Unlike a good cocktail dress, which is designed to be a workhorse in a woman’s wardrobe, a white or cream-colored wedding dress need only dazzle its audience once. Unless, of course, it's a used wedding dress, either passed down from a beloved relative or picked up at auction or from a favorite vintage shop.

The trend for white wedding dresses started in 1840, with the union of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Prior to Victoria's wedding, most brides wore whatever fashionable hue they wanted, since they were likely to wear the dress on other occasions. Breaking with tradition, Victoria selected an elaborate white dress featuring a long train, a bridal veil, and a crown of white blossoms. Victoria's choice of white was viewed as quite conservative since it was historically the color for mourning (decades later, Victoria would make black the defacto mourning color when her beloved Albert died). However, mass-media coverage of her wedding made her style an instant sensation, influencing brides to this day.

At the beginning of the 20th century, with the Belle Epoque in full swing, Edwardian brides were cinched into tight corsets, which were covered with wedding dresses made out of chiffon, lace, and taffeta. But by World War I, the practice of squeezing women into hourglass shapes was giving way to more natural looks. After the war, wedding dress hemlines had crept far enough off the ground to reveal a bride’s ankle.

Hemlines continued to rise throughout the 1920s, producing wedding dresses that were relatively revealing in the front with a flowing train in the back. Dresses got long again in the ’30s, were generally straight, and for the first time were equipped with a detachable train, which allowed a bride to take her solemn walk down the aisle but then cut a rug on the dance floor after.

The 1940s was a schizophrenic decade when it came to fashion, and wedding dresses were no exception. During the war years, wedding gowns followed the overall trend of boxy, broad shouldered, military silhouettes. By the late ’40s, though, all bets were off as miles of previously rationed fabrics were lavished on wedding dresses and gowns. In some cases, wedding dresses were even made from silk salvaged from surplus parachutes.

Wedding dresses returned to full femininity again in the 1950s, with tight waists and full skirts below. Sleeve styles ranged from full length to almost none at all, while necks could be left open or collared. These varied looks remained consistent into the next decade, except for those adventurous brides who chose to be married in short numbers that ended well above their knees. By the 1970s, some women dispensed with the wedding dress altogether, trading tradition for the sophisticated look of an Yves Saint Laurent white tuxedo-jacket suit.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

MyVintageVogue

MyVintageVogue

The history of 20th-century women’s fashion largely played out in the pages of magazines such as “Harper’s Ba… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]

1960s Fashion and Textiles

1960s Fashion and Textiles

Put on your go-go boots and check out this wavy, groovy tribute to 1960s fashion and textiles, courtesy of the Vict… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Fashion Guild

Vintage Fashion Guild

While primarily designed to steer buyers to online vintage clothing shops, this blog is chock full of interesting, … [read review or visit site]

Fashion-Era

Fashion-Era

Bursting at the seams with content, this site contains hundreds of pages of fashion and costume history, including … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage 50s Original Ballerina Length Wedding Dress Floral Sequins 8 10 S Battenburg Tape Lace Turn-of-century 2-piece Wedding Gown W/train, Pigeon BreastVintage 30s 40s Original Wax Floral Wedding Bridal Headpiece W Diamantes Vintage 40s 50s Romantic Rockabilly Lace Tulle Sequin Wedding Dress Lot Of 4 SmBrussels Antique Edwardian Laces Dress Bridal 20's Laces OoakAntique 1920s Or Earlier Embroidered Silk/satin Wedding Dress W/veil Sash PetalsVintage Wax Flower Tiara Bridal Headpiece Wedding CrownVintage Mink Bomber Jacket Warm Tan S M Warm Blonde Wedding Swing CoatTrue Vintage 1940s Embroidered Floral Wedding Dress Gown Short Sleeve SmallVintage 1930's-1940's Wedding Dress Ivory Lace Handmade Small Restore Repurpose1950s 50s Elegant Vintage Silk Tulip Cocktail Party Wedding Dress Coat Set M1900s Vtg Edwardian Victorian Crochet Floral Lace L/s Garden Wedding Dress Xs1950s Vintage Beaded Sequined Blue Ombre Cocktail Party Wedding Dress Gown S/mVintage Gunne Sax Floral Dress Womans Xs Small 5 Hippie Boho Festival WeddingVintage Elegant Bridal Gown Long Train 2 Petticoats 14 Foot Veil - 1940's Vg+ Nr1910-20's Ivory Silk Wedding Slip With Alençon, Filet & Bobbin Lace - As IsVintage Wedding White Shiny Satin Lace Victorias Secret Sissy Panty Briefs Sz LVintage 70's High Waisted Eyelet Ruffled Prairie Dress Boho Bridal Hippy WeddingJessica Mcclintock Vtg 70-80s Romantic White Lace Short Wedding Dress-bust 37/ MWhite Crocheted Raffia 1960's Coat - Great For Wedding Or Photos!Vtg 50s 80s Floral Full Skirt Lucy Pinup Wedding Tea Party Patio Sun Day DressIncredible Antique Wedding Dress Ivory Silk Point De Gaze Brussels Lace Chest M / L Beautiful White Sissy Vintage Chiffon & Lace Lingerie Peignoir Robe BridalVintage 70s Edwardian Style Blue Floral Chiffon Gown Bridal Dress Size 2 4Vintage Fink Original Wedding Ballgown Lace Tulle Sleeves Ivory LovelyVtg 70's White Crochet Sheer Scalloped Cotton Lace Hippie Maxi Wedding Dress SVintage 1980s White & Ivory Peplum Ethereal Wedding Dress Sz XsVtg 60s Blue Chiffon Maxi Feather Boa Trim Hostess Dress Sweep Wedding GoddessAntique Vintage Wedding Dress Gown 3 Pieces Headpiece Floral Organdy Train S Vtg 70's Gunne Sax By Jessica Victorian Stlye Lace Cream Wedding Dress Sz 3Womens Gunne Sax Vintage Spring Wedding/garden Party Dress. 13. W/linerVtg 60s Ivory Satin & Embroidered Lace Hourglass Figure Glam Wedding Gown 10 M60s Vtg Bridal Peignoir Nylon Silky Aqua Ivory Nightgown Robe Lingerie MChristian Dior Bridal Bouquet Full Fasioned Faux Pearl Nylon Stocking 9 1/2 M Distressed Vintage 1930s 1940s White Wwii Wedding Gown Dress MVintage Gown Silk 1930 Bias Drape Dress Party Bridal Boho Maxi White Nightgown Vintage Nightgown Silk 1930 40s Blue Bias Gown Lingerie Dress Party Bridal Maxi Vtg Gunne Sax Mcclintock Victorian Fit And Flare Wedding Dress-key Hole-med-ivryVintage 40s Candlelight Ivory Wedding Gown, Satin Ruched,long Train, Lace Trim SVintage/nwt 2 Pc Wedding/mother Of Bride/cocktail/church Dress Sz Lge Sue WongMini Wedding/wedding Reception Dress With Vintage 1960's Vibe!Vtg 70s Grecian Goddess One Shoulder Maxi M-l White Wedding Boho Festival Dress

