Weddings have been important events since the beginning of civilization. While they were not always for love, they still symbolize the commitment between the bride and groom and the joining of two families. Because of this, everyone wants to look their best, not just to celebrate the occasion, but to show off their status and wealth. Here is a brief guide on the history of bridal gowns:
White wasn’t usually the color of choice back then. Instead, brides wore bright shades to celebrate the union. Of course, this also varies, depending on the culture. For example, in ancient Rome, yellow veils were used to symbolize the fire and warmth of a newlywed’s home. Red and violet, on the other hand, were all the rage in Athens.
In contrast to the bright colors of Western civilization, the Zhou Dynasty of China (1046-256 BCE), preferred their bridal garments in black with red trim. The styles changed over time, but they generally went with darker tones. It was only in the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) that variations of green and cyan became fashionable.
Medieval brides, especially those born from the aristocracy, wore bright, rich colors at their weddings. The fabrics were expensive and luxurious, such as velvet and silk. You can even find pieces with gemstones sewn on the neckline and sleeves!
Wedding gowns in this period came in all colors and shades. Blue was the most popular since it was associated with purity. But, you can also find red, yellow, and green dresses as well.
During the Renaissance (14th-17th century), the aristocracy took fashion very seriously, and this included unions. Weddings were lavish and elaborate affairs, and the gowns of the era reflected that. They were typically long, starting from the shoulder, extending past the ankle, and ending in a gorgeous train.
It was during the reign of Queen Victoria when white became the most popular color for bridal dresses. Before that, it wasn’t common at all since the fabric got dirty too easily and was expensive to maintain. But, on the day of her wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe, the monarch wore one made of handmade lace to showcase her wealth.
Since white wasn’t popular at the time, it came as a big and pleasant surprise. The trend immediately caught on, and soon, other brides began to wear it as well.
Because of this, Queen Victoria is credited with the most popular shade of wedding dresses. Of course, brides still choose to get married in other colors, such as cream, yellow, or purple. There are even styles that come in black or rainbow! But, white is still the most common gown to wear when saying your vows.
Since then, wedding dresses have changed in styles. New designs emerged with each decade. As fashion evolved, it built upon the ones that came before it. Eventually, you can find gowns spanning different periods in each store, and you’re free to choose what fits you best.
And, as technologies improved, luxury fabrics became more accessible. All of a sudden, everyone could have their own fashionable bridal gown for their dream wedding.