When you think about a wedding, you think about the star of that special day. It is definitely, the bride. Her dress will be the masterpiece of her appearance. But, who has ever thought about the history behind this special dress? How did we come to dress in white on the big day?
In the Middle Ages, for example, the brides had rainbow dresses, in various shades of yellow, orange and red. In those days marriages were more about alliances between families, businesses or countries. Therefore, brides were expected to dress to their social status, mandatorily with a new dress. Women from rich families were used to wear a very bold, fashioned and colorful dress for their wedding. If furs were for the rich brides, the Sunday best dress, or church dress was the middle age's gown for the poor brides.
The first white bridal dress was princess Philippa of England's dress, in 1406. By the 1500's, blue was the dominant color, the neck was completely covered and ornaments were very rare. By 1600, it was red wedding dress time. In the 1700's, purple tones of pink and crinolines or corsets in pale pastel shades were very fashionable.
White became the color of the wedding dress only after 1840. Queen Victoria's wedding to Albert of Saxe-Coburg had a great influence in marriage ceremonies. She dressed in white. Victoria chose this color because she wanted to prove that she can lead her people towards savings. White is the cheapest color, because there is no need to paint the fabric. In addition, the queen had another reason, she didn't want to change the white lace she had already ordered. Though brides continued to dress in other colors, the Queen launched a trend that gradually has become today's bridal dress code.
The white wedding dress is not, as believed, the symbol of purity. In our days, more than 75% of wedding dresses are white. But, in many countries this is not a fortunate color. In China, for example, a marriage dress should be any color other than white, because it is associated with grief and misfortune.
It is said that when a bride chooses to wear white, parents oppose the marriage or deny it. In India, it is acceptable to wear a white wedding dress, only if it has an application of a different color. A completely white dress will bring unhappiness.
As you can see, there are many stories and beliefs related to the wedding dress and nowadays choosing a wedding dress is one of the most difficult tasks for women, many of them being guided either by tradition or their personalities.