Saturday, May 8, 2010

Why Brides Wear White

Queen Victoria popularized the white wedding dress, at least for the English speaking world. Share

10 comments:

Matterhorn said...

I was just watching the earlier (2001) "Victoria and Albert" by A&E and BBC. I found it quite moving. Have you seen it?

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, it was quite good, although in the long run I like the 2009 version better.

tubbs said...

While attending a family wedding last Winter, I was shocked by the amount of boobage being bared by the bride and her attendants. But here in this Winterhalter bridal portrait - of the very icon of propriety (if not prudery) herself, we see decolletage and even a bit of cleavage.
Sometimes I think that the more things change, the more they remain the same.

elena maria vidal said...

In the past most formal gowns were somewhat low-cut, although nothing like the amount of skin exposed today. ;-0 Remember that under such gowns were tight stays and layers of petticoats.....

MadMonarchist said...

Although today America has influenced a preference for the western style, traditionally in Vietnam brides wore red (the color of good fortune) and people wore white to funerals. It was also traditional for brides to change dresses several times during the day. When my sister got married her new mother-in-law gave her a very glamorous red dress, in a sort of modernized Vietnamese style, to wear at the reception.

Matthew Palardy said...

This actually calls forth a question that a lady-friend who will soon marry put by me. It's an evening wedding, and she'd naturally desire to wear a ball gown, which is of course off the shoulder. Nevertheless, she'd also prefer not to expose so much skin in the church (even if what is shown would barely bat an eye nowadays) out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament. She would also like to reserve her gown for future wear rather than packing it away, meaning a more "modest" gown is out of the question, as it would scarcely fill the bill for evening entertaining. What I have advised is that she wear, while in the church, a white lace shawl or mantle of some kind, dispensing with it at the reception, or move the wedding to morning and dress accordingly for that.

Has anyone else any suggestions?

elena maria vidal said...

I think a white lace would be nice.

Deana said...

Actually, credit should be given to Anne, Duchess of Brittany, twice Queen of France. She is thought to be the first royal to wear white, all the way back in 1499. By the 1700s, it was very popular in all of Europe, as France was the source of fashion until the Revolution.

Personally, I wore red at my wedding. There's a much stronger tradition of brides wearing red (the color of prosperity) than white. White was once the fabric worn by those who couldn't afford to have it dyed. It was the plainest fabric, which is why it became associated with mourning. As time passed, the white dress became a sign of prosperity. The bride was wearing her best dress, but it was still usually worn again, at least to church, or remade into her ball gown. A white dress was a dress that she could probably never wear again and was a great luxury.

elena maria vidal said...

Very true, everyone forgets about Anne of Brittany being the first. Victoria popularized it in the English speaking world. Thanks!

elena maria vidal said...

I used a lot of red at my wedding, too.