Friday, August 13, 2010

History of the Wedding Dress

This is not going to be as boring as it seems because this brief wedding history is going to be presented in pictures!

To start things off, here's replica of a 1799 wedding dress.

Back in the day, i.e. the late 1700s, it was common for brides to wear gowns in practically any color. This was true especially for brides in the middle and lower classes, mainly because of the cost of a formal dress. So the young maiden lucky enough to wear a dress like the one above probably came from some serious moo-lah.

It was actually Queen Victoria who changed the game, wearing a white satin dress in 1840. Check her out:

Not my style but apparently it was all the rage at the time.

Meanwhile in America, the 1860s brought the Civil War (known by Southerners like my former history teacher as "The War of Northern Aggression") and dresses like this. Imagine wearing one of those for a June wedding... I do declare!

Luckily, the turn of the 20th century brought the beginning of today's silhouettes. From the various websites I've read, it seems like a full-length white gown became the norm around the 1930s.

Here's an adorable vintage wedding photo from the 1940s:

How romantic! And I love the woman in the background in her striped suit and hat.

The 1950s saw a lot of ballerina length and tea length dresses:

Then the 1980s brought the wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Di...

And that brings us (roughly) to today's wedding dresses.

Modern dresses have a lot of embellishments and asymmetrical necklines, so it will be interesting to see if that trend continues in decades to come.

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