Wedding Dress – Its Interesting Origins and Different Cultures

A wedding ceremony is considered as one of the most important events that a person can attend to. It is a common tradition to just about every country worldwide. However, different countries have different ways when holding a wedding event. The styles and ways of wearing a wedding dress is one way to distinguish those differences.

What Is a Wedding Dress?

Also termed as wedding gown, a wedding gown is the form of clothing worn by the bride in a wedding ceremony. The gown’s color, ceremonial importance and style may rely on the culture and religion of the participants of the wedding. In cultures of the Western people, brides normally wear a wedding dress in white. The custom was made well known by Queen Victoria during the nineteenth century. In Eastern cultures, brides normally select red, which symbolizes auspiciousness.

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The Use of Wedding Dress in the Western Culture

Basically, weddings conducted in the Middle Ages were normally more than a simple union between 2 individuals. This ceremony may serve as a union of 2 families, 2 business or even 2 countries. Several weddings used to be more of political purposes than love, specifically among the rich and the upper social classes. Therefore, brides were projected to dress in such a way that will cast their individual families in the most positive light and be appropriate to the intended social status, as they didn’t just represent their selves upon the ceremony.

Brides who come from well-off families normally wear gowns made of exclusive fabrics and rich colors. It was ordinary to see them with bold layers and colors of furs, silk and velvet. Brides from poor families wore their best possible church day during their wedding day. The price and amount of material contained by the wedding dress used to reflect the social standing of the bride. It also indicates the height of the wealth of the family to the guests.

Philippa of England is the first reported princess with the instance of wearing a white-colored wedding dress for the royal wedding ceremony in 1406. It was in year 1559 when Mary, the Queen of Scots, wore a white wedding dress upon marrying Francis Dauphin of France, her first husband. It was the queen’s favorite color, though white has then became the mourning color for the Queens in France.

This has not become a common trend. However, before the Victorian ear, brides were married with any color of a wedding dress, being black an especially common in Scandinavia.

In 184, following the marriage of Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Queen Victoria, white has become a common option. In the wedding, Victoria wore the white dress, which incorporates some of her valued lace. In accordance with the choice of the Queen, a lot of brides go for white, particularly after the official wedding photograph of the couple was popularly published.

For a period, even after that, wedding gowns were tailored to the day’s styles. For instance, during the 1920s, dresses were normally short in front with a long train at the back. These were worn along with a cloche-style wedding veils. The trend to follow present fashion continued until the late 60s, after it became a trend to reverting to full-skirted, long designs reminding the Victorian era.

These days, Western wedding gowns are normally white while “wedding white” incorporates shades like ivory, eggshell and ecru.

Later on, a lot of people believed that color whites were intended to signify virginity, though it was not the real intention. It was color blue, which was linked to purity, faithfulness, piety, as well as the Virgin Mary.

Culture of Native Americans

The native people of the Americas have different traditions pertinent to wedding and to wedding dresses. Traditionally, a Hopi bride had her clothing woven by her groom along with any village men who like to participate. The clothing contains a big belt, 2 all-white wedding robes, one wedding robe having red stripes at bottom and top, white buckskin moccasins and leggings, a hair string for tying, and one reed mat through which they wrap the outfit. The outfit served as the shroud as well, as they will be required for the trip to the underworld. Pueblo brides wore the cotton garment that is tied on the right side of shoulder protected with the belt around their waist.

The Northern California’s Tribes, including the Modoc, the Yurok and the Klamath, had the conventional bridal dress that was woven with symbolic colors: white (east), south (blue), black (north), and yellow or orange (west). Silver and turquoise jewelry were both worn by the groom and the bride along with the silver concho belt. Jewelry was known to be a guard against evils that include poverty, bad luck and hunger.

Eastern Culture

A lot of wedding dresses in China, Vietnam, Pakistan and India are red, which was the traditional color of auspiciousness and good luck. These days, a lot of women go for other colors aside from red. In weddings of the modern mainland Chinese, the bride can go for any color of Western dresses, and later on, it became the conventional costume for an official tea ceremony.

In contemporary Taiwanese weddings, a bride normally chooses red (subsequent to Chinese tradition) or white (more of a Western) silk for wedding gown materials. However, most of them will wear a red conventional garment for proper wedding banquets.

In the Indian culture, red wedding saris are the conventional clothing option for brides. Traditionally, sari fabric is silk as well. Over time, fabric choices and color options for the brides of India have expanded. Today, fabrics such as Georgette, satin, crepe, and charmeuse are applied. Furthermore, colors have been stretched out to include pink, maroon, brown, orange, yellow, and gold as well. Brides of India within Western countries normally wear a sari in a wedding ceremony and later modify it into conventional Indian wear (choli, lehnga, etc.).

Present Fashion

Around 75% of wedding gowns in the market are sleeveless or strapless dresses, partly because these dresses need less ability from the designers. In addition, they are simpler to tailor correctly. On the other hand, a sleeved wedding dress and wedding dresses with straps both have become more common in recent years.