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The bizarre reason why wedding dresses are white

kate middleton wedding pippa middleton kate middleton wedding pippa middleton
Kate Middleton was not the first royal bride to wear a white wedding dress.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Brides haven't always worn white wedding dresses. 
  • The trend is believed to have originated with Queen Victoria, who wore a white lace and silk-satin gown when she married Prince Albert in 1840.
  • The dress outraged English aristocrats as white was traditionally the color of mourning.
  • In the years that followed, it became fashionable for brides to wear white.


If you've ever flicked through a bridal magazine, you'll notice that wedding dresses come in a range of styles. But almost all of them — especially in western countries11选5精准杀号法 — are white.

11选5精准杀号法However, wearing a white wedding dress hasn't always been popular.

The trend can be traced back to Queen Victoria, who wore a white gown when she married Prince Albert on February 10, 1840.

On her wedding day, the royal bride opted for a white lace and silk-satin gown11选5精准杀号法 that she designed herself, .

It was a crucial moment for fashion in the history of royal weddings, though Victoria's choice of a white dress was frowned upon by English aristocrats because white traditionally symbolized mourning, according to As Rissman writes, royal wedding gowns were typically red at the time.

The queen also thwarted tradition by wearing a wreath instead of a crown in her hair, and ditching the fur-trimmed velvet robes that were usually worn by royal brides.

Even Victoria's 12 bridesmaids wore white. As the Washington Post noted, this color scheme appeared at Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding in 2011, when Pippa Middleton wore a cream-colored gown.

Here's a portrait of Victoria on her wedding day.

Queen Victoria wedding portrait
Maybe Queen Victoria even started the flower crown trend.
Franz Xaver Winterhalter/Wikimedia Commons

In the years after the royal wedding, the shock of Victoria's ivory gown wore off — and white wedding dresses slowly became fashionable.

— essentially, the 19th Century's answer to Cosmopolitan — celebrated the white wedding dress, and even suggested that brides should have been wearing white all along.

"Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material," the women's journal reads. "It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one." 

This description of the white wedding dress as a symbol of virginity certainly sounds more familiar.

11选5精准杀号法Here's the famous dress that started the whole trend.

Queen Victoria's wedding dress
Queen Victoria's wedding dress, on display in a 2002 exhibition at London's Kensington Palace.
Sion Touhig/Getty Images

It's worth noting that Victoria wasn't the only royal bride to wear white.

Princess Philippa of England is cited as , consisting of a tunic with a white silk cloak, in 1406. And as points out, Mary Queen of Scots wore a white wedding gown in 1558.

However, neither of those two made the trend take off, so Victoria is the one credited with starting the tradition of wearing a white dress — which, in her time, wasn't traditional at all.

SEE ALSO: Here's what every wedding will look like in 2017

DON'T MISS: Here's the horrifying truth about why grooms carry brides across the threshold

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