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 synched 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.
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My Big Day: Suzi & MattMyDaily UK, December 11th
Even with lots of unexpected elements - a torrential downpour the whole wedding day morning, a just-healed-in-the-nick-of-time bruised and swollen lip and chin for the bride after a fall a week before the big day - Suzi and Matt pulled off an...Read more
Vintage wedding bus takes Hereford bride to her weddingHereford Times, December 9th
Vintage wedding bus takes Hereford bride to her wedding. From left is Elizabeth Sheedy (bride's sister), Isabelle Balderson (groom's daughter), Victoria Sheedy, Michael Sheedy and Emma Sheedy. 1449_18001 Photo: James Maggs. share on Facebook ...Read more
Minneapolis vintage bridal shop offers gowns and memoriesMinneapolis Star Tribune, December 7th
A collector of vintage wedding gowns, she got into the retail end of things in a roundabout way. When she got up to 100 dresses, she realized that her basement wasn't going to hold many more. So she started selling some of them. The business grew...Read more
Spotted: Vintage Wedding Dress Pendant from Little Red Window, and 4 other ...Crafting A Green World, November 28th
A vintage wedding dress, especially one passed down from a loved one, is a priceless treasure, but let's be realistic: if it's stained or hasn't been maintained properly, or if grandma has eighteen children, all of whom love her equally dearly, then...Read more
Found in Franklin: Does this vintage wedding photo belong to you?Wicked Local Franklin, November 26th
Posted Nov. 26, 2014 @ 9:00 am. This vintage wedding photo was found outside the 99 Restaurant in Franklin on Nov. 16. Zoom. This vintage wedding photo was found outside the 99 Restaurant in Franklin on Nov. 16. The person who found it is seeking its ...Read more
Brides-to-be find inspiration at the Nottingham Post vintage wedding fairNottingham Post, November 23rd
FROM the moment the question is popped, the pressure is on brides and grooms-to-be to make sure their Big Day is the best of their lives. goes with a bang. Luckily the experts were on hand yesterday at the Nottingham Post's vintage wedding fair to take...Read more
Long Island Woman Finds Owner of Vintage Photo Washed Up During SandyNBC New York, November 22nd
A vintage wedding photograph that washed up in front of a Long Island woman's house after Hurricane Sandy was reunited with its owner Saturday. Leah Welsh said that after appearing on NBC 4 New York and elsewhere to share the story of her quest to find ...Read more
Britain's 50 best vintage fashion boutiquesTelegraph.co.uk, November 21st
It's been open for two years and offers original vintage gowns as well as a bespoke service that replicates vintage wedding dresses in any size and fabric. 22 Walmgate, York. MIDLANDS. Vintage to a Tea This vintage tea party has upgraded from market...Read more