Will the White Wedding Dress Tradition continue?

Dreamy beachy boho white wedding dress

Dreamy beachy boho white wedding dress.

Did you know that the white wedding dress as a symbol of the bride’s chastity and purity is barely 100 years old? Reviewing the history of the wedding dress may help you decide which side you are on.  While we do so, let’s get inspired by gorgeous white wedding dress designs and non-white but equally divine ones! 😉

Weddings today are a unique expression of the couple’s personalities. As such, brides must decide in favor of or against the famous white wedding dress tradition. A tradition that started in the 1920s when brides began to choose a white wedding gown as a symbol of purity and chastity. Before this, marriage was a business transaction, the union of two families, two fortunes; sometimes powerful, sometimes not powerful at all. The bride’s dress represented the whole family and sometimes entire countries and as such, it needed to show their wealth. The richer the family, the more fabric and more colors (or the whiter) the wedding dress had to be. Hand dyed fabrics meant that the family had the means to afford them. Also, in those days, the process of bleaching fabric was tremendously expensive and, therefore, there was no way to keep it clean. The dress could only be worn once. All of this represented wealth and power.

The meaning of purity for the white wedding dress started as a tradition barely 100 years ago. Despite being the color of choice for most brides, brides also choose different shades of white such as ivory, ecru, eggshell and others that are more favorable to the female figure. Nowadays, designers incorporate color in their collections and brides have started to add a pop of color in the details, shoes and accessories to accompany the traditional white wedding dress. I am certain that in five to seven years, wedding dresses in colors other than white will be seen not as an act of rebellion but as an everyday occurrence. And then brides shall be free to choose their dresses in their favorite color, whatever it might be.

A blast from the past on this red wedding gown. The bride will look like a true queen.

A blast from the past on this red wedding gown. The bride will look like a true queen.

The Interesting Story of the White Wedding Dress

In 1559, Mary Queen of Scots dressed in white for her wedding to Francis Dauphin of France, not because it symbolized purity, but because white is the color of mourning in France. It was a way for her to show how she felt about the union.

In 1840, Queen Victoria married in a white wedding dress because she wanted to use her favorite piece of white lace on it. Her “selfie” of the time, her portrait, became famous and a symbol of what’s fashionable. From then on all brides wanted to wear a white wedding dress to mimic the Queen’s display of wealth. Let’s remember that in those days a white wedding dress was impossible to keep clean and could be used once, which made them extremely expensive. Only the very rich could marry in a white wedding dress.

A ruffled blush wedding dress looks absolutely stunning amidst the scenery of the Glacier National Park. Photography Janine Deanna Photography.

A ruffled blush wedding dress looks absolutely stunning amidst the scenery of the Glacier National Park. Photography Janine Deanna Photography.

In the 1920s, the white wedding dress started to be seen as a symbol of purity and chastity.

Using another color, was considered bold and rebellious. Examples of this are the purple wedding gown designed by Vivienne Westwood Dita Von Teese, the famous burlesque dancer worn at her wedding with Marilyn Manson, or Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel and Reese Witherspoon who married in pink. Every year, more and more designers, like Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang, add non-traditional bride dresses to their collections, marking a radical movement in the conservative industry of wedding gowns.

But what’s really important to keep in mind is that equality and respect are what really matter in a marriage and not what you wear at your wedding. So, feel free to choose the wedding dress that pleases you the most and that best represents you for who you are!

 

 

Just because it's white it doesn't have to be traditional. Flapper style short wedding gown, perfect for a vintage deco wedding with 1920s flair.

Just because it’s white it doesn’t have to be traditional. Flapper style short wedding gown, perfect for a vintage deco wedding with 1920s flair.

Vera Wang added a nontraditional wedding dress to her collection back in 2014.

Vera Wang added a nontraditional wedding dress to her collection back in 2014.

A dream in white and gold. A creation by designer Rami Kadi. Influenced by the middle-eastern culture he creates intricate designs for the most sophisticated brides.

A dream in white and gold. A creation by designer Rami Kadi. Influenced by the middle-eastern culture he creates intricate designs for the most sophisticated brides.

Aire Barcelona surprises us with airy, simple and romantic wedding gowns this year. Love the halter neck.

