It seems to be an unwritten law that every bride wear white, however, it hasn’t always been this way. Throughout Italy there are several traditional customs that were used and I haven’t found any that included a white wedding dress until recent times. The Tuscans would actually use the opposite, a black wedding dress. They would, however, wear a white hat with it.
So why are wedding dresses expected to be white today? The origins of white wedding dresses are varied and vague, however, most agree that it was Queen Victoria of England who was the first to set the basis for white wedding dresses back in the late 1800’s.
It wasn’t until more recent times however, that the “common folk” of the middle class started to habitually wear white wedding dresses, and since then white took over. So in most of our lifetimes, unless we have some very elderly readers, white has been the default color for wedding dresses in western cultures.
In recent times many have started to ask why they should go with the default color for their special day. As a result designers have started to add some color to their designs and others have changed the color all together.
Wedding Dresses and the Meaning of the Color
There are some superstitions and customs that give certain meanings to the different colors of wedding dresses. You may want to take them into consideration if you are concerned about offending anyone, or if you are looking for an official excuse to not use white 😉
Pink Wedding Dresses:
Pink is a very fitting color as it is considered to be the most feminine of colors. It is often used to symbolize child-like innocence, purity, freshness, springtime, love, and good health.
Green Wedding Dresses:
Green is a color that invokes harmony and balance. Not only is it used for environmentally conscious people, but it attracts those who are peaceable, compassionate, loyal, social, and modest. Olive green traditionally is the color most associated with peace.
Blue Wedding Dresses:
Every bride should have something blue, so why not her dress! Blue represents feelings of peace and calm. It is associated with femininity, purity and life. It can also symbolize loyalty, security, and stability. Blue is the color of water and is associated with maritime themes.
Red Wedding Dresses:
Red is a favorite wedding dress color among many eastern cultures and it can convey many meanings. It is the most used color to convey love (just think of St. Valentines day). Red is a strong color and represents strong emotions, i.e., infatuation, passion, strength, excitement, and energy.
Black Wedding Dresses:
This always sounds odd, however, when done right a black dress, or one with black accents, can be quite elegant. Black is a dignified color that represents power (probably why most men wear black wedding suits). It can also represent sophistication, sexuality, and formality.
Gold Wedding Dresses:
If you want to symbolize wealth and power without using a black gown, then gold would be a good choice. Along with wealth and power, gold can also represent relaxation and a sort of somber cheerfulness.
White Wedding Dresses:
Yes, we felt the need to include the default color into the list. White is closely associated with pureness, innocence, and hence virginity. White can also represent goodness and light. It’s really no wonder it is became such a popular wedding dress color!
If you are attracted to “alternative” wedding dress colors this article just may give you the excuse that you were looking for. Of course using accents a white or ivory based dress with colored accents is also a way to make a statement while sticking closer to modern tradition.
The important thing is that the bride is comfortable, happy, and strikingly enchanting on her special day!