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Why do wedding dresses have to be white?

Do you want to the origin of white wedding dresses? Who wore it first? How has it become so wide-spread? You’ll find out everything you wanted to know about snow-white wedding dress here!

wedding dresses

Almost always the bride is associated with pure and innocent white color at a wedding. But why did this tradition appear? Why should all the wedding dresses be white? This is the topic of our article.

The history of the wedding dresses styles

wedding dresses styles

Traditionally a wedding dress is associated with white color. When it comes to the bride, we immediately imagine a magnificent white dress, as a rule. Now it is common for brides to prefer a different color when choosing your wedding dress, but still popular white color remains the principal first leader. This is a fact! And no matter whether it is cream, pearl or milk - it's still white.

But we think it will surprise no one, saying that a white wedding dress was not always widespread.

nice white wedding dress

In the 16th-17th centuries, only the ‘bride of Christ’ could wear beautiful white wedding dress, ie girls who wanted to dedicate themselves to God, to leave the monastery. Common brides walked down the aisle in dresses of pink or light blue color. Dark colors were not used at all.

In different countries, the beliefs of the color of the wedding dress were different too. So in France, there was a belief that the bride wedding dress must be purple, so her husband would love her all her life. The Irish girl was married exclusively in green wedding attire, assuming that color as a happy one. And in Russia the outfits for a wedding were a predominance of red or orange color. Despite the fact that the white color of ancient beliefs embodied integrity, and ‘girl of marriageable age’ was supposed to be such, people still chose red color and its shades for the wedding dress.

walking down the aisle

READ ALSO: What is Igbo traditional marriage attire?

In the Middle Ages women were walking down the aisle wearing dresses of the most striking colors and patterns, and differences in the dress were shown depending on the bride's place of residence and / or class of the spouses, her prosperity. Wedding dresses were simply the best, they had the most ornate and expensive clothes.

But let’s go back to the snow-white wedding dress. So where did this tradition appear? Why did it change the color of the dress so dramatically? There is no country around the world, which would not wear a legendary white wedding dress.

legendary white wedding dress

The trend on light shades - ivory, cream, but not white – dresses was brought with the era of Neoclassicism. As a result of excavations in Pompeii and Herculaneum a lot of samples of Roman art - a sculpture of light marble – became known to public. This has had a very strong influence on fashion in general, and the color of wedding dresses in particular. Marble color dress became popular. It gradually led to our white dresses.

As it turned out, till the XVIII century in Europe, the bride also got married in a red dress. And, moreover, the white color was a color of mourning. And only after the marriage of Marguerite de Valois, who was better known as Queen Margot, the ladies began to consider that color as the one for the wedding dress.

Versions of the origin of the white dress

origin of the white dress

There are two more or less plausible versions of the origin of the tradition of the choice for a beautiful  white wedding dress.

The first version. In 1840 Queen Victoria went down the aisle in a gorgeous white dress, which caused huge excitement among the fine ladies.

The news of the wedding of Queen Victoria's quickly spread through England, and in 1840 the marriage between her and Albert, Prince Consort was awarded. Young bride wanted to look new and great, and therefore decided not to wear heavy silver brocade, traditional for the royal family, choosing a new color - white. The lace for the dress was made during six months.

Queen Victoria

After the wedding of Queen Victoria, all the samples of lace were destroyed, so nobody else was able to repeat the sophisticated pattern of her dress. The dress is kept in the territory of Kensington Palace, where the exhibitions are held. The only decoration of Victoria during the wedding was a brooch with a sapphire, donated by Albert. Later it became a family heirloom and handed down to members of the royal family.

Her wonderful dress was sewn from very expensive snow-white satin. It became an ancestor for the popular classic wedding dress with a fluffy skirt and corset. And, of course, everyone began to follow her. The decoration of the young queen impressed the audience so much that white dress became a traditional wedding in England, and after - in the whole world.

The second version. Some time before the trend for white bridal gowns was introduced by Anne of Austria. White dress quickly became wide-s[read thanks to Anne of Austria, who was a daughter of King Philip III. Her dress was so beautiful that all the women of high society in France were imitating Anna. And later this fashion trend came to Spain, England and Portugal.

Anne of Austria

The white color for a wedding dress has once entrenched and become a tradition. Since one of the essential qualities of the dress for marriage is its tradition and old-fashioned kind. The bride should look a little old-fashioned to fit the tastes of the previous generation, which belonged to the parents of her future husband.

What should the bride do?

white color of the weddding dress

Should we follow the standard rules? It should be clarified that the white color of the weddding dress is not held in high esteem in the Muslim countries. In China and India, a newlywed wedding dresses are done in red, golden and sand colors.