Recent News: Wedding Dresses

Source: Google News

Vintage Wedding Fashion show held at Nicholson Institute in Leek
Leek Post & Times, March 26th

A Vintage wedding fashion show is taking place at a gallery and museum this week. Following a hugely successful sell-out vintage clothes show last year, Notty Hornblower, from Hope House Costume Museum, is returning to Leek with her wonderful ...Read more

YPF 2015: Malavika Karlekar's Old Wedding Photographs of India
The Eye of Photography, March 26th

“Framing the Conjugal Bond” is an exceptional occasion to see the finest vintage wedding photographs from India collected and presented by Indian scholar Malavika Karlekar who is editor at Indian Journal of Gender Studies and curator of Re-presenting ...Read more

Over 200 people attend vintage wedding weekend at Soham Methodist Church
Ely News, March 23rd

More than 200 people flocked to a vintage wedding weekend at the town's Methodist Church on Saturday and Sunday. There were more than 50 wedding dresses on display from the 1800s to the present day, as well as vintage albums, photographs, flower ...Read more

50+ Vintage-Inspired Dresses For Brides Who Love All Things Retro
Huffington Post, March 23rd

By Stefania Sainato for Bridal Guide. Blast from the past — retro-inspired wedding dresses are everywhere right now! Whether your vibe is glam '30s starlet, sweet and demure '50s or '90s sleek and chic, we've gathered some throwback options to...Read more

/Planning a vintage wedding for spring or summer? Alley Kats Art and Antiques ...
Bloomington Pantagraph, March 21st

(309) 820-0777 pantagraph.com. March 21, 2015 10:13 am. Planning a Vintage wedding this Spring/Summer? Stay tuned to our Facebook page for ideas and find like items to make it happen right here at Alley Kats Antiques. Warehouse District Antiques...Read more

Vintage wedding fair returns to The Bowdon Rooms on Sunday
Altrincham Today, March 16th

Over 30 exhibitors from across the North West will come together on Sunday when The Bowdon Rooms hosts its Spring Wedding Fair. Everything from flowers, photography and cars to tiaras, dresses and wedding bands will be on show at the fair, which lasts ...Read more

Vintage wedding trend is suiting Great Glen firm perfectly
Harborough Mail, March 8th

Vintage wedding trend is suiting Great Glen firm perfectly. Ann Collick, of Great Glen firm Flora Button. Alex Blackwell. alex.blackwell@jpress.co.uk. 12:00 Sunday 08 March 2015. 0. Have your say. The trend of vintage-style weddings is suiting one...Read more

Shhh... Secret Vintage Wedding Fair set to return to hidden Manchester venue
Mancunian Matters, February 28th

Brides-to-be looking to the past for wedding inspiration will have the chance to re-visit all the eras under one roof next month as the Secret Vintage Wedding Fair returns to Manchester. The cute and quirky event, which promises to be packed with...Read more