Thursday, January 3, 2008

History of the White Wedding Dress

My previous post about the black wedding dress sparked my interest in the past, and where exactly the white wedding dress came from. Since I am absolutely in love with the black wedding dress, I thought I would uncover the mystery of why most wedding dresses are white.
When Queen Victoria married her cousin Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840, it was perhaps one of the most influential weddings of all time. She was one of the first women to marry in white, and had great influence on women from there on out as far as their wedding dress color. In Godey's Lady's Book from 1849 it says: “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.” By 1890, the trend of the white wedding dress was in full swing. In the 1920's Coco Channel, a powerful force in women's fashion, introduced the first short wedding dress which was white, of course, knee length and worn with a long train. This dress cemented white as the universal color in wedding dresses. An interesting note found on Wikipedia: Prior to the Victorian era a bride was married in any color except black (the color of mourning) or red (which was connected with prostitutes).
So there we have it, a brief history on where the white wedding dress came from.

Picture Credits: Clockwise from left, Piccio gown, From times past, Badgley Mischka Bride, Wikipedia circa 1929.


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