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Jane Wong

Have an Everlasting White Wedding

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First popular with Victorian era elites, a white wedding originates from the white color of the wedding dresses. Here I want to talk about is white wedding dresses as well.

Royal brides before Victoria did not typically wear white, instead choosing "heavy brocaded gowns embroidered with white and silver thread," with red being a particularly popular colour in Western Europe more generally. European and American brides had been wearing a plethora of colours, including blue, yellow, and practical colours like black, brown, or gray. As accounts of Victoria's wedding spread across the Atlantic and throughout Europe elites followed her lead. Because of the limitations of laundering techniques, white dresses provided an opportunity for conspicuous consumption. They were favored primarily as a way to show the world that the bride's family was so wealthy and so firmly part of the leisure class that the bride would choose an elaborate dress that could be ruined by any sort of work or spill. The colour white was also the colour girls were required to wear at the time when they were presented to the court.

Although women were required to wear veils in many churches through at least the 19th century, the resurgence of the wedding veil as a symbol of the bride, and its use even when not required by the bride's religion, coincided with societal emphasis on women being modest and well-behaved.

Etiquette books then began to turn the practice into a tradition and the white gown soon became a popular symbol of status that also carried "a connotation of innocence and sexual purity." The story put out about the wedding veil was that decorous brides were naturally too timid to show their faces in public until they were married.

By the end of the 19th century the white dress was the garment of choice for elite brides on both sides of the Atlantic. However, middle-class British and American brides did not adopt the trend fully until after World War II. With increased prosperity in the 20th century, the tradition also grew to include the practice of wearing the dress only once. As historian Vicky Howard writes, "if a bride wore white in the nineteenth century, it was acceptable and likely that she wore her gown again ..." Even Queen Victoria had her famous lace wedding dress restyled for later use.

The portrayal of weddings in Hollywood movies, particularly immediately after World War II, helped crystallize and homogenize the white wedding into a normative form.

The white wedding style was given another significant boost in 1981, when three-quarter billion people—one out of six people around the globe—watched Charles, Prince of Wales marry Diana Spencer in her elaborate white taffeta dress with a 25-foot-long train. This wedding is generally considered the most influential white wedding of the 20th century.

As a long lasting style of wedding dress, white dresses will never be out of date. Just look at Pandadress.com, which lists all kinds of white wedding dresses. You may feel an air of elegance.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 130

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