South East weddings over the years

With interest in the up and coming Royal wedding this month Beagle readers may be interested to learn of weddings that have taken place in our area over the years.

The Moruya & District Historical Society has just produced a new booklet entitled “Wedding Fashions, Local Moruya Couples” by Shirley Jurmann. The booklet includes descriptions of the dresses worn and photographs where they are available. Also included in the centre of the booklet are unidentified wedding photographs in the Historical Society’s collection.

Click above for Larger image

Above: (L) Roly Louttit and Marie Henry's wedding 1938 which features on the cover of the booklet and 2 of the MDHS unidentified photographs.

The earliest wedding details the Society has are from 1859. This wedding lacks a description of what was worn by the bride but does give us an idea of attitudes of the time. James McCauley of Currawang, Clyde River married Margaret Heffernan of Muckenderra (Moggendoura). At the close of this ceremony the reverend celebrant congratulated the couple and then lectured them about the dangers and struggles of the world they were now entering and how they should lead a virtuous life as taught to them by their parents. The party then returned to Muckenderra to the home of the bride’s father, had a sumptuous meal and partied on until dawn.

In 1903 when Laura Dunne married Hugh McKenzie-Haig at the Sacred Heart Church in Moruya she wore “a handsome gown of soft cream silk, with deep shirred flounce, train pin-tucked, bodice with transparent yoke of tucked chiffon, elbow sleeve frills of chiffon, finished with lace and orange blossoms, a long tulle silk embroidered veil, coronet and trails of orange blossoms. A pretty effect was made by the veil being looped through the engagement ring.”

Along with the description of the wedding, the presents given were often also reported in the Moruya Examiner of the time. In 1899 Alex Livingstone, master cheese maker at Kiora, married Ada Trapp, along with the usual weddings gifts they also got a pair of fowls, two ostrich feathers, a pair of brackets, a water bottle and darning wool and buttons. (Shirley comments this last was probably from the groom’s mother.)

For wedding items in the Museum collection go to: and enter the term wedding in the search box.

A full listing of the Moruya & District Historical Society publications can be found at

Article by Wendy Simes - Librarian Moruya & District Historical Society

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