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”)



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]



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    

Antique Edwardian Original Dress Pearls Beaded Vtg Ornate Elegant Wedding Gown Vintage 50s Original Ballerina Length Wedding Dress Floral Sequins 8 10 S Gorgeous Antique Victorian 3 Pc. Shear Lace Wedding/special Ocassion Dress Gown1930s Vtg Semi Sheer Embroidered Guaze Wedding Dress Mutton Sleeves Wax FlowersVtg 4 Lyr Bridal White Miss Elaine Chiffon Peignoir Robe Nightgown Gown Set S MVintage 60's Mexican Crochet Indigo Navy Blue Long Bell Sleeve Wedding DressMuseum Quality Victorian Ivory Satin Wedding Dress, Circa 1895, With Huge TrainVtg Boho Hippie Wedding 2pc Hand Crochet Maxi Dress Skirt Sheer Batwing Top S/mGlorious 1860's Satin Wedding Dress W/shoes Museum De-accessionedVtg 70s Bone Plunging Grecian Sheer Lace Raglan Draped Boho Wedding Maxi Dress3622| Vtg 50s Ivory Lace Tulle Strapless Wedding Dress Bolero Jacket Bridal Xs/sVtg 1920's 30's Wax Flower Wedding Tiara Band Head Piece Unused W/tagVintage Samuel Winston Fine Linen Floral Pattern Cutwork Dress - Wedding Or TeaTrue Vintage 1930's Formal Ball Gown Wedding Dress Silk Velvet With ChiffonEarly 1800s White Hand Stitched Embroidered Women's Wedding Marriage CapVintage Mexican Embroidered White Wedding Peasant Boho DressVintage Laura Ashley Cream Lace Collar Cotton Linen Sailor Summer Wedding 6-8uk1960s Vintage White Wedding Or Bridal Dress With Full Skirt And Lace Sz S Vintage Prairie 60s 70s Wedding Dress Lace Detailed Bodice Long Sleeve TrainVintage Victoria's Secret Bridal White Satin & Sheer Bikini Panties Small S 5Vintage Bohemian/hippie Wedding DressVintage 1980s Ivory Lace Embellished Sheer Bridal Lingerie Robe Sz L Vtg 1930 40s Buff Organza Embroidered Bouquets Bk Button Long Fml Wedding DressSheer Chiffon Vintage Long Peignoir Dressing Gown Robe Bridal Bride Wedding L LgAntique Victorian Petticoat Slip Ayrshire Eyelet Embroidered Flounce BridalVintage 1960s Henry Lee Pink Shantung Silk Trimmed Cocktail Dress 20 48 WeddingVtg 70s Ivory Nylon Lace Ebroidered Floral Sleep Dress Wedding Nightgown S Vtg 80s 20s Sheer Lace Beaded Flapper Gatsby Wedding Party Dress M Midi MaxiVtg 1938 Wedding Beaded Cap Headpiece Beading In Perfect ConditionVtg Bridal White Intime Chiffon Peignoir Robe Nightgown Negligee Gown Set M L Diva Nightgown Bridal White Silky Nylon Lavish Lace Wide Sweep Gown Nwt 3xVintage White Crocheted Lace Embroidered Floral Mexican Long Wedding Dress Xs/sVintage Double Nylon White Chiffon Bridal 2pc Babydoll Nightgown Peignoir Set Vintage 70s Sheer White High Neck Lace Long Maxi Train Long Sleeve Wedding DressVintage 30s Radelle Rayon Pale Pink Bias Cut Bridal Lace Negligee Nightgown S 38Beautiful Edwardian Tambour Embroidered Cream-colored Tulle Wedding Slip /skirtVintage 60s 70s Stunning Ab Sequin Pearl Bead Wedding Party Dress RestoreAntique French Tulle Wedding Veil Or Shawl W/ Appliqué Lace Clusters & FlowersVintage Satin 80's, 90's Satin Pencil Wedding DressVtg 50s 60s Ecru Linen Crochet Lace Midi Wedding Garden Party Sheath Dress 38Victorian/edwardian Massive Cream Silk & Lace Wedding SkirtVintage Ivory Satin Victoria's Secret Babydoll Short Nighthgown L 38 BridalStunning Vintage Nwt Wedding White Nylon Sissy G String Bikini Thong Panties 40s Heavy Ivory Liquid Satin Hand Beaded Vine Long Sleeve Wedding GownVtg Morie Lee White Fairytale Princes Tulle Layer Cathedral Wedding Dress S 4 6Vintage 60s 70s Romantic Victorian Lace Ribbon Wedding Party Dress GownVintage 1980s Outrageous Bright White Satin Lace Kitten Bow Bridal Gown Sz L Vtg White Ivory Silver Bridal One Shoulder Dress Wedding Origami Ruffle Sequin

Recent News: Wedding Dresses

Source: Google News

Top 12 local wedding trends
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, May 21st

"Mixed bouquets with a just-picked feel—solidaster, Queen Anne's lace, garden roses and micro daisies—look right for a garden party or vintage wedding." Flowers in romantic colors—hand-tied bouquets with linen and lace—seem to fit the current mood...Read more

Ludgvan open day
The Cornishman, May 21st

throughout the day, dance performances, open studios of local professional artists, around 10 open gardens including that of Hogus House where there will also be a vintage sale, a special wedding exhibition at the church showing vintage wedding...Read more

Vintage wedding gowns on display in North Haven
Meriden Record-Journal, May 17th

NORTH HAVEN — Vintage wedding gowns from as early as the late 1800s will be on display at the North Haven Corinthian Masonic Lodge as part of the North Haven Historical Society's showcase “Brides Through the Ages.” For one day only, Sunday, May ...Read more

The Vintage Wedding: Harold & Kathleen (1933)
Times LIVE, May 3rd

and the hunter home from the hill." The Moment is looking for your vintage wedding photos. If you'd like to share them with us, please scan and e-mail to themoment@sundaytimes.co.za. Send us the details of your submissions and include all names in...Read more

Wedding gowns help tell a family's story
Post-Chronicle, April 30th

The trio gathered recently at the Historical Society on Broadway where they staged a trial run display of vintage wedding gowns worn by their mother and aunt. The gowns will also be part of the upcoming “Brides through the Ages,” program to be...Read more

How we got our vintage wedding rings cheap under $200
Examiner.com, April 29th

Our vintage wedding rings were bought cheap. They're short on cost, but long on tradition and love! Marilisa Sachteleben. View all 6 photos. When we got married in 1987, my husband and I paid for our entire wedding and reception. To cut costs, we...Read more

"Portrait of a Bride" Vintage Wedding Gown Exhibit to be Held May 9
Sarasota, April 28th

Collector Leigh Anne Brown will present "Portrait of a Bride," her vintage wedding gown exhibit, at Laurel Oak Country Club on May 9. inShare0. drawing5596. Indulge this Mother's Day weekend with a snapshot of fashion history. Portrait of a Bride, ...Read more

Museum will host vintage wedding fair
Bradford Telegraph and Argus, April 27th

A VINTAGE wedding fair takes place at Cliffe Castle Museum in Keighley next month. The Off The Wall wedding fair on May 9 and 10 will also have stalls dedicated to hair and make up and catering. Kirsty Gaskin, the museum's assistant curator, said...Read more