© 1940 Edwards Photography Southampton. All rights reserved CHP small no logo scan-1

And the bride wore yellow – The Marriage of Joyce May and Frank Stocker 1940

She looks so radiant doesn’t she? He looks so dapper and smart.

A blushing bride, aged just 23 stands beside her handsome husband on the day of their wedding on the  27th July 1940. The photograph was taken by a company called Edwards in Southampton.

Her prim wedding dress with its high collar and her modest veil are in a  soft yellow hue and her bouquet, crowded with roses and foliage is nearly as big as she is. Her white gloves look pristine and over one arm she carries a large horseshoe, a symbol for good luck. They look every inch the proud and happy couple.

For many years I’d look at this photograph on Joyces’ sideboard and imagine the wedding day and what it must have been like. It all looked so upright and traditional, so elegant and formal.

I got to know Joyce Stocker long after this photograph was taken, just after her beloved Frank had passed away. My Mum was a district nurse and cared for Frank as he became ill. Joyce and mum became friends and over time Joyce became part of our family.

I’ve never met a more humble, kind and gentle person. Joyce and Frank had little in life apart from one another. She wasn’t a lady to covet possessions or yearn for riches. She continued to live a simple, and happy life after Frank died, tending to her huge garden, baking amazing cakes and pies and cycling absolutely everywhere, even into her seventies.

This photograph stood proudly on her sideboard and I remember as a child being mesmerised by it. I still am.

For it’s taken on a whole new meaning for me this week. Yesterday we said a final farewell to the lovely Joyce. Alzheimers stole her from us.

This blushing bride in 1940 became like a second grandma to my sister and I decades later. For me, this photograph, which I’ve seen so many times is now so precious.

It will forever remind me of the rosy cheeked, happy, serene Joyce who existed long before the ravages of Alzheimer’s took hold. The Joyce who adored her Frank and kept his memory alive long after his passing.

This photograph makes me smile, even in the sadness of saying farewell. It’s also a reminder to me of the power of an image. Long, long after its taken it can be so significant and bring someone alive all over again. It’s value is immeasurable. I’ll treasure it and wouldn’t part with it for anything.

We say goodbye to our lovely Joyce and hope she is reunited at last  now with her beloved Frank.

I like to imagine they are together, just as they are in this image. Proud, happy and at peace.


( The image above was taken by Edwards photography in Southampton in 1940. I don’t believe the company still exists, but have credited accordingly)

blog.cathepplephotography.com – The UK wedding blog of Cat Hepple Photography


  1. Posted 19 Jul at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    What a beautifully written, heartfelt post Cat, really touched me…


    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 19 Jul at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Annabel xx

  2. Posted 19 Jul at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful photo and beautiful words, my thoughts are with you my love xx

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 19 Jul at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Ali. It makes you realise how precious wedding images really are. x

    • Posted 19 Jul at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      They really can last for a lifetime, such an important job. The more worn and old they get, the more special they are xx

  3. Jessica
    Posted 19 Jul at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful and respectful life story Cat.
    My thoughts are with you all

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 20 Jul at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much Jess x

  4. Hayley Hoyle
    Posted 20 Jul at 8:31 am | Permalink

    A lovely story Cat and one that will hit home to many I think. My nan has a similar photo on her sideboard and I think the same things everytime I visit. I never met my Grandad and that picture feels like my only connection to him! Photos live on and they are so important. Joyce sounds like a fabulous lady and one that will be greatly missed xx

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 20 Jul at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Hi Hayley
      I think all our families have images like this somewhere. They are so precious x

  5. Posted 20 Jul at 9:12 am | Permalink

    People like that are precious gifts, thanks for sharing Cat. x

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 20 Jul at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      She certainly was Andy. xz

  6. Posted 20 Jul at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Beautifully written post. I hope they are reunited too. Just shows how important photographs can be. A beautiful photograph of a lovely couple.

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 20 Jul at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Tara, its such a wonderful image isn’t it x

  7. Posted 20 Jul at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    This post has really hit a nerve with me as I have a very similar image of my nan who passed away a few months ago and seeing the picture brings everything back…I’m planning to have the picture at my wedding in December to ensure she is with us on the day. A really beautiful post Cat…thank you x

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 20 Jul at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Lisa that is such a lovely thing to do and what a wonderful way to pay your respects to your nan. I think images like this one become more and more precious as the years pass and it’s made me realise what a privilege and an honour it is to record people’s wedding days, because the photographs will be treasured for generations.
      Have a wonderful wedding day xxx

  8. Posted 20 Jul at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    A poignant and touching story, beautifully told. So struck by the importance of photography and its value and meaning at the moment, adn this is another story that really brings that home. And how precious time with loved ones is. Thinking of you xxx

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 20 Jul at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Katy, really makes you understand why we do what we do xx

  9. Posted 21 Jul at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    I think you’ve immortalised Joyce here just as she would like to be remembered. Your words do her image proud.