Ref: Charles Dawes, Unidentified wedding couple, 1890s-1900s, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1142-D441.
Ref: Stephen Tracey, Wedding breakfast, Waiuku, 28 July 1915, photograph reproduced courtesy of Waiuku Museum Society, South Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, Footprints 04709.
Prospective wives were variously described as devoted, reputable or valuable - especially if they had “means”, as some widows did. Men were described as worthy, respectable or reputable farmers, settlers or storekeepers. A good income and steady employment were prized for men – rather than their poultry-rearing skills. Mention of physical appearances might extend to “good-looking”, but being industrious was highly valued.
Ref: J. Goodfellow for the Auckland Weekly News, A Puhoi wedding, 6 June 1899, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-18990616-7-3.
Ref: Setting for wedding breakfast, Browns Bay, 10 April 1901, North Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, E1007.
Ref: Charles Dawe, Arch Maxwell's wedding group, 6 August 1905, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1142-D185.
The Observer compared these genteel advertisements with more forthright Australian ads such as “Young Man would like to correspond with a nice young Scotch woman (no flirts)” and “English Lady, recent arrival, of good family… wishes to correspond with Gentleman… No beer barrels need apply” (14 November 1891).