What Are the Origins of the Wedding Dress?

The moment has finally arrived. You have been slaving away planning all of the other aspects of your wedding, but now you finally get to pick out your wedding dress. But once you start your search for wedding dresses in PA, you will probably realize that this, too, presents you with even more decisions to make. Should you have a train and a veil? Silk, satin, or lace? Mermaid, ball gown, or contemporary? Sleeves or no sleeves? Cream, off-white, beige, egg shell, white, or something completely different? It can be overwhelming to say the least, and you may be cursing the person who came up with this tradition in the first place. But who was this person anyway?

First Gowns

It turns out there is not just one person to blame. Since before medieval times, women have worn special gowns upon their wedding day. The difference between now and then, however, was the purpose of the gown. During the medieval period, many marriages were meant to combine the powers of two families or countries. Because of this, a bride would wear as lavish a gown as she could afford to help display her family in a pleasing, as well as a rather showy, way. As a result, the gowns would be composed of rich materials such as silks, velvets, and furs, and would have rich colors like blues, purples, and reds. The gowns would also be adorned with gems in pearls, and could be very large and heavy. Not everyone could afford such luxuries, however, and would instead settle for a dress slightly more decorated than usual. For many women, this dress would then be slightly altered later to allow for use as a Sunday best dress or as everyday wear. Eventually, the wedding dress became more of a show of one’s social standing as the reasons for marriage changed. One trait of the dress that often distinguished a person’s social standing was the length of the train. These trends continued as time went on, though the popular styles and color choices would vary throughout the years.

The Wedding Gown Color

Until 1840, white was a very uncommon wedding dress color, and colors such as blue and pink were more common. Queen Victoria was thought to be the person who really set the white wedding dress trend after wearing a white wedding gown at her marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe in 1840. White would slowly gain in popularity within the Western world in the years that followed, and buying a dress for the sole purpose of getting married would become more of the norm during the Industrial Revolution. Today, white and its many variations remain the most popular choice for wedding dresses. Even so, you will still find yourself facing a multitude of ever-changing styles during your search for wedding dresses in PA.

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