Aire Barcelona surprises us with airy, simple and romantic wedding gowns this year. Love the halter neck.

Delicate hand-beaded lace appliqué, softly curved, pleated neckline, gorgeous three-dimensional floral motifs, very 2016, luxurious and exquisite fabrics the latest collection of David Tutera wedding dresses for Mon Cheri Bridals is just so drop-dead gorgeous.

Delicate hand-beaded lace appliqué, softly curved, pleated neckline, gorgeous three-dimensional floral motifs, very 2016, luxurious and exquisite fabrics the latest collection of David Tutera wedding dresses for Mon Cheri Bridals is just so drop-dead gorgeous.

Aire Barcelona Wedding Dresses 2016 Collection.

Aire Barcelona Wedding Dresses 2016 Collection.

Long sleeve, mermaid, lace white wedding dress with open back. Romantic and vintage.

Long sleeve, mermaid, lace white wedding dress with open back. Romantic and vintage.

Lots of volume on this white wedding dress by Amelia Sposa.

Lots of volume on this white wedding dress by Amelia Sposa.

Quite different from Queen Victoria's white wedding dress but equally fashionable and stunning. Berta Bridal 2016.

Quite different from Queen Victoria’s white wedding dress but equally fashionable and stunning. Berta Bridal 2016.

Another gorgeous white wedding dress from the Berta Bridal 2016 collection.

Another gorgeous white wedding dress from the Berta Bridal 2016 collection.

 

A white wedding dress can also be daring with a touch of steampunk design. Dixie Vision Photography via offbeat Bride.

A white wedding dress can also be daring with a touch of steampunk design. Pixie Vision Photography via offbeat Bride.

Long sleeve white wedding dress from Naama & Amat fall winter 2016 collection.

Long sleeve white wedding dress from Naama & Amat fall winter 2016 collection.

Michal Medina Bridal spring 2016 couture wedding dress.

Michal Medina Bridal spring 2016 couture wedding dress.

 

 

Mira Zilwiger

Mira Zilwiger

Mira Zwilinger bridal 2016. Fiona strapless, blush, layered tulle wedding dress with white hand embroidered guipure flowers, and organza bow belt in the front.

Mira Zwilinger bridal 2016. Fiona strapless, blush, layered tulle wedding dress with white hand embroidered guipure flowers, and organza bow belt in the front.

Non-traditional watercolor wedding gown by Lazaro 2016. Swoon!!

Non-traditional watercolor wedding gown by Lazaro 2016. Swoon!!

Princess style, white wedding dress from the 2016 Amelia Sposa collection.

Princess style, white wedding dress from the 2016 Amelia Sposa collection.

Romantic and feminine creation by Inbal Dror. An amazing example of the white wedding dress.

Romantic and feminine creation by Inbal Dror. An amazing example of the white wedding dress.

Sensual and classy the black wedding dress could be a great option for daring brides or for those who celebrate their second nuptials.

Sensual and classy the black wedding dress could be a great option for daring brides or for those who celebrate their second nuptials.

Straight from the collection of Stella York 2016 this white wedding gown nos enamora.

Straight from the collection of Stella York 2016 this white wedding gown nos enamora.

This white wedding dress article wouldn't be complete without a Pronovias bridal gown.

This white wedding dress article wouldn’t be complete without a Pronovias bridal gown.

Tracey Buyce Photography captured a perfectly loving moment at this LGBT wedding. The brides wear a black and a white wedding dress.

Tracey Buyce Photography captured a perfectly loving moment at this LGBT wedding. The brides wear a black and a white wedding dress.

We adore the Berta Bridal Spring 2016 collection. Lace, embroidery and sheer fabrics.

We adore the Berta Bridal Spring 2016 collection. Lace, embroidery and sheer fabrics.

Don't dare go all the way with breaking tradition? How about this pink and white wedding dress from the Stella York 2016 bridal collection instead?

Don’t dare go all the way with breaking tradition? How about this pink and white wedding dress from the Stella York 2016 bridal collection instead?

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Photo credits: huffingtonpost, heyweddinglady,tulleandchantilly, goeswedding, indulgy, dearpearlflowers, stylemepretty, weddinginspirasi, MODwedding

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