Sep 07

New trend: Wedding gowns don’t have to be white!

Why are wedding gowns white?

Queen Victoria set the trend for white wedding gowns in 1840

Queen Victoria set the trend for white wedding gowns in 1840

It may be a surprise, but wedding gowns were not always white. In fact, white only became the traditional colour in Western society weddings after 10th February 1840, when Queen Victoria married Albert of Saxe-Coburg, and wore a gown which happened to be made with white lace that she loved. At the time, photography was a new invention, allowing Queen Victoria’s wedding portrait to be widely published. This resulted in many brides adopting the trend of wearing a white dress for their own weddings.

Symbolism of a white wedding gown – it’s not what you thought

Today, it is commonly thought that a white wedding gown symbolises innocence, virtue and the purity of a woman starting her new life with her husband-to-be. However, history reveals that the white wedding gown is actually a symbol of status and wealth.

Before bleaching techniques became prevalant, white was a difficult colour to create, let alone keep clean. Only the wealthy could afford to purchase (and clean!) a white dress that would only be worn for one day. Before this, brides generally wore their best dresses, which could be in any colour. Those who chose to wear a white dress often dyed it after the wedding day, so that they could wear it again. In fact, prior to white dresses, blue was the popular colour representing fidelity and purity!

Blue traditionally represented purity and fidelity

Blue traditionally represented purity and fidelity


Interestingly, white was the colour of celebration in countries like Rome and Greece, but symbolises mourning in France and other Asian countries. For example – in Japan, a bride may wear three different dresses on her wedding day – the first being white to symbolise her leaving her family, the second is often a red gown, to symbolise her rebirth into her husband’s family, and a third gown in a colour of her choosing.

Would you wear a non-white wedding gown?

These days, brides are opting to add some colour to their wedding gown, to really personalise their dress to express their own style.

No matter if you decide to wear a ‘traditional’ white wedding gown, or boldly follow your heart to challenge modern-day convention and wear a gown in your favourite colour, you can be assured that you will look most beautiful when you are happy, and feel confident with the option you choose.

To successfully choose your best white, or coloured gown, we recommend you treat yourself to a Personal colour analysis consultation by a trained personal colour stylist, who will give honest advice, and will accurately determine the best whites and colours for your skintone, hair and eye colour, so that you can truly look radiant on your special day.

Click here to read more tips on whether a non-white wedding dress is for you…


New trend: Wedding gowns don't have to be all white!

New trend: Wedding gowns don't have to be all white!

The best wedding gown will make you feel happy and gorgeous – it’s your day, so be bold, and choose a dress colour that speaks of your personality. Your groom will be smitten, and all your friends and family will smile and say “it’s so you!”

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