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Here Comes The Bride: How White Gowns Became A Wedding Tradition

Here Comes The Bride: How White Gowns Became A Wedding Tradition

Billy Idol said it best- it's a nice day for a white wedding. White wasn't always the color of choice for brides, however. Prior to the end of World War II, many brides wore colored dresses that were more practical and could be worn multiple times. Purchasing a fancy, white dress for one day wasn't feasible for women that were barely able to afford the basic necessities. 

A Royal Affair 

The wedding of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert in 1840 was when the white wedding gown saw its first major press coverage. When Queen Victoria emerged from the horse-drawn carriage in a lacy white gown with a wreath of orange flowers perched atop her head, the world was in awe. 

Prior to that moment, many royal brides were married adorned in the finest jewels with heavy dresses made from intricate fabric. Silver, gold, and even red dresses were the norm for brides marrying into affluent families. Queen Victoria's dress had the fashion industry abuzz, and once the Great Depression ended, brides began to splurge on lavish white gowns for their big day. 

The Symbolism Of The Color White 

White represents purity and innocence. Many brides in the early 1900s were young, with their wedding day signaling the beginning of their first intimate relationship. Wearing white was a symbol of that transformation- a girl turning into a woman. 

White is also a difficult color to keep clean. With so many opportunities for the dress to get dirty during the wedding, it wasn't likely the dress would end up unscathed. Having a dress dry-cleaned was costly back then, making white unrealistic. Cleaning a dress is easy now, which is why white is no longer an issue. 

Breaking From Tradition 

Even though white gowns are the norm for weddings now, some brides still prefer a touch of color. In some cultures, vibrant colors like red and purple are still the standard. Celebrity brides are often ones to stand out- with actresses like Mandy Moore and Reese Witherspoon wearing colorful dresses on their big day. 

Whether you're looking to stick with tradition or stand out from the crowd, our collection of wedding gowns offers a bit of something for every taste. The wedding dress will be the focal point of the entire affair- featured in pictures for years to come. Choose one that you'll enjoy looking back on.
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