Mystery wedding photos solved: Meet the bride, 54 years on

By RNZ

The mystery of the unnamed couple in recently discovered wedding photos has been solved.

The photos were taken by photographer Ian Hulse, who has since died. His son Richard told us about finding them.

Since Checkpoint shared the story and asked the public for help to find the couple, Janise Street got in touch with us, and showed she still has the wedding dress.

“I’m the mystery lady who you put out a search for through some very old wedding photographs taken in 1967 from a really lovely photographer called Ian Hulse.

“It was 4 February, 1967. I was 20 years old. The photographs were taken in the Botanical Gardens in Wellington. It was a beautiful day and Ian took such beautiful photographs. He did a wonderful job.

“And Ken, who I married, he was a year older than me. He was 21. It was lovely wedding and yes we were very happy with the photographs.

“We were childhood sweethearts from college days. I first met Ken when he was a paperboy in Khandallah, and we went to the same college. We were foundation pupils of Onslow College because it was a brand-new college in those days.

“We played hockey together and we just became sweethearts. Everyone knew we were always going to get married. And of course we did.”

Janise still had her wedding dress from the day of those photos, in perfect condition.

“It’s right beside me. I designed it but I didn’t make it. It was a sleeveless wedding dress and had bows on the shoulders as you can see and the train went out behind. The dress itself was just a slim dress in the middle.”

She was inspired by a picture in a magazine.

“In the ’60s they were showing different things and I saw a picture of a sleeveless wedding dress and I thought that looks really good. So I sketched it out and gave it to the dressmaker. And I have to say she did a really good job.”

The wrapping holding the photos when Ian Hulse’s son Richard found them said “Barr-Carlyle” on it. Janise thinks there must have been a mix-up.

“I would suspect the photos got misfiled because it should have been MacArthur-Wood.

“Ken and I divorced unfortunately, we had a son together … but we divorced some years later because I suppose it’s the way of things when you are childhood sweethearts. As you mature and grow older you tend to go in different ways and that did happen to us.

“But we still keep in touch regularly. We’re still the best of friends, and he’s happy in a new life, and I’ve been too.”

Janise does have some of the photos from the wedding day. But not all the ones in the collection that was recently discovered.

“I ordered some yes because Ian took the photographs and then let us have a look at them and gave us one folder full of photographs taken at the reception, black and white photographs, then a little folder full of the coloured photographs.

“We could order a bigger one from those photographs. I have got a big black and white one.

“These were what we were given at the time. I believe that’s how Ian did it. It was part of the cost of the photography that he gave you the folders and then you had the choice of ordering more formal ones, which would be framed.

“I believe I’ve got most of them, but … there was one there I didn’t recognise, so it is likely that there could be yes, two or three photographs I have never seen.”

Janise clearly remembers posing for the photos.

“The interesting thing was the bridesmaids were in different colours … One was blue and one was pink which was a little unusual.

“The lady in blue, she’s my younger sister … and the lady in pink was the maid of honour, who was the wife of a mutual friend.”

She told Checkpoint she was “absolutely flabbergasted” to hear the news from her daughter-in-law that her wedding photos were in the media.

“I was incredibly moved actually to see them. I just thought why me? Suddenly it’s all over the computer.”

Janise found her wedding dress in storage to show Checkpoint. She thought it had been tarnished, but when bringing it out realised it had kept very well.

“There was confetti down the front of it, so I carefully put all the confetti out, but it really has stood the test of time well. I just had it in a plastic bag.

“I’m just gobsmacked that’s it’s looking so good.”

And when she first saw the pictures of her wedding in the news?

“My first thought was, ‘oh my goodness that looks so beautiful’.”

Janise is looking forward to Ken seeing the photos again.

“I think he’ll feel quite a lump in his throat. Which is pretty well what I did too.”

– RNZ

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