Monday, August 4, 2008

Antiquated Traditions: The White Wedding Dress

In The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions, Jenn Thompson dissects some of our most tried-and-true American wedding traditions.
The White Wedding Dress
...there was a time when a bride’s wedding attire was simply the best thing in her closet (talk about “off the rack”), and could be any color, even black. To convince her groom that she came from a wealthy family, brides would also pile on layers of fur, silk and velvet, as apparently grooms didn’t care if his wife-to-be reeked of sweaty B.O. as long as she was loaded. It was dear ol’ Queen Victoria (whose reign lasted from 1837-1901) who made white fashionable. She wore a pale gown trimmed in orange blossoms for her 1840 wedding to her first cousin, Prince Albert.
How interesting that our interpretation of white as a chaste, virginal color isn't even part of the tradition's conception. I'd venture a guess that most people make that association; I certainly did. I hated the idea of wearing the traditional "chaste" color while so obviously not being chaste myself (sorry, Mom). But when it came down to it, I decided to wear white for the following reasons:
  • When else am I going to wear a white dress?
  • Sometimes I can be strangely old-fashioned. Maybe this is one of those times.
  • Great photos
  • Not having to defend the decision on our wedding day

As for white v. ivory, white feels beachier and more outdoorsy than ivory, and looks better with a light suit.

Trevor actually loved the idea of me wearing a short, flirty dress ("you have the stems for it"), but that damn old-fashionedness is coming into play again with the length... And to be honest, I think of huge dresses as being more antiquated than those that are white or just long. My dress will be decidedly fitted, and I think I've even managed to keep the cleavage in check!

As for being draped in furs and gold? Trevor already knows that I don't have any money. ;-)

No comments: