Wedding Dress

Shirley Walker of Clinton Park donated her grandmother’s wedding dress to the Kangaroo Valley Historical Society.

Wedding dress detail

The Dress

The wedding dress, worn at the first wedding in Fernhill Church Upper River, has been restored and is on display at the Pioneer Village Museum, Kangaroo Valley. The dress, made of plain and Jacquard silk, is in excellent condition and is hand and machine sewn and is a stunning example of the style of the 1880’s. The quality of the workmanship and detailing is exquisite. The very long bodice is fitted to the body with several darts, in the ”Princess Line” style popular in the era. The tailoring flows out into a cascading bustle at the back. Rows of precisely pleated fabric adorn the hem. This was a popular choice of embellishment following the development of new machinery specifically for the purpose. The dress features many other exquisite details that are best appreciated on close inspection.

The exquisite restoration and presentation of the wedding dress was done by Linda Rose-James our local pharmacist in Kangaroo Valley.

Fernhill Church

Fernhill Church, Upper Kangaroo River

The Wedding

The bride was Mary Jane Graham who married Edward Parrish at Fernhill Church, Upper Kangaroo River, on the 22nd February, 1882. The church site was donated by Mr William Brain. Edwin Parrish, father of the bridegroom, was the instigator for the building of the Fernhill Church which stands beside the river, whilst across it rise the mighty precipices, so typical throughout the Valley. In 1909 the Church was renovated by Victor Cooper at a cost of £17. The eldest son of the bride and groom, Albert Edward Parish M.M., of the first A.I.F., had the church had an ornamental Wunderlich ceiling put in, at his own expense, as a thanksgiving for his safe return in 1919 from the First World War.

The wedding dress is now on display at the Pioneer Museum at Kangaroo Valley. Come, make a visit to the Museum and see this exquisite wedding dress and see the other items on display from the pioneering era.