Wedding Traditions- Why Are Dresses White?

Long before Queen Victoria set the trend of wearing a white wedding dress, European brides bought a practical garment that would be worn on many occasions after the marriage.  The lower class favored black as it made the dress more practical.  I once read that author Jane Austen’s mother wore a red dress to her ceremony, this was typical for someone of her socioeconomic background.  When a white dress was worn, it was a color of mourning, brides would don white when they had recently lost a close relative, that was of course until Queen Victoria came along.

Are we seeing a trend for colored wedding dresses?  Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, Gwen Stefani and other famous people chose to wear a non-white dress for their wedding.  Or should I say; are we seeing fashion go further back into the tradition of a colored wedding dress…since historically gowns have had color for longer than they have not.  The history behind gowns is rich and full of influence from fashion, social status, religion and culture.

The runway, 2012, is definitely showing more color this year than in many years past with colored wedding dresses or splashes of color on the wedding dress.  It will be interesting to see if the trend takes hold.  Do you have a prediction?  Are you a bride that wants to set herself apart from the others, or are you more steeped in tradition?  Did you ever know the background of why us girls choose white in the first place?  I would love to hear from you!

One of the publications that showcased a departure from the white wedding dress was Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, but then again, it had many white dresses as well!

Whatever you choose: a pink dress, white, or white with a splash of color at the sash, you will look beautiful.  Enjoy your special day, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box!


ps.    WOW, this just in:  Check out Vera Wang’s black wedding dress!  The dress was recently featured in an article titled “10 Unforgettable Weddings Gowns” via – published March 26, 2012.

2 thoughts on “Wedding Traditions- Why Are Dresses White?”

  1. I recently attended a friends wedding and she wore a blue hued dress! I would not call it a solid blue color, but a layer of subtle blue underneath a shear white layer. It was so beautiful and so refreshing to see such originality! I personally wish that I would have thought outside of the box on that part of my wedding! So many of us do what brides before us did. Anyway, I hope for a new trend! I hope to see some color and original choices in the upcoming wedding season! (I am a florist and see quite a few weddings each year).
    It seems that brides are becoming more expressive with their flowers as time goes by, I hope to see it in their dresses. Let’s face it, the bride is still going to be the center of attention, and the best dressed girl in the room, so be daring my bride clients! Wear a splash of color or more than a splash if you dare!
    I like your blog posts on wedding traditions! Thanks.

  2. Huh! So many thoughts on this topic of bride dresses! First, is it me or do so many brides look alike? White, strapless, floor length dress. I am stating here that this is the brides day! Grab it and make it your own, if you want to wear a fabulous, cutting edge mini-dress, go for it. I wanted to wear a short dress and the social pressure from EVERYONE that tried to get involved in my wedding was unbelievable. Let’s face it, it is a pretty strongly established custom to wear a floor length, white gown. I am not saying it is a mistake or wrong to do so, just: where are the creative and unique women that I meet in the everyday world? I would be taking the opportunity to make myself the star of the day in a dress that made a statement. Now that I just typed that, I guess a white floor-length gown is stating “I am a bride!”. I think I am hoping to see “I am a bride, AND I am creative!”

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