Historic wedding videos available for free on BFI Player

By Rosemary Collins, 1 May 2018 - 1:19pm

The collection dates from 1911 to 1986 and includes four royal weddings


A range of home videos and documentaries are streaming on BFI Player

British weddings from a range of time periods and social backgrounds are being celebrated in a new free online collection from the British Film Institute (BFI), launched today ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on 19 May.

Wedding Bells records the weddings of British couples from Sir Edward Stafford Howard and Lady Catherine Meriel Cowell Stepney in Llanelli in 1911 to Rowland Davies and Bethan Williams in the village of Y FFor in 1986.

The collection includes home videos, professionally commissioned films on 16mm and 35mm, cinema newsreels, current affairs magazine programmes and even an independently produced wedding-themed feature drama, The Best Man, from Northern Ireland in 1986.

The films were digitised and released on the BFI Player as part of the National Lottery-funded Britain on Film project.

They include the weddings of two future monarchs - Prince Albert (later King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923, and their daughter Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten in 1947.

They also span across the social classes, capturing the changing fashions and social mores of different eras.

Among the most unusual weddings captured on Wedding Bells are the 1915 marriage of Violet Asquith, the daughter of the Prime Minister, to his personal secretary Maurice Bonham Carter; a mass wedding of five wartime couples in Cardiff in 1940; and a 1977 wedding where the bride enters on a tractor.

The collection also includes Jewish, Islamic and Sikh ceremonies, a wedding of Nigerian students in 1964 and even a Cornish-language wedding ceremony.

The films come from the East Anglian Film Archive, London Screen Archives, Media Archive for Central England, National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, North East Film Archive, North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University, Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive, South West Film and Television Archive, Yorkshire Film Archive and the Wessex Film and Sound Archive.

 

Genealogy news roundup: Fife Family History Society releases Kalendar of Convicts
previous news Article
What are the risks of using DNA websites in criminal investigations?
next news Article
Genealogy news roundup: Fife Family History Society releases Kalendar of Convicts
previous news Article
What are the risks of using DNA websites in criminal investigations?
next news Article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here