White Wedding Gown- What Does It Symbolize?

The White Wedding Gown: What Does It Symbolize?

Weddings are a symbol of love and devotion between two people, and the white wedding gown is often considered the ultimate symbol of marital bliss. But where did this tradition start, and what does it truly symbolize? Let’s explore the history and meaning behind the iconic white wedding gown.

The History of the White Wedding Gown

The tradition of wearing a white wedding gown is relatively new, dating back only to the 19th century. Prior to that, brides wore their best dress, regardless of color or fabric. In fact, blue was often the color of choice for wedding gowns, as it symbolized purity and fidelity in many cultures.

The trend toward white wedding gowns began in 1840, when Queen Victoria of England wore a white gown for her wedding to Prince Albert. The gown was made of white satin and lace and was widely publicized in newspapers and magazines. It became fashionable for brides to wear white wedding gowns after that, especially among the upper class. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that white wedding gowns became the norm for brides of all classes.

What Does the White Wedding Gown Symbolize?

The white wedding gown has become a symbol of purity, innocence, and virginity. It is meant to represent the bride’s commitment to her husband and her willingness to start a new life with him. The color white is associated with new beginnings, and the wedding day is often seen as the start of a new chapter in the bride’s life.

The white wedding gown also symbolizes the bride’s social status and wealth. In the past, only the wealthy could afford to wear white silk or satin gowns. Today, many brides choose to wear white gowns made of less expensive materials, but the tradition of the white wedding gown as a symbol of social status and wealth remains.

What Does the Bouquet Represent in a White Wedding Gown?

The bouquet is an important accessory for a bride on her wedding day. Traditionally, the bouquet represents fertility and new beginnings. It also symbolizes the bride’s own inner beauty, as well as her feelings of love and affection for her husband.

In some cultures, the bride carries specific flowers in her bouquet that represent different things. For example, white roses symbolize new beginnings and purity, while lilies symbolize love and devotion.

What Does the Veil Symbolize in a White Wedding Gown?

The veil is another important accessory for a bride on her wedding day. It has been used for centuries in many cultures, and it symbolizes various things. In Western cultures, the veil is often seen as a symbol of the bride’s purity and innocence. It is also believed to protect her from evil spirits and ward off bad luck.

In some cultures, the veil is used to symbolize the bride’s submission to her husband. It is also seen as a symbol of her new identity as a married woman.

What Does the Train Symbolize in a White Wedding Gown?

The train on a wedding gown is the long fabric that trails behind the bride. It is often used to create a dramatic and grand entrance for the bride.

The train symbolizes many things, including the bride’s grandeur and importance. It is also a symbol of her ultimate submission to her husband, as it reminds us of the long trail that a queen’s gown would leave behind her as she walked, symbolizing her submission to God.

What Does the Wedding Ring Symbolize in a White Wedding Gown?

The wedding ring is a symbol of eternal love and commitment. It is meant to be worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, as this finger was believed to contain a vein that led directly to the heart.

The ring itself is often made of gold, which represents the enduring nature of love. It is also often decorated with diamonds or other precious stones, which symbolize the preciousness of the love between the bride and groom.

How Has the Symbolism of the White Wedding Gown Changed Over Time?

While the basic symbolism of the white wedding gown has remained the same over time, its meaning has shifted somewhat as culture and society have evolved. Today, the white wedding gown is seen more as a reflection of the bride’s personal style and taste, rather than a symbol of her social status or purity.

Modern brides may choose to wear colored wedding gowns, or to forego the gown altogether in favor of a more casual dress or pantsuit. They may also choose different styles and fabrics than those traditionally associated with bridal gowns.

How Do Different Cultures Embrace the Tradition of White Wedding Gowns?

While the white wedding gown is steeped in Western tradition, it has become a popular choice for brides around the world. However, different cultures embrace the tradition in unique ways.

In some Asian cultures, the bride may wear a red wedding gown, which symbolizes good fortune and prosperity. In Indian culture, the bride often wears a saree or a lehenga in shades of red, gold, or pink. In African cultures, the bride may wear a brightly colored headwrap, or a kaftan in bold prints and colors.

What Should Brides Consider when Choosing a White Wedding Gown?

When choosing a white wedding gown, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, you should consider your personal style and taste. What type of dress makes you feel beautiful and confident?

You should also consider the style and location of your wedding. A formal ballgown may not be appropriate for a beach wedding, for example. The color of your skin, your body shape, and your budget are other important factors to consider.

What Should I Do with My White Wedding Gown After the Wedding?

Many brides choose to keep their white wedding gowns as a sentimental keepsake of their wedding day. Properly storing the gown is important if you want it to remain in good condition. It is recommended that you have it cleaned and preserved by a professional.

Alternatively, some brides choose to donate or sell their gowns. There are many organizations that accept donated wedding gowns for a variety of purposes, including providing dresses for low-income brides or creating burial gowns for infants who have passed away.

Are Non-Traditional Wedding Gowns Becoming More Popular?

Yes, non-traditional wedding gowns are becoming more popular among modern brides. Many brides are choosing dresses in different colors, such as blush, blue, or even black. Some are choosing pantsuits or other unconventional options.

This trend toward non-traditional gowns is likely due in part to the changing nature of modern weddings. Many couples are choosing to forgo traditional church weddings in favor of more informal ceremonies, and this has given rise to a wider range of wedding attire options.

What is the Most Expensive Wedding Gown Ever Made?

There have been many extravagant and expensive wedding gowns throughout history, but one of the most expensive to date is the custom gown worn by actress Grace Kelly when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. The gown, designed by Helen Rose, was made of silk, taffeta, and lace and featured a fitted bodice, full skirt, and long train. It was encrusted with pearls, sequins, and appliqués and cost an estimated $60,000 to make at the time, equivalent to over $500,000 today.

What is the Most Popular Style of White Wedding Gown?

The most popular style of white wedding gown varies from year to year, but some styles have remained popular over time. A-line and ballgown styles are perennial favorites, as they flatter a wide range of body types and can be made to look simple or extravagant. Mermaid and sheath styles are also popular, especially among brides who want a more modern or sexy look.

What is the Average Cost of a White Wedding Gown?

The cost of a white wedding gown can vary widely depending on the designer, fabric, and style. According to a survey by The Knot, the average cost of a wedding gown in 2020 was $1,631.

However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to find a beautiful wedding gown. There are many affordable options available, including dresses from smaller designers or online retailers.

Is a Custom-Made White Wedding Gown Right for Me?

Custom-made white wedding gowns can be a great option for brides who want a one-of-a-kind dress that perfectly fits their body and style. However, they may be more expensive than off-the-rack dresses and can take longer to make.

If you’re considering a custom-made white wedding gown, be sure to start the process early and choose a reputable designer who can create the gown you envision.

Where Can I Find White Wedding Gowns?

White wedding gowns can be found at a variety of retailers, both online and in-person. Bridal salons are a popular choice, as they typically have a wide selection of gowns from a variety of designers.

However, other retailers such as department stores or online marketplaces may also offer wedding gowns at a lower cost. It’s important to do your research and read reviews before making a purchase to ensure that the gown will meet your expectations.

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About Olivia Moore

Olivia is a writer and Literature major who is interested in studying ancient civilizations, symbolism, history, and how these subjects have shaped modern thought and culture. She has specialized in Greek mythology, a subject that has always stimulated her passion for learning.

In her free time, Olivia enjoys going to the cinema, reading the classics, and playing with her kittens, Rocky and Fluffy. She lives with her husband, David, and their daughter, Samantha, in Aberdeen, Washington State.

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