Curious History

17 October, 2017
Curious History

A Captivating Story of Wedding Gowns

Traditional White Wedding Dresses

Wedding ceremonies are a symbol of love and commitment between the couples, but in ancient times it was more like a business venture. Wedding gowns selected by the bride’s family represented their wealth and status. Sometimes they stitched their jewels on their dresses. This meant the bride wore her best outfit, rich in color and fabric, such as velvet and silk. Metallic outfits were common among the nobles. Queen Victoria’s cousin, Charlotte, was married in a metallic dress. The brides from poor backgrounds wore their best dress to the church on their wedding day. In Celtic culture, red was the choice of brides. In the 13th and 14th centuries, many brides wore mustard colored dresses, green was also a popular choice.

The white wedding dress originated from the palaces and spread throughout the 19th century. The royal brides in England and Europe until then wore gold and silver dress. This trend was discontinued by Queen Victoria in 1840 when she wore a seminal white gown saturated with orange blossom. A decade later, the first women’s magazine in America called, Godey’s Lady Black said that white is the perfect color for a bride’s dress. From then onwards, brides started wearing a white dress for their wedding. Since white was a difficult color to maintain, it could be afforded by the rich women only. The first recorded example of a white wedding gown was that of Henry IV’s daughter, Princess Philippa, who wore a tunic and a mantle of white silk, a border of ermine and velvet color. Anne of Brittany’s third marriage to Louis XII of France saw the bride wearing white and Marguerite of Valois wore white ermine, covered by a blue coat with a five-foot train.

Cultural Wedding Gown Designs

In the 1920s, wedding gowns were shorter in the front and had longer train in the back with a cloche-style veil. The trend of wearing white dress reduced during The Great Depression as people could not spend money on a wedding gown that they were not going to wear again. The economic boom in the latter half of the 20th century saw white color becoming popular with weddings of Princess Diana, Grace Kelly.

In countries like China, India, Japan, Vietnam, red color is considered to bring good luck. Today, brides can select from a lot of colors, wedding gown styles and fabrics to walk down the aisle. Though the style can vary from bride-to-bride, the traditional white and light-colored dresses continue to rule.

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