A Wedding Party

Not everyone had a wedding portrait made. In my experience, it was even less common for a wedding portrait to include the wedding attendants or witnesses. However, when Henry Joseph Adam and Melanie Veronica Lutz married on 24 October 1905, they posed for a formal photograph with four attendants.


Henry and Melanie (Lutz) Adam wedding photograph, 1905, Sioux City, Iowa; digital image 2010, privately held by Melanie Frick, 2013.

Melanie, the bride, appears to wear her brown hair loose behind her shoulders, unless this is an illusion created by a shadow. The dark material of her dress, featuring a pleated bodice and v-neck, contrasts with a high white collar. A decorative watch is pinned at her bodice, and a small brooch is at her throat. To the right, her attendant, Permelia Adam, wears a white pleated bodice with full sleeves and a large bow off-center at the collar. Blanche Adam also wears a white bodice, although it features decorative buttons and lace detail. An elegant string of pearls rests at her throat, above the high collar. Like Permelia, Blanche wears a large bow in her hair.

Henry, the groom, wears a dark suit with a crisp white collar and white bow tie. His suit fastens higher than those of his attendants; Theodore Adam wears a polka dot tie, and Herman Adam sports a vest and bow tie. The men have all combed their dark hair with side parts and fashionable waves.

Carnations were apparently in vogue in 1905, or perhaps they were a favorite of the bride. Melanie wears two long-stemmed white carnations, facing downward, pinned to her bodice. Henry wears one as well, although the stem is hidden by his lapel. Although Permelia seems to wear a carnation, the stem is so long that the blossom itself cannot be seen, and the male attendants wear darker flowers that are indistinct against their suits. Only Blanche goes without a flower.

The Adam-Lutz wedding was held at St. Jean the Baptiste Catholic Church in Sioux City, Woodbury, Iowa on a Tuesday morning. Forty guests attended, the majority of whom were relatives.1 As Melanie had no family in the area, it is understandable that only her husband’s relations would have made up their wedding party; Permelia and Theodore were Henry’s brother and sister, while Blanche and Herman were his cousins. After the ceremony, an informal wedding breakfast was served at the home of Henry’s parents, which was decorated, unsurprisingly, with flowers.2

1“Adam-Lutze,” Sioux City (Iowa) Tribune, 28 October 1905.
2“Adam-Lutze,” Sioux City (Iowa) Tribune, 28 October 1905.

5 thoughts on “A Wedding Party

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