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  • Ginta Gulbe

The history of the white dress

When it comes to planning the wedding, the first thing that normally comes into every bride’s mind is the wedding dress! To be more precise the WHITE wedding dress! Yes, white wedding dress is thought to be the right colour as it is the colour you would normally see taking over the wedding dress stores and online wedding platforms. Some might think that a white colour of the wedding dress would symbolize purity, however, discussions have been made that colour of purity would actually be blue. So, when and why did the trend of the white wedding dresses begin?

- White wedding dresses have only been around for about 2 centuries

It turns out that not until the 19th century there has been a specific colour or even a style set for a wedding dress. Women typically in western countries would wear their best dress for their wedding day. It did not have to be a new dress nor in a specific colour, fabric or style. Only the wealthiest women could afford to buy a new dress to wear for their wedding, but they would, however, wear the dress again afterwards.

Nowadays, however, there is this set norm that a bride should purchase a new wedding dress to wear only for her wedding day, putting a pressure on women to look good, to have a new beautiful dress that would stand out from everyone else’s, usually costing a lot of money, and we all know how much we dream of that beautiful luxurious dress.

- So, how did we end up with this “one-time wear” white wedding dress?

It is said to have started in 1840, when queen Victoria married Prince Albert in an ivory gown, after which the trend of a white dress would begin in royal weddings and we would see brides from Grace Kelly, Princess Diana to Megan Markle all wearing white.

Portrait By Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Of Queen Victoria In Wedding Dress As Anniversary Gift To Prince Albert.

It did, however, take a couple of decades for the colour to be set as the new norm between middle-class in western countries, but soon after the industrial revolution, when brides could afford to buy a new dress for their wedding day, we began to see white dresses being worn in weddings across west.

Nowadays, however, the wedding dress industry has grown all around the world, and we would see countless white wedding dress styles from ball gowns to mermaid styles, different designers and fashion shows. With wedding dresses now being in different price ranges, it makes it easier for women to afford a new dress for her wedding. However, being an industry that over years has made your imagination think that the wedding dress is one of the most important parts in your wedding and how important the process is of finding the right dress, women will mostly spend more than their set budget to be able to wear her perfect dream dress.

- So, do brides wear white everywhere?

Not at all! In Eastern countries the traditional wedding dress tends to be more colourful - often red. Although some women in countries around the world would choose to wear a white dress for her wedding, the brides would typically still be wearing the traditional dress during the ceremony.

by Ginta Gulbe


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