One of the most important decisions that a bride to be has to make is what to wear. The wedding dress should reflect the bride’s personality, be flattering to her figure, and make her look and feel beautiful when she wears it. The search for the perfect dress can be overwhelming and fun all at the same time.
Like other fashions wedding attire/gowns have changed through the years. In ancient Egypt brides wore a special headdress and a new tunic gifted to her from her parents. The tunic had a big knot tied into it (which might account for the expression of a couple “tying the knot”) which only the groom was allowed to untie. In medieval times brides wore bright colors which were fashionable at the time. It wasn’t until the 1820’s that the wedding gown as we would recognize it today first appeared. When white wedding gowns were introduced some brides still chose to wear brightly colored apparel. The popularity of the white wedding gown increased when Queen Victoria was married in 1840 in a white gown. Styles, designs, details, and accessories change throughout the years, but the white gown remains the most popular choice of brides even today.
In many cultures marriages have been arranged. The bride and groom may have been strangers or mere acquaintances on their wedding day. These marriages were usually contractual and had little to do with love. Marriage was seen as a way for one to advance family values and position in society. Because the bride was literally representing her family in a public contract, much emphasis was placed on her appearance. This is why today the bride is the focal point of the wedding and elegantly dressed with attention to every small detail.
Today the wedding gown will help the bride and groom create a lifetime of memories. It will be the subject of many photographs as the couple poses for their wedding pictures together, the bride will be photographed alone in her dress, and the dress may even be photographed by itself before the wedding. The groom usually hasn’t seen the wedding gown or his bride in it until she appears to walk down the aisle. The bride will long remember the groom’s reaction when he sees her in her wedding gown for the first time.
For this post I have relied heavily on these books:
The above books are adult picture books but also include fascinating history of how wedding attire / gowns have changed through the ages.
Other adult picture books I checked out are:
Did you /will you choose a formal wedding gown for your wedding? Do you favor a particular style of wedding gown?