In Japan, the brides traditionally wear white silk kimono, but during the celebrations they often dress up in kimono of red and golden colors. The Japanese believe that the red color will help keep marital happiness and protects the family from evil spirits. But, of course, nowadays Asia also has a lot of European fashion trends. So the bride can also wear a popular white wedding dress.

popular white wedding dress

Previously in Ireland, all brides were dressed in emerald green dresses. In Russia, however, the girls began to wear a white dress for a wedding during the reign of Peter I.

In Africa people still try to maintain their traditional costumes, however, a lot of brides prefer to wear white dresses. Usually they change their outfit during the day – from their national costume to white wedding dress or vice versa. It often happens in Nigeria.

beautiful dress

 A lot of old-fashioned European people like to say that a wedding dress should be white – and only white, because it is a symbol of innocence and purity of the girl. Now of course this attribute is a veil, so for those who are getting married for the second time, the salons often offer scarlet dresses and confine with festive hairdo for her, with no veil.

But put aside prejudices and remember that we live in a time when every desire can easily be implemented. Wedding fashion dictates its own rules and every woman has the right to decide for herself what to wear in one of the happiest days of her life.

modern wedding

In addition, to date, a modern wedding is not necessarily the wedding in its popular sense or the registrar. The celebration can take place on the beach, clubs, wherever your heart desires. On this basis, it can be individual in each individual case.

You have to understand that white dress is a very broad concept, because the great share of its appearance is played by the fabric and its cut. It can have classic cut or it can be short, fluffy, with ‘a fishtail’ or in the Empire style. Delicate silk, transparent chiffon, heavy satin, and perhaps flax. You can sew anything you want, but it is important to have enough imagination or your own talented designer.

cute wedding dress

Do not forget that we are all different and the dress, which suits one lady, can look absolutely terrible on another girl.

Snow-white dress will look perfectly on the dark-haired girl with the perfect smooth tan. But beauty with pale skin will look better wearing warmer shades of champagne or ivory.

You can choose a shade according to the type of your appearance: milky white, white-green, white and pink, the color of ivory.

If you want to stand out against the white brides, but also you are not ready to the drastic measures, you can set the wedding tone with the help of accessories.

Snow-white dress

Bouquet, ribbons on the dress, belt, shoes and bag - it all can be done in a certain color, and the dress may remain white. So you're not too shocking for the relatives and guests, because you see, in most countries the colored dresses are not so popular. However, you are always able to make your dreams come true.

If you decide to choose a colorful dress or accessories, you should think about the meaning of a particular color. After all, our preferences are often associated with our internal state.You'll see why it should better be white.

Red wedding dress

  • Red color tells about the temperament of a girl, her strong character and pride. Be careful in the combination of red and white colors; expertly arrange the color accents in order not to make the color elements look like spots at the photo.

Green wedding dress

  • Green is for the single-minded people, who are ready to experiment. The designers often use a smooth transition from white to green, thereby giving the individuality, but without making it an evening dress.

purple wedding dress

  • Purple and pink color is for dreamy people, often their celebration is held in a romantic setting. In addition, these colors will suit girls with any type of appearance.

yellow wedding dress

  • Yellow color is quite risky for the wedding dress, but cheerful girls may like it if they want to remember their wedding day for a long time.

blue wedding dress

  • Lovers of blue tones radiate calmness and tranquility. It is important to know when to stop with blue color.

black and white wedding dress

  • In the current season, black and white dress still remains fashionable. There are a lot of incredibly spectacular outfits of different styles with lace and drapery fabrics. Do not forget that the groom's attire should be combined with the bride’s one. Think about every little thing, do not forget about the shirt or tie to match dress.

What does white dress mean now?

white dress

Of course, the white wedding dress has been a favorite one for brides for many years, but if you want to experiment, to make your holiday special, it is not necessary to pay attention to the conventions. On the other hand, it is still worth to wear white dress in order to emphasize the purity of your intentions before God at your wedding.

Today symbolism white dress is an endless feast, a celebration of life, love and beauty. This outfit says that the bride is pure, has the innocence and purity. It represents her lightness, tenderness, kindness. Because of this symbolism it is popular to get married wearing a white dress. The snow-white shade speaks of perfection, completion, final decision and the beginning of a new life.

wedding dress

The history of the white dresses as a traditional attire for the wedding has its roots in the past and a lot of the details remain undisclosed. But the fact is that snow-white decoration has stuck in the modern fashion and it is consistently associated with the image of the touching bride. Modern women are more likely to abandon this color in favor of other light shades or more original tones, but for a lot of years the white version of the wedding attire remains at the peak of popularity.

The main rule for any wedding look is to be stylish. You can create a harmonious image due to the dress of any color or shade, the wedding dress does not have to be white. Check up the pictures of wedding dresses and choose the most appropriate for you! And good luck!

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