Not all wedding dresses have to be white. Many wedding traditions have been passed down through generations of legends and beliefs. 

Why are wedding dresses white?

The white wedding dress, however, is a recent tradition popularized by Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. 

Before the queen’s wedding, white was an uncommon choice of wedding dress color. This was largely due to white being difficult to keep white and only the wealthiest could afford a white dress that would only be worn once. 

Queen Victoria’s style and color of her gown was copied across continents as women aspired to look like the queen. Wearing white became a sign of wealth and status rather than virginity. 

Attaching white to purity was sentimental and traditional because the color white only became associated with purity as it gained more dominance.

The white wedding dress has only become a standard fashion statement in the last 80 years. 

 While white wedding dresses are the most common option for Western weddings, they are by no means the only option. 

Brides wearing anything but white

A white wedding dress does not lend itself to practicality: it is difficult to keep clean and is therefore not ideal for many situations.  

According to The Washington Post, back in the 1700s and 1800s the color white was associated with mourning and funerals; no bride wants to be reminded of grief on their wedding day. 

TIME magazine reported brides were more likely to wear red when they tied the knot. Wealthy brides would have jewel-toned dresses edged in fur and embroidered golds and silvers to make a splash. 

Brides are also choosing other colors than white for sustainability purposes; many brides will reuse their wedding dress for special occasions. Just like 27 Dresses, “the best part about a wedding dress is you can chop it and wear it again!”

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