornamental vases ; Mrs Ednie, silver bread fork ; Mr and Mrs O’Halloran, Japanese tea set and sugar bowl; Mr and Mrs Stewart, electra biscuit barrel ; Misses Lloyd and Eastman, electra jam dish; Mr and Mrs Garner, electra biscuit barrel; Mr. D. Fog, set of carvers ; Miss Legge, electra bread fork; Miss M. Legge, pearl handle butter knives ; Miss E. Legge, oak tray; Miss L. Bryan, glove and handkerchief studded turquoise boxes ; Mrs and Miss McVicars, pair of jug vases; Mr and Mrs Batten, table and dessert knives and forks ; Miss Webster, pair ruby cameo vases ; Misses Worcester, pair handsome Japanese vases ; Mr A R. Brown, silver tea-pot; Mrs Knapp. black satin handwork bag; Misses Simpson, cane chair and cushion ; Miss Peddle ruby sugar bowl; Miss Marshall, electra jam spoon ; Mrs Fenelon, electra fruit dish ; Miss Maggie Fenelon, set handsome jugs ; Miss E. Andrews, cut glass dishes ; Mr S. Darnley, fruit dish; Mr and Miss Abbott, amber salad bowl ; Miss G. Whybrow, fancy work; Miss S. Atkins, fancy work ; Misses Kendall and Foster, linen table cloth.
Prahran Chronicle, Saturday 11 March 1905, page 2
Ernest Curtis and Ethel Maude Bourke – April 1914
The marriage of Mr. Ernest Curtis, Hobart, second officer of the S. S. Wimmera, and Miss Ethel Maud Bourke, daughter of Mrs. John Bourke, of Wellington, was celebrated in St. Stephen’s Church, Newtown, Sydney, on the 28th April. The bride who was given away by Mr. L. Newman, was atired in ceram satin, with overall dress of cream point lace, and wore the usual veil and coronet of Orange blossoms. Miss Mabel Bourke, sister of the bride, was the bridesmaid, and her dress was of white lace and emerald green trimmings, hat to match. The bridegroom’s gift to the bridesmaid, was a gold cable bracelet. A very large number of presents was received by Mr. and Mrs. Curtis.
“WEDDING” Wellington Times (NSW : 1899 – 1954) 14 May 1914: 4.
Web. 26 Oct 2019 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141317104>.
NB: Ernest Curtis was in fact the 2nd Steward not the 2nd Officer aboard the Wimmera when she arrived from Hobart two days prior to his wedding. The Wimmera departed Sydney again on Saturday 2 May 1914 and arrived Hobart on Monday 4 May.
© Ralph L. Sanderson 2004-2021