Ok so we all grew up to believed that the white wedding dress represented a virtuous woman, symbolizing her innocence and purity. It has always been the traditional color of brides. Or has it? During the medieval time brides who were in the upper social class wore rich colors and fabric like velvet and fur and would often decorate it with colored jewels. Before the Victorian era the average bride wore their best dress, often their church dress, which they would wear again. In fact, in 18th century France, white was the color of mourning, so if a bride had recently lost a relative that was the color dress she would have worn. The color white became popular with the marriage of Queen Victoria in 1840. Edwardian women thought it to be extravagant and stylish and since it was worn by the affluent monarch herself, it became a trend for brides.
WW I changed the bridal attire. Small ceremonies replaced extravagant celebrations and simple designs like Coco Chanel’s knee length wedding dress with train was favored over embellished ball gowns. WW II only signified the importance of being frugal. Women were sent out to work in factories to help the war efforts and the focus was placed on national patriotism rather than individuality.
However, there was a resurgence of the white wedding dress in the 1950’s. After WW II America’s social climate was changing. The soldiers were coming back and marriage ceremonies were booming with the economy. Weddings again were viewed as an important social gathering and the Victorian style of high colllars, long trains and puffy big gowns were the trend.
Fast forward, today women still dream of that perfect fairy tale white wedding dress. But what if you don’t want to wear white? Why not wear a soft pink, lavendar or even a smoked colored dress to your wedding? Many cultural traditions have often swayed brides into making bold statements. For instance, cultures like India, the Middle East and Asia have had beautiful wedding gowns created of rich fabrics and designs. Designers like Vera Wang, Alfred Angelo and Reem Acra have all design colored wedding dresses for the modern bride.
If you do decide on a colored wedding dress keep in mind that it has to fit YOUR personality and style. If you think you might not be comfortable or care what others may say, then don’t do it. You will be the focus of the event and if you are not confident it will show. However, if a blood red wedding dress screams Carrie, then opt for subdued colors like lilac, light taupe or misty grey. Whatever you decide, it is YOUR wedding day! You should not be influenced by tradition or trend, but what you will feel beautiful in. Brides Fashion Director Rachel Leonard, noted, “You don’t have to wear a white dress anymore, but it still has to look like a wedding dress. The trick is to find a color that’s flattering to your skin tone, and not everyone looks great in white.” Amen. (go to the video tab to see some examples)