Origins of the White Wedding Dress

Origins of the White Wedding Dress

Origins of the White Wedding Dress. Mobile Image

Mar 08, 2024

Origins of the White Wedding Dress


Contrary to popular belief, white wedding dresses weren't always the norm. In fact, throughout history, brides wore a variety of colors for their wedding attire, ranging from vibrant hues to muted tones. 


The trend of wearing white for weddings can be traced back to the 19th century, particularly to the wedding of Queen Victoria of England to Prince Albert in 1840. Queen Victoria's choice of a white wedding gown was, quite literally, an incredibly shocking choice. Her dress captured the public's imagination and set a new standard for bridal fashion.


The widespread publications of Queen Victoria's wedding portrait further popularized the white wedding dress as women sought to imitate her style and elegance. The image of a radiant bride in a white gown became deeply ingrained in popular culture and continues to influence bridal fashion to this day.



While Queen Victoria's wedding dress played a pivotal role in introducing the white wedding dress, it wasn't until the mid-20th century that white became the standard choice for brides. The rise of mass media, fashion magazines, and Hollywood films further cemented the association between white dresses and weddings, reinforcing the idea of the "storybook wedding.”


Today, the white wedding dress remains a timeless and iconic symbol of love and commitment. While brides have more options than ever before, with trends ranging from colorful gowns to sleek and minimalist designs, the expectation of the traditional white dress endures. 



The question begins to arise though. Does it have to be white? Does a tradition that came from a queen not even 200 years ago need to define the choices that a bride makes today? It also begs the question of what truly is influencing these decisions. Let’s put aside the “white” wedding dress for a minute and look at a few trends from the 21st century. 


Princess Kate married Prince William in 2011. A trend for a long sleeve lace ball gown for a wedding dress emerged quickly after. The marriage of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in 2018 quickly brought forth the desire to go back to the simple wedding dress. That trend has not left us yet…maybe it’s because we are waiting for the next royal wedding?



So, to those brides who feel that they have to wear a certain color, or a certain style in order to “be a bride,” I want to challenge you to be true to yourself. Is white you? Does white even look good with your skin type and hair color? Do you want to wear white? 


How about going back to the tradition of thousands of years before Queen Victoria and you wear the wedding dress that makes you feel like your most beautiful self. That is your style but cranked up a notch and makes jaws drop as you walk down the aisle to the person you are pledging to spend the rest of your life with.



Maybe that’s white, maybe it’s an off color, maybe it’s lace, maybe it’s blinged out, maybe it’s a floral print, or maybe it’s dyed. The most important thing is that it’s YOU. No one should tell you what makes you feel like your best self or what makes you a bride. The fact that you are getting married and pledging your life to another human being is what makes you a bride, not the color of the dress you wear.


Now, if you have gotten this far and you are curious…was Queen Victoria’s dress really white? Well, stay tuned, because we need to have a discussion about white versus ivory…


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The Adore Squad