Why Are Wedding Dresses White?

In Western countries, most brides choose white gowns to be married in. White, of course, is associated with qualities like innocence, purity and virginity, but these qualities may or may not be important to every contemporary bride. Not all wedding dresses are pure white, either. Wedding dresses come in a range of hues, including ivory, eggshell, ecru, cream and vanilla. You’ll find the largest assortment of beautiful wedding dresses at a bridal boutique that specializes in helping you find a gown for the most special day of your life.

Queen Victoria and the White Wedding Gown

Until 1840 when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg, most brides wore colorful dresses on their wedding days that could easily be repurposed for other occasions. The reason the 20-year-old Victoria insisted on being wed in a cream-colored satin gown is that she wanted to show off the delicate Honiton lace that embellished her sleeves, neckline and train. It was a deliberate attempt on the Queen’s part to boost the English lace trade though she cared enough about making her own memories to have the template destroyed after the lace was made so that it could not be copied.

Victoria also clad her bridesmaids in white and issued a request that no other wedding guests wear the color. Victoria’s choice was controversial because, at that time, white was considered to be one of the colors of mourning. So popular was Victoria and her love story that soon every bride in England insisted upon being married in the girl queen’s color. One hundred and eighty years later, white is still the most popular color for bridalwear.

The Bride Wore Red

Of course, white bridalwear is not the norm in every culture. In China, India, Pakistan and other Asian cultures, wedding dresses are traditionally red. Many of these cultures now opt for a double wedding celebration at which the bride may wear traditional colors during the ceremony but switch to white for a Western-style reception.