Queensland Museum - Christie Nicolaides - Stepehn Sourris

Aisle of change: Embrace our rich wedding history with the Queensland Museum

Stories // Venues // by QB

Featured image: Christie Nicolaides and Stephen Sourris were married at the Greek Orthodox Church of St George in South Brisbane. They are pictured here on the day of their wedding at the Queensland Art Gallery. Image courtesy: Christie Nicolaides

I Do! Wedding Stories from Queensland is a showcase of the customs, fashion and social influences that have shaped the weddings of Queensland for the past 180 years. From fierce and fabulous women who flouted tradition and set new benchmarks for today’s brides, to the garments and accessories that help tell the story of love through the ages, this fascinating exhibition celebrates the life-changing moment of marriage and the evolution of modern Queensland wedding style. 

Drawing from Queensland Museum’s collection of historical wedding outfits, alongside contemporary examples borrowed from local fashion icons, it’s a fascinating and inspiring look into how wedding trends have changed over the years. 

After setting the benchmark for women as the State Library of Queensland’s first science librarian, Janet Hogan continued to smash stereotypes by marrying divorcé, Major Austin John Hogan, in a mini dress no less! She was also the first married female public servant in Queensland. Image courtesy: Queensland Museum

Take a walk down the aisle through the ages and see how men and women’s wedding fashion has reflected Queensland’s changing cultural, economic and social settings. From the oldest wedding dress in the exhibition – an 1840s Quaker gown – to Far North Queensland Aboriginal artist and designer Simone Arnol’s exploration of the impact of colonisation of First Nations people, and the matching outfits of one of Queensland’s first same-sex marriages, it offers a revealing look at Australian culture. 

There’s a celebration of the revolutionary style of the ’60s era, with an array of outfits from a fabulous group of women who all bucked tradition and (scandalously, at the time) wore miniskirts, culottes and suits to their nuptials. I Do! Wedding Stories from Queensland also showcases the wedding outfits of modern-day style muses who have embraced contemporary bridal attire, including activewear guru Lorna Jane Clarkson, Urban List founder Susannah George and Brisbane style icon Leanne Zimmermann. You’ll see exquisite bridal fashion worn by well-known jewellery designer Christie Nicolaides.  Shunning convention, Christie chose to follow earlier Greek bridal tradition, preferring a striking gown by Italian design house Dolce & Gabbana that was also more in keeping with her own personal fashion style.

 Complementing the collection of garments and formal wear will be a range of accessories, photographs and letters that reveal the stories and traditions behind the outfits, and highlighting the social, economic and political changes in Australian society.

 I Do! Wedding Stories from Queensland is located on Level 2 Queensland Museum and opens on 18 September 2020, running until 21 February 2021. Tickets are $10 (adults) and $8 (concession). Bookings are essential. qm.qld.gov.au/ido