The Dress that Changed Wedding History


Wedding traditions have been passed down from generation to generation, and in some cases have been altered to fit in with the times. However the ancient wedding tradition of the bride sporting a white wedding gown has forever remained the same. Of coarse there are always those women who want to break tradition and wear a colored wedding dress instead of white, but shockingly its only around 4%-5% of brides who choose to do so. So for the rest of the brides who choose to go the traditional route and rock the white wedding gown, here is a little history lesson on how this color dress got its iconic reputation.

Queen Victoria and prince Albert wedding of 1854

Like many wedding trends the tradition of wearing a white gown comes from the Victorian era. Dating back 175 years when Queen Victoria ruled, she introduced the new standards into the bridal world.  Queen Victoria who was married to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg  in London in 1854, shocked guests with her choice to design and model a lacy ivory gown. In the Victorian era, red was in fact a very popular color for brides, but the young queen broke with the status quo and insisted on a white gown. Members of the court thought it was too restrained in color, and were mystified that she eschewed from the traditional color gown and chose not to wear her crown, opting instead for a simple orange blossom wreath.

Iconic Timeless wedding dress

The dress’s simplistic look was a marked as dull to what people were used to seeing at royal weddings. The wedding guests would have expected elaborate jewels, unique robes and colorful gowns. Back in that time, most fabric was woven with silver or sometimes even gold—thread wasn’t meant to indicate that the bride was pure. It was meant to indicate that the brides family wealth. In fact, it meant her dress was literally being made out of money.

10th February 1840:  Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) and Prince Albert (1819 - 1861) on their return from the marriage service at St James's Palace, London. Original Artwork: Engraved by S Reynolds after F Lock.  (Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)

Victoria’s gown telegraphed two important values, purity and simplicity. It also showed that she supported local business by using only British-made materials, and by keeping pieces of her dress in her wardrobe for years to come it became an iconic symbol. Victoria refurbished the lace on her gown over and over again, even resurrecting it for her Diamond Jubilee 56 years later. In fact Victoria and Albert kept dressing up in their wedding attire to have pictures and illustrations taken for years after their actual wedding to keep the love alive! Today the tradition of sporting a white wedding gown is still alive and thriving! Most brides are dead set on that white lace gown that Queen Victoria made iconic so many years ago. However there are still those few who have there hearts set on that non traditional look and choose to wear a colored wedding dress. Our best advise? Its your wedding day so wear whatever you want! Rock the non traditional dress and feel fabulous! Queen Victoria did it and changed wedding history forever, who knows maybe you will too!

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