Why do Brides wear White?

Modern Celebrant’s very own Lisa Hartley is up on our blog today. Here Lisa talks about the wedding tradition of a wedding dress… and shares about her own experience too.  Read on!

What is tradition at a wedding? Many couples want to know how it’s usually done. A bride wearing white? This was a fashion trend started by Queen Victoria in 1840. White was an extremely difficult colour to launder so it was a signal of wealth, or conspicuous consumption. Queen Victoria allegedly had hers re-tailored for other celebrations. Like many women of her time, when my grandmother married in the late 1920’s she had a fantastic tea-dyed flapper gown that she wore for many years.

What about buying a spectacular dress for the only one day?

This didn’t start until 100 years after Queen Victoria, with the potent force of Hollywood movies. Impractical, glamorous, romantic images emerged. My Mom married in 1955 in a lovely ball gown with hoops and seeded pearls that would look very “traditional” today and fit in any Hollywood movie, but hung in her closet and was never worn again. My dress in 1995 was white but less “traditional” and much more simple, suited to the outdoor wedding we planned. I don’t know what dress my children will wear but I hope they will wear the gold cross that every woman in my family has worn since my great grandmother married. That feels like a meaningful tradition.

Don’t get me wrong, I love white, I’m a sucker for dreamy romantic dresses and I’m positive white will be part of many weddings for a long, long time. However, what I’m curious about is “does this tradition have meaning to you and your beloved?” Is this something that will make your day come alive? Is this what you will remember on your 10, 40th or 60th wedding anniversary.

At Modern Celebrant we have many years of combined experience helping couples discover what will make their weddings resonate with personal meaning.

By Celebrant Lisa Hartley

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