Wedding dresses through the years

Have you ever wondered how the trend of the white wedding dress was set? It turns out white wasn’t always the colour of brides, and wedding gowns weren’t even a thing! Check out the history of wedding dresses.


Ancient Rome
Going back to the Roman Empire, mothers used to dress their daughters on their wedding days in a one-piece floor-length tunic, which was knotted around the waist with a band of wool that only the future husband would untie (it’s actually the origin of the expression: “tying the knot”). They then added a bright yellow veil over the tunic, called the Flammeum, representing fire from the new house’s fireplace.




Middle Ages
During the Middle Ages, brides mostly wore blue dresses for their wedding day. The colour was in fact considered to represent purity, like white is now. And if the bride couldn’t have a blue wedding dress, she would wear her finest gown, and have a blue ribbon, or anything else in that colour. That is in fact the origin of “something blue”.




Sunday Dresses
For many years, brides would just wear their finest gown, which was often a Sunday dress to get married. Only the wealthy could afford having a dress they would wear only once, so very few brides wore white, which demanded a lot of maintenance. The dresses would follow the fashion trend that was in style at the time, and would come in bright colours like red, yellow and blue.


Queen Victoria’s Wedding
In 1840, Queen Victoria married her cousin Prince Albert in a white, low-cut bodice, 18-foot train lacy gown dripping with orange blossoms. As the Queen was the biggest trendsetter of the century, her dress inspired thousands of other brides to wed in white. Since then, white wedding gowns have been common practice.




Grace Kelly’s wedding
During the Great Depression, brides usually saved up money by just wearing their best outfit for their wedding, so the white dress with intricate details and expensive fabric was a rare sight. But during the second half of the 20th century, economy was doing much better, and white was back on track, as evidenced by actress Grace Kelly’s wedding to prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. She wore a long-sleeved laced white gown with three layers of petticoats to give her skirt a dramatic volume.




The return of the coloured wedding dress
These days, brides can pick from many styles, shapes and fabrics for their dress to walk down the aisle. Some women pick pink or peach-coloured gowns to stand out of the crowd, and more and more designers gave been creating wedding gowns that come in “unconventional” colours like blue, purple, or even yellow. Gwen Stefani made the buzz when she got married in a dip-dye pink dress back in 2002.




If you want to read more about celebrities in their wedding gowns, check out our blog post here.


What about you? Do you think you’d prefer a white or coloured dress?



ESPOSA is a bridal boutique that is all about luxury brands offering every bride-to-be a one-stop store to find and shop her wedding look including her dream gown, the perfect wedding shoes and the accessories that she needs. Our stores are located in Lebanon (Dbayeh and Beirut downtown), Brazil (Sao Paulo) and UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi).

Visit us online to find the most beautiful wedding dresses in Beirut, Sao Paulo, Dubai and Abu Dhabi

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