Friday, June 13, 2008

Wedding Dresses Weren't Always White

Wedding Dresses Weren't Always White

A wedding dress is simply the dress worn by the bride on her wedding day.


Brides the world over and through the centuries have celebrated their wedding with special dresses and ceremonies. The ceremony celebrated not only the marriage but marked the bride maturing from girl to womanhood.


Both Indian and Chinese brides traditionally wear red. In ancient Rome a bride would wear a new white tunic and yellow sandals. During the Renaissance the bride's dress reflected the wealth of her family. Rich brocades, sumptuous silks, vibrant colors, and even fur and jewels were incorporated into the dress.


Prior to the Victorian age wedding dresses were not usually white and were worn not only on the wedding day, but afterwards as the woman's 'best dress.' Because the dress had to last, it was often of a dark color and heavy material. The styles reflected the fashion of the times. While the dress was dark colored, brides in the early 19th century would often wear a long white veil.


Thanks to Queen Victoria, wedding dresses became wedding gowns and white was the color of choice. Her Spitalfields satin dress was narrow waisted with a scoop neckline that bared her shoulders. Full sleeves were caught above the elbows and flared. The dress was accented with handmade Honiton lace. Over 200 people worked on the lace alone. The pattern was destroyed after the lace was completed for her dress. Her lace veil fell nearly to the floor. Photos show that her gown was caught and draped with fresh flowers around the hemline.


Queen Victoria set the standard for breathtaking gowns and set a trend among brides. Although she wasn't the first queen to wear white, Mary Queen of Scots wore a white dress on her wedding, Queen Victoria's choice become the color of choice for brides.


The second half of the 19th century marked the beginning of the professional couture houses in France and Paris became the center of fashion. The Paris designs filtered down to the mass markets through inspired dressmakers and retailers. The industrial revolution signaled an era of progress. Due to technological advancements ready-made garments were offered through catalogs. Brides could now order their wedding dress for their very special day.

5 comments:

blogger said...

Wow! Its really good to know about various wedding color choices for gowns among different cultures.

Anonymous said...

Whatever may be the colour but I am sure in each colour they look beautiful and attractive ...

But its really nice to read specially about Asian Culture ... RED

md_zorro said...

I thought the wedding dresses always white, but according to this blog, there were people would like choose other color for brides such as Indian and Chinese that wear red for traditinal wear. Good information, and at least people have choices to choose their own favorites color for wedding ceremony...

joanna said...

Wow. Can you imagine a bride walking down the aisle wearing a fur dress? Now that's a high fashion aisle!

noelle said...

Its amazing how one woman's fashion decision has affected history! I'm thinking about wearing a coral pink dress now to my wedding. What do you think?