The History of the Wedding Dress


It is often taken for granted in contemporary times that the “acceptable” color for a wedding dress is white. This tradition is typically attributed to the symbolism of innocence, purity, and new beginnings. In truth, it is more fashion than mythology that has granted the wedding gown with this particular “pristine” characteristic. Thanks to Thomas from Birmingham, Alabama for contributing to this blog post! 

The white wedding dress, while not unheard of in other cultures, is most commonly attributed to Western society. It was Queen Victoria’s royal wedding to Prince Albert in 1840 that established white as the standard color for a wedding gown, but this was not always the preferred fashion. Before that famous wedding, blue was often chosen for a bride’s gown, as it was considered reminiscent of the Virgin Mary and symbolic of purity and holiness.

Modern ages have seen a return to more Victorian styles in regards to the design of wedding dresses – elaborate, feminine and often voluminous gowns have become traditional, although this is a relatively recent adaptation. Historically, the style of a wedding dress of influenced by some factors, including the wealth and station of the bride, the political and social climate of the age and the fashion and styles of the time. It was not uncommon in ancient times for a bride to marry in bright colors, with the level of detail and decoration reflective of the bride’s family’s social status. This was due in large part to the fact that weddings during medieval ages were often a matter of business and politics as often as the joining of two hearts.

On a similar note, fashion trends and styles have often played a large part in the design of a dress. Brides in the “Old West” would frequently get married in dresses that were simple and sturdy and could be dyed to be worn on a regular basis after the ceremony. The 1920s brought about a new trend in the form of the first short wedding dresses – mirroring the flapper fashions of the decade. Bridal fashion has also been adaptive during times of hardship and war. For instance, wedding dresses during the Great Depression and the rationing practices of WWII were often substituted for simple Sunday dresses or a bride’s best suit. It was only during the age of prosperity that followed the Second World War that wedding gowns started to become what we expect to see today.

In the past quarter-century, it has become increasingly common for a wedding gown to reflect a bride’s personal tastes and preferences versus traditional conventions. Variation of styles and colors is widespread and often unconventional. There remain, however, certain practices that will be difficult to quash. In the Western world, a white dress is still the most commonly accepted, as bright, bold colors are often considered to be in bad taste (black is even thought to be bad luck). Intricate decoration and an expansive skirt or train are still considered indicative of wealth and social status. Viewing history through the evolution of the wedding dress offers an interesting perspective on the views and traditions associated with marriage and propriety.

Wedding Dresses are worn by bride and groom during the wedding ceremony. Ever since human beings started practicing wedding or it formed into an institutionalized function, people started using special dresses on that big day of their life. Though the function, wedding, is universal in natural all across the world the function has its color and influence despite the culture where they belong. Different colored dresses are being used during wedding function. But majority brides uses white or off white or ivory white wedding gown and groom uses black coats in the western part of the countries. In the eastern part of countries, brides wear red which is considered as an auspicious color.

East or West the wedding gown always a talk of the town

Different types of costumes are being used during the wedding. It all depends on the culture, religion, and region where the wedding participants belong, how the wedding dress remains to be. Traditionally there are lots of differences between western and eastern wedding gown. Eastern bride dresses are more into color – seducing colors and with lots of ornamental designs. The richness in the wedding attire carries the family richness of the bride and their social back ground. In western style, while or off while wedding dress or gowns are the traditional styles of wedding dress. These wedding dresses usually embedded with pearls and other costly beadings to show case the richness of the family.

East has a traditional richness

Eastern countries do wear their traditional wedding gowns. But in some metro cities of China especially in the main land China, the tendency is such that people started wearing western wedding dresses for a wedding function and the following reception, they wear their traditional wedding dresses. This way they balance between the new trends and also maintain the traditional dressing too. Countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lank and Bangladesh still continue their rich heritage of traditional wedding dresses, especially the highly embroidered wedding sarees. They use naturally developed Silk materials to weave out the sarees and adore it with gold or silver laced rich embroidery works.

Westerns are modern with serenity

Moving to Europe and American continents, Far Eastern countries, Japan and Australia, it is all about wedding gown dress. There are different types of wedding dress one can choose for the function that can be themed to match with the location of the wedding environment. The present form of western wedding dress has a legacy starting from Queen Victoria era. In 1840 when Queen Victoria married to Albert of Saxe-Coburg, she wore a wedding dress with some rich, costly lacing. It was a white costume, and there after many royal families and affluent people started to follow the same kind of wedding gown as an inevitable attire to the wedding function.

Changes are inevitable

The wedding is one of the precious moments in women and men’s life. It is so simple to understand that everybody wanted to make their big day as one of the best and beautiful days in their life. People add color and value to the rich moment of their life with a lot of thoughts and inspirations. Because marriage is still considered as one of the sacred moment in people’s life, so they put a lot of efforts on their attires and jewelry. Let whatever be the religion and tradition; everybody celebrates wedding function with a lot of pleasure and entertainment. Wedding gown, of course, is the standing symbol which stood with time with a lot of innovations and improvements. We can still expect a lot of changes in the wedding gown when time passes, as changes are inevitable

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