How Queen Victoria, new-fangled photography and rubbish laundry facilities created the iconic western tradition
Ever wondered why western brides wear white? Queen Victoria sparked the trend in 1840 and actually raised eyebrows by choosing white, which was usually only worn by debutantes for their presentation to court.
Before then (and for a while after), brides would wear their best dress, whatever colour(s) it happened to be. There wasn’t even a concept of a wedding dress as something you wore just for your wedding day. It was expected that you’d wear your wedding dress again for other functions ans indeed, Queen Victoria did.
This expectation helped make the white wedding dress aspirational as it was only really practical to wash and maintain white fabrics, especially silk, if you were mega-rich. Ideally, you had staff to take care of that for you. European royals and nobility did of course and so the white wedding dress became associated with wealth and high social standing.
Simultaneously, photography was becoming more advanced and accessible and white dresses looked good in the early sepia photographs. Even nearly 200 years ago, we were all about the ‘Gram.
All of this means that you can still consider yourself a traditional bride if your dress isn’t white. This week, I took delivery of this stunning lace-satin-glitter (yes, all of them, in one fabric) fabric and I am ridiculously excited about it.
Satin, lace AND glitter all in one fabric. BIG plans for this beauty. HUGE.