The history of wedding dresses is a long and varied story, with the style and symbolism of the dress changing greatly over time and across cultures.
In ancient societies, such as those in Egypt and Rome, brides wore dresses that were similar to those worn by other women in their culture. In other cultures, such as those in mediaeval Europe, brides wore special garments that were intended to protect them from evil spirits.
The modern Western wedding dress has links to the mediaeval period. At this time, brides often wore dresses that were made of expensive fabrics like satin and silk, and adorned with lace and other decorative elements. The colours of these dresses were typically white or cream.
In the 19th century, the white wedding dress became popular, thanks in part to Queen Victoria’s choice to wear a white dress when she married Prince Albert in 1840. Since then, the white wedding dress has come to symbolise purity, innocence, and tradition in many Western cultures.
There are many other traditions and customs surrounding wedding dresses that vary from culture to culture. For example, in some Asian cultures, red is a popular colour for wedding dresses, as it is believed to be a lucky colour. In some African cultures, brides may wear dresses that are adorned with bright colours and patterns, or dresses that are made from traditional materials.
The white wedding dress has become a symbol of purity, innocence, and tradition in many Western cultures. Before the Victorian era, brides did not always wear white. In fact, brides in many cultures and time periods have worn a variety of colours, including red, yellow, and blue.
The white wedding dress was a relatively new and expensive option in the 19th century, and it was seen as a symbol of wealth and status. Today, the white wedding dress is still a popular choice, although many brides choose to wear dresses in other colours as well, as pastel hues begin to trend.
Historical royal wedding dresses:
- Queen Victoria’s wedding dress is credited with popularising the white wedding dress across Western cultures. The dress, which was made of heavy white satin and lace, is considered a classic and has influenced the design of many wedding dresses since.
- Princess Diana’s wedding dress, Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles was watched by millions of people around the world. Her wedding dress was made of white silk taffeta and featured a 25-foot train and a veil adorned with pearls.
- Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, which was designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, was made of white satin and lace and featured a 9-foot train.