The History of the White Wedding Dress

Fashion trends come and go, resurfacing and falling out of favour throughout the decades. Wedding dresses have definitely followed that endless circle, but the traditional styles we know and love have remained the same for years. A gorgeous bright white colour and a long flowing cut are part and parcel of the dream wedding dress, but where did it all begin?

While weddings have been an important part of daily life since the Middle Ages and were often reserved for the wealthier families. Featuring layers of fur, silk and velvet, brides wore wedding dresses with bold, bright colours in an attempt to showcase their wealth. However, white wedding dresses wouldn’t become a trend until 1406, when Princess Philippa of England married the King of Denmark Eric of Pomerania wearing a tunic with squirrel and ermine borders. It’s safe to say that dresses have moved on a bit since those days.

From 1406 to the early 1800s, it still wasn’t seen as traditional for brides to wear white at their wedding. Most brides wore the colours that suited their preferences, with brides in Scandinavia often wearing a striking black. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert in 1840 when the trend started to shift. The Queen wore a famous white gown trimmed with Honiton lace and illustrations of her stunning dress quickly entered the public consciousness. Who knew Queen Victoria was such a trend-setter?

From then on, white wedding dresses were the norm for brides. At the start of the 1900s, women’s clothing featured a host of decorations - such as frills and lace - which were then fused into wedding dress designs. White wedding dresses kept following these trends all the way up to the 1960s when brides began to revert back to classic Victorian styles. These long, full-skirted designs are now seen as the traditional bridal look and have been the standard for over 60 years.

Princess Diana Wedding Dress
Beckhams Wedding

So - what do most brides go for these days? Since the start of the 21st century, around three-quarters of brides choose sleeveless and strapless cuts alongside cream or bright white colours. Embellished and lace styles are also popular among brides keen to add some extra detail to their outfit. If you’re looking to add a contemporary twist, we suggest considering gorgeous midi cuts for those sunny summer weddings.

Chi Chi Wedding Dresses

White wedding dresses have been a traditional part of Western weddings for centuries. While trends may not have changed massively in the past 60 years, that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own style to your white wedding dress. Take a look through our collection today and find a special dress for the special day.