You are planning your wedding and have begun looking at all those white dresses. Why is it that most wedding dresses are white? Do I have to wear a white wedding dress? These are all questions that many a bride has asked when searching for the perfect dress for her wedding day.
How did white wedding dresses originate? In the big picture, the tradition of wearing white dresses really isn't that old. In addition, the tradition of a white wedding dress started in England. It was the wedding of Queen Victoria in 1840 that boosted the popularity of the white wedding dress as we know it today. In those days, a white wedding dress had little to do with virtue and purity, it was about wealth. Being married in an extravagant, white gown you would never wear again was a sign that you were very wealthy and could afford such a frivolous purchase.
It wasn't until the early 1900's that the white wedding dress began to soar in new heights in popularity when Coco Chanel introduced it's knee-length white wedding dress, complete with a long, extravagant train. However, even with this inspiration, many women still chose to marry in an informal short, white wedding dress which was often dyed and used as an everyday dress later on. It was still only the very rich and famous that could afford a lavish white gown.
Coco Chanel's First White Wedding Dress
However, from the 1950's on, women watched as royalty, members of high society and Hollywood stars were married in beautiful white gowns and the tradition became well seated.
Whether you are having a very lavish wedding or a simple beach wedding, it is very likely you will be searching for a white wedding dress. You can choose from many different "whites" and still be considered to be wearing a white wedding dress. Here are a few of the terms that are used for "white" wedding dresses.
White: The brightest and most crisp white you can find. This pure white tends to complete brides with darker skin tones.
Diamond, Silk or Natural White: This is a bit softer shade of white. While this looks almost like pure white in photos, this type of white tends to look great on most skin tones.
Ivory: This is also sometimes referred to as eggshell or candlelight. Some ivory wedding dresses have a yellow undertone which makes them look almost creamy. This shade of white tends to look best on women with fair skin tones or a medium skin tone with pink undertones. Brides with yellow undertones or olive skin should keep away from this shade of white.
Champagne: This shade of white has an almost gold sheen to it and complements brides with darker skin tones or those with yellow undertones.
Rum: This white has pink undertones and will look nearly white in your wedding photos. This shade also complements brides with dark or yellow skin tones.
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