Sunday, January 22, 2012

Have you ever wondered why modern brides wear white?

   In the early18th century Britain the wedding dress was a practical garment which was expected to be worn again on many occasions. This explained why black or grey was a general favorite for the lower classes because they were such useful and respectable colors for reusing.
  Bridal attire in 18th century France was much the same. White was a mourning color, and brides would wear it when they had recently lost a close relative. Otherwise, they dressed in their best gowns, and color was a matter of taste and fashion.
   However when in 1840 Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, all of this changed. 
   She wore a gown of white satin, trimmed with white lace matching her veil. The only spot of color was the beautiful sapphire brooch Albert had given her as a wedding present (which you can see on this portrait by Winterhalter).
   Thus Queen Victoria was a trendsetter and soon white became a tradition for wedding gowns, at least among the upper classes. 
   Even a bride who wore white would expect to wear her dress again after removing the train and the flowers. 
  Queen Victoria herself removed the lace overskirt from her dress and frequently used it. She wore it over a black silk gown for her Diamond Jubilee celebrations over 50  years later.

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