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Picturing the family
Picturing the family

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5.6.3 Honeymoons

A photograph of a couple on their honeymoon
Image 65 Photographer/Painter: Alfred Pettit, Keswick. Subject: Ben Naylor and his new wife Carrie, née Birchall, on their honeymooon in the Lake District, c.1880.

After marriage came the honeymoon – but only for the affluent. Few among the working classes could afford a honeymoon, so the honeymoon portrait immediately conferred prestige.

By the early 19th century, fashionable middle-class couples would begin their honeymoon trips immediately after the wedding, unaccompanied by other relatives. The completely private honeymoon only became wholly fashionable in the Victorian era when the idea of marrying for love was an accepted ideal. Since the middle classes sought status by aping the very rich, they too began to take honeymoons. The very rich travelled to Europe, while the comfortable classes visited the Lake District or the Isle of Man. Ben and Carrie, the couple in Image 65, had their honeymoon portrait taken in Pettit's. (Image 66 shows an advertisement for Pettit's Fine Art Gallery in the Lake District.)

Advert for Pettit's Fine Art Gallery in the Lake District
Image 66 Photographer/Painter: Anon. Subject: Advert for Pettit's Fine Art Gallery in the Lake District.