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Portrayals of Love: Photographing Weddings in the Second Half of the 20th Century

Martine Tremblay

Photography is used here as an instrument to capture the symbolic relationship that is constructed at the time of the wedding. The photo session is a ritual within a ritual, narrating an idealized story of the couple and their family relationships. Underlying this portrayal is a commonalty of patterns and values that can be seen to structure social relationships. By opting for a ritualized wedding ceremony in the latter years of the XX century, young people are indicating that, even if they have thrown off the shackles of parental authority, they have internalized the standards that structure the conjugal relationship and filiation.