The Wedding dress has been known in the western culture to be the white, long, elegant gown a woman wears for her wedding day. The color and style for the wedding dress can depend on which religion and culture the people who are getting married are accustomed to. The white wedding dress became known thanks to Queen Victoria during the 19th century. But in the eastern cultures, you will see that brides often chooses a red wedding dresses to symbolize luck for future success.
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During the middle ages, most often brides would dress according to the social class they belonged to. Brides of noble background would wear strong and bold colors, expensive fabrics like velvet and silk and not forget layers and layers of fur, all of course in the style of the current fashion. Mean while the less fortunate brides would dress in their best church dresses. What dress the bride wore for her wedding day was a indication of their social status and family wealth.
The first royal white wedding gown, known in history is the dress Philippa of England wore on her wedding day in 1406. It was a tunic with a cloak in white silk bordered with grey ermine and squirrel fur. Then a hundred years later in 1559, Mary, Queen of Scots wore a white wedding gown as she wed Francis Dauphing of France, as it was her favorite color, even though white at the time represented mourning for French Queens.
As colorful fabric was most common, black was also very popular in Scandinavia at the time. It was only after 1840 that the white wedding dress really got popular. After Queen Victoria wore her prized white lace on her wedding gown, many brides wanted to make the same choice as the Queen herself, and chose to dress in white on their wedding day.
Generally over the times, wedding dresses have been adapted to look fashionable for their time. Like in the 1920s they where made to be short in the front and long at the back with a long train flowing down the back, and a matching cloche style veil. To follow the current fashion continued up to late 60s. Then the fashion of wedding dresses reverted and it became popular to wear the long skirts like from the Victorian era.
Even after that, for a period, wedding dresses were adapted to the styles of the day. For example, in the 1920s, they were typically short in the front with a longer train in the back and were worn with cloche-style
Todays wedding dresses also vary in colors, though white is the most popular. Including shades like eggshell, ecru and ivory. Today most people seem to think that the white color intended to be a symbol of virginity, it never was the intention, blue was always the color that represented purity, faithfulness and the Virgin Mary.
As designing wedding dresses with sleeves, and altering dresses with sleeves are much more work then the dresses without sleeves, the market offers many more wedding dresses that are sleeveless then with sleeves. Though both dresses over the last years are equally popular.