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The History Behind the Wedding Dress

With Fall bridal season quickly approaching us with this seasons latest white gown trends, I wanted to dig a little deeper and provide you with some background on how "white" became the go-to color for all you blushing brides.

In case you didn't know, brides didn't always wear white. In the early 19th century white fabrics were impossible to clean by hand, so only the very wealthy could afford such high-maintenance fabrics. Therefore, most women wore their best dress on their special day.

Queen Victoria was one of the trend-setters who broke from the status quo with her 1840 wedding dress, by wearing a lace, ivory-colored silk satin gown. Fashion magazines embraced the look, calling ‘white the most fitting hue’ for a bride. The trend caught on and brides to this day have embraced the white gown.

For centuries women, including Queen Elizabeth, wore their wedding dress on multiple occasions — making alterations to fit with the times or a changing figure.Today, a wedding dress is usually only worn once and is the most expensive dress a women will ever purchase.

In the Twenties, as hemlines became shorter, brides started to wear wedding dresses that went above the knee. But then in 1954 when Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn wore a mid-calf length dress to her wedding, that dress length became the most popular style for several years to come.

The sixties dropped some fabric from the bridal dress and added a new accessory bringing in a totally newly styled bride. The mini dresses paired with knee-high boots was the go to wedding gown of the sixties. The style reflected the times and was worn by fashion icon Audrey Hepburn during her second marriage in 1969.

Then the seventies hit and in came the bohemian bride. Brides wore loose, empire-waisted, velvet dresses with extravagant sleeves.

And in 1981, Princess Diana married Prince Charles. And just like that, the princess gown became the most popular silhouette for decades to come. Brides everywhere wore full skirts, puffy sleeves and a tiara on their head.

And now after all those full gowns and puffy sleeves, most of the 20th century brides still wear white, but with a more tailored silhouette. While every decade has had a signature bridal style, today’s bridal designers are offering up a wide variety of options for every type of bride. Here are a few of our favorite looks from the Fall 2020 bridal show season.


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