Today’s bride often chooses a full
traditional wedding with beautiful, expensive wedding
gowns, long trains, and exquisite veils or hats. Waiting
on her are large numbers of attendants, groomsmen in
tuxedos with matching accessories, and bridesmaids in
elaborate, colorful and high fashion dresses. It wasn’t
always that way. Over the generations, wedding attire
fashion has been fascinating to watch.
Color It Red. Red was the favored color for wedding
gowns in the Middle Ages and is still the color chosen
by Hindu, Islamic and Chinese brides as a symbol of celebration.
During the American Revolution, red was worn as a color
of defiance by American brides.
A Different Approach. Your
great, great grandmother picked out her wedding gown
as something she would wear
for “best” for years to come. It was sometimes
white, but more often pale blue, dove gray or beige silk.
It wasn’t until the twentieth century that white
became the traditional color and brides started wearing
the gown only once then storing it away as a treasured
Veils and Wreaths – Confusing the Devil. Wedding
veils were first worn to protect the bride from the ‘evil
eye’. Romans were afraid the devil would spoil
the joyful occasion and tried to conceal the bride.
Orange Blossom. A symbol of fertility, orange blossom
was used in the wreaths and bouquets of the brides in
Europe at the time of the crusaders.
Some more wedding traditions.
Something Borrowed, Something
Blue. Ancient Hebrews
first encouraged brides to wear blue ribbons on their
wedding day. Blue was symbolic of love, purity and fidelity.
Wearing something borrowed from a happily married woman
was thought to transfer her married bliss to the new
The Origins of the Wedding
Party. Group disguises were
another way to confuse the devil, by making bridesmaids
and groomsmen indistinguishable from the happy couple.
This led to the fashion of identical dressing, hence
the wedding party we know today with the bridesmaids
in matching gowns.
The 60’s and 70’s. The 1960’s and
1970’s brought the flower child era, with simplicity,
sometimes bare feet, and weddings in the garden or park.
The lack of formal weddings was the interesting element
of these times.