Miss Lulah Elliott (1874-1963) was an extraordinary young lady living in the Victorian era. The second of five sisters whose father was a dairy farmer the in Tupelo, Mississippi area (NE Mississippi, about 100 miles from Memphis), Lulah was talented both artistically and academically. By the age of twenty (1894) she held dual degrees from the Huntsville Female College in English Literature and Art – in a time before the education of women was common, and approximately twenty five years before the 19th Amendment would grant women the right to vote.
Although she was offered a full scholarship to pursue a Master’s Degree in Art at New York University, Lulah made the choice to put away her paint brushes and all artistic aspirations in order to marry her sweetheart, Robert Gryder, and take on the honorable role of raising a family. Lulah and Robert were married in Tupelo at the First Methodist Church on January 5, 1898. She made her wedding dress, most likely with fabric purchased in St. Louis, as she and her sisters were known to hop the train from Tupelo to St Louis for shopping sprees (girls will be girls!) For most Brides in this day and time, the wedding dress was sturdily made to be worn over and over as a white dress was a bit unpractical for people of middle class status. But nevertheless, one can imagine how much love, joy, and hope for the future went into the creation of every hand sewn stitch!
I am in awe when I think about the fact that I am here because of this wedding dress! This lovely, hand sewn Victorian dress, first worn by my Great GrandMother at the age of 24, 125 years ago as she walked down the aisle, has charted the course of future generations: 4 children, 5 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, 24 great great grandchildren, and I don’t know how many great great greats!
Ladies: never underestimate the power of your dress; the dress lives on!
Model: Kelly Ann Mitchell
Photographer: Jacob Kepler Photography
If you are searching for the right fit, something unique, something that allows you to take part in the creation stage, then reach out! I’m here, waiting to brainstorm with you!