June 22, 2016

Wedding dresses: a brief history

While white is now a traditional choice for the wedding dress in the Western cultures,it can actually be considered a newcomer – until the late 19th century wedding dresses came in all different colours and patterns, and white was not the most popular colour to go for.

Marriages used to be a way to make alliances between families, to transfer wealth. And so a wedding dress was used to show family’s wealth and culture. For centuries brides dressed in a manner befitting their social status. Since the bride would invest a lot in a wedding dress, it used to serve as her best dress during the first years of marriage. Those who could not afford to get a special wedding dress just wore the best dress they owned, and the colour and the style of it did not even matter. The poorest of brides would use their church dress as a wedding dress.

In 1840 Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in a white wedding dress made from heavy silk satin, making what can be called a wedding dress revolution. Even though she was not the first royal to be married in white, it was her dress that was reproduced in various fashion journals, and established the ideal of a white wedding dress for years to come.

Queen Victoria wedding dress

These days different shades of white such as cream, ivory and off-white have become popular colours for a wedding dress. Wedding dresses come in all different shapes, styles and lengths, they are often beaded or embroidered.

The colour and style of the wedding dress also depend on the culture of the country the bride comes from. For instance, in Chinese, Indian, and some other Eastern cultures, brides often wear red or a white-red combination, as it symbolises good luck. In Japanese weddings, brides often wear multiple colourful dresses throughout the ceremony and the following festivities.


Ariella have designed a gorgeous bridal dress for our Spring Summer 2016 Ariella London collection – Dallas Beaded Dress, which is now available to buy in stores and online. And if you are going to attend the wedding as a guest, we have some stunning bridesmaid and mother of the bride outfits for you to choose from!

wedding dresses ariella