The History of the Wedding Dress

In the below article, you will find out about:

1- The history of the wedding dress

i) Why is the wedding dress white?
ii) Historical facts about the wedding dresses

Wedding dresses have always been known for their white color a long time ago. How did the wedding dress originate and what is its history?

1- The history of the wedding dress

What is the history of the wedding dress? Before the Victorian era, the white wedding dress was not popular. A bride used to wear any color she wants. Wearing a wedding dress of any color goes back to the middle ages. Back then, a bride was supposed to wear the best she has to represent her family’s status such as a dress (not necessarily white) made of expensive fabrics like velvet, silk and fur especially if she came from a rich and wealthy family. At that time, the color white used to symbolize wealth while blue represented purity.

Moreover, it was not a trend for a bride to buy a specific dress for her wedding. She used to wear her finest dress even if it was a dark color. A dark color hides imperfection. However, some colors were avoided such as green because it was considered unlucky. Most of the brides used to wear black dresses.

In those days, the color white was usually only worn by the rich and very wealthy or royal members of society.

i) Why is the wedding dress white?


It was not until the 1840s that the white wedding dress became popular. Although princesses and royals wore white on their wedding day before Queen Victoria, It all started when she married Albert of Saxe – Coburg and broke the traditions by wearing a white wedding dress on her wedding day.

10 years after their wedding, Godey’s Lady’s Book, which is one of the first women’s magazines in America, stated that the white dress was the most fitting hue for a bride.

Some brides used to wear white before queen Victoria, but since she was already a queen before getting married, she had the freedom to break the tradition whenever she wanted and became a trend-setter. She inspired a lot of brides after her to wear white as well as stated that guests weren’t supposed to wear white to a wedding. Furthermore, the reason she wore white is not because it represented purity but only because she loved the color.

In bridal fashion, shades of white and ivory became trendy in the 20th century.

ii) Historical facts about the wedding dresses


1- In the 19th century, white wedding dresses were impossible to clean by hand. Only the rich and wealthy could afford the maintenance of such a dress since there were no dry cleaners.

2- Red was a popular color for wedding dresses especially in Asian countries and continues to be until now. The red color represents happiness and love.

3- During world war 2, many brides couldn’t afford to buy a new dress because times were hard back then. Some had to borrow dresses or wear their uniform on their wedding day.

4- In the 1930s, women wore wedding dresses that enhanced and emphasized their female figures.

5- In the 1960s, brides started wearing dresses with tight sleeves and short veils.

6- In the 1980s, full skirts gathered at the natural waistline bringing out the princess in many brides. Princess Diana set the trend when she wore a full skirt with puffy sleeves on her wedding day.

7- In the 1990s, wedding dresses with statement sleeves, corset, embroidery and beading were a trend.

8- Different cultures wear different colors of wedding dresses. For example, Nigerian brides wear bright colors, Malaysian gowns are purple and Hungarian dresses are white with colorful patterns.

Today, the wedding dress trends change from season to season and designers and brands get their inspiration from the bridal fashion weeks. The bridal fashion week is considered the most important event in fashion. Therefore, lot of international celebrities, influencers and designers come from different countries to check out the latest trends. Also, new designs are created that are out of the box and unique. Future brides have unlimited choices and can even wear a colored dress. We hope you learned new things about the history of the wedding dress.

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