Lovely Bridal Gowns For Prim And Proper Brides
People have been getting married for thousands of years. In fact, the institution of marriage predates recorded history. Every culture has their own set of connubial rituals and traditions. Arguably the most popular and enduring one is the white wedding.
Before 1840, western brides did not consider color. They simply wore their Sunday best. Even royal brides did not pay it much mind. The typical royal gown was heavily brocaded with white, silver, or red thread. Americans were even less choosy when it came to color. They often wore shades of brown and grey. White was one of the least popular choices.
All that changed when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in a white wedding dress. As news of the wedding spread around the world, the beau monde followed her lead. In time, the tradition took on symbolic significance. After all, Victoria was one of the few queens who had married for love, rather than that to secure a political alliance. The white wedding dress would come to symbolize innocence, romance, and sexual purity.
As with most traditions that begin with the elites, it took some time before it was embraced by the middle class. British and American brides turned the trend into a tradition after World War II. White has been the color of choice for western brides ever since. Even brides who've walked the aisle a time or two go with white gowns on their wedding day.
Of course, some things have changed. Due to rising costs, weddings have become ever more informal. Many couples are planning outdoor weddings in the grass or in the sand. As you might expect, a more informal ceremony calls for more informal clothes. A wedding dress for an outdoor bride is often made of lighter materials and has a higher hemline. But what do you do if you want a more conservative, traditional dress.
Though outdoor weddings are on the rise, formal affairs are far more popular. Sure, outdoor wedding may be more affordable, even more fun, but formal weddings are easier to plan and to control. As modern-thinking as we might be, the wedding day is still about the bride. It might sound a bit stereotypical, even misogynistic, but it happens to be true.
Most women dream about and secretly plan their wedding day years in advance. Call it a flaw in the male makeup, but most guys do not do the same. And when it comes to planning her big day, the formal wedding is almost always on her list. It gives the bride-to-be more control over the ceremony. She can plan every single seemingly inconsequential detail and create the wedding day of her dreams.
Perhaps Queen Victoria is to blame for the incredible emphasis western brides put on the wedding dress. How important is it? The average bride will start shopping for her wedding gown 9 to 12 months before her big day. She will spend about a thousand dollars on it. She will also pay extra for alterations and for matching shoes and accessories.
The good news is that formal wedding gowns are a bit easier to shop for. Brides-to-be don't have to worry about the weather or their hemlines. Traditional wedding dresses follow a fairly rigid set of rules. That is not to say that every bride has to dress like Queen Victoria did. Fashions have changed.
Selecting a Formal Gown
Most formal wedding gowns still touch the floor. Floor-length dresses with long trains are seen by some as de rigueur for formal ceremonies, though it is perfectly permissible to wear a tea- length dress without a train. Many older brides prefer shorter, lighter dresses on their wedding days.
Lighter dresses also eliminate the need to buy a second gown for the reception. For as beautiful as they are coming down the aisle and in photographs, brides cannot dance and enjoy the celebrations in heavy brocade wedding gowns. That is why most formal brides spend an extra three to five hundred dollars on reception gowns, which they slip into after they dance with their new husbands and their fathers.
As popular as they are for younger brides, strapless gowns are still consider inappropriate for formal wedding ceremonies. A practical compromise is to wear a prim and proper traditional gown to the ceremony and then change into a more comfortable strapless number for the reception.
Queen Victoria might roll over in her grave if she heard that white is on the way out. Well, kind of. The truth is that many modern brides are passing up the pure white dress for off-white colors like ivory and champagne. Designers believe the shift away from pure white is due to the fact that it does not compliment most skin tones. In fact, it can make some girls look washed-out. Pure white is still the most popular color, but it certainly isn't the only choice at bridal salons anymore.
Selecting a formal gown is a process that should not be rushed. The bride-to-be should start shopping for her dress at least six months before her big day. Find your perfect gown now!