Wedding Dresses at a Glance
Wedding dresses also known as bridal gowns or wedding gowns refer to gowns worn by brides during their wedding ceremonies. They are available in different styles and colours depending on the culture of wedding couples. In some cultures and religions, there are specific preferred colours for wedding gowns and the preferred colours have some significance. In these cultures brides cannot use any colour of wedding dress except the specific colour allowed by the culture or religion. For example, in Western cultures, the preferred colour for wedding gowns is white while red which is a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness is the preferred wedding dress colour in Eastern culture.
However, today, wedding dresses are available in other colours such as pink or mixture of colours like white and pink. They are also available in different designs and styles. You will find some with sleeves and straps. But there are strapless and sleeveless bridal gowns today.
History of Wedding Dresses
In the contemporary societies especially in the western countries, brides normally put on white wedding dresses. During a wedding ceremony, you can easily differentiate the brides from other women because of the wedding dresses they wear. It is rare to see a bride during a wedding ceremony wearing any other type of dress other than a wedding dress. Wedding dresses today are mostly available in white colour. But this was not the case in the past.
In the past, weddings were simply cultural practices and were not seen as a symbol of commitment and love. It was more of a business deal between two families or a union of two families. Marriages were contracted for many reasons including financial and alliance purposes. Wedding dresses then were chosen to give a good image of the family. It showed the social status and wealth of a family. Wealthy families expressed their wealth and class in the choice of the dresses of their daughters. Little attention was paid to the colour and styles.
In some cultures, there were no specific designs or type of wedding dresses typically meant for brides during wedding ceremonies. The brides picked the best dress from their wardrobe for their wedding ceremonies. Any colour of dress can be chosen. However, colours that have negative significations were not chosen. For example, dresses in green colour were not picked by women for their wedding because it signifies bad luck. During the Christian era in the medieval period, the preferred colour was blue because it signified piety, purity and it was the colour of Virgin Mary. Dark dresses were also used because it concealed imperfections and stains. Besides it could be worn for a multiple times.
The use of white wedding dresses dated back to the middle of 19th century after the marriage of Queen Victoria of England to her cousin Prince Albert. Though, there were records of the use of white wedding gowns as far back as 1406, but its use became popular after the wedding of Queen Victoria. One of the earliest women’s magazines in the US, Godey’s Lady’s Book recommended white as the most suitable colour for wedding dresses. This declaration came almost a decade after the Victoria’s wedding.
Since then, wealthy families started using white wedding dress to show off their wealth and class. Only families that have risen in affluence could afford white wedding gown then because the colour was very rare.
There was a decline in the use of white wedding dress during the Great Depression owing to the hard times experienced by the people then. Brides reverted to wearing their best dark dresses for their wedding ceremony. However, there was a comeback to the use of white wedding during the 2nd half of the 20th century as a result of the economic boom of the time. White wedding dresses became widely used again till today.
Wedding dress has a different history in Eastern Cultures. Red was the preferred colour for wedding dresses in the Eastern culture because it stood for good luck and auspiciousness. Red wedding dresses or red-white wedding dresses were worn by brides. But this is no longer the case today. Though white wedding dress has become popular, any colour of bridal gown can be worn by a bride. It all depends on the choice and preference of the bride. Different fabrics can also be used to sew wedding gowns nowadays.
Types of wedding Dresses
Owing to improvement in the fashion industry, different types, designs and styles of wedding dresses have been introduced in the market. You can always find a perfect bridal gown that will fit you very well no matter your shape. You will only require sometime to search for it. If you are preparing for your wedding, here are some popular types of wedding gown that you should know.
Trumpet or Mermaid Wedding Dresses
This type of wedding gown fits closely to the curves. If you want to showcase your curves, Trumpet wedding dress is a perfect option for you. It is not a good choice for women who are not tall because it reduces their appearance.
A-line Wedding Dresses
The strong side of the A-line bridal wedding dresses also known as the Princess Wedding Dresses is that it goes well on virtually any body shape especially inverted triangle body shape. If you are confused about the perfect wedding gown for you, this type of wedding should be a nice option for you.
Empire Wedding Dresses
This is another type of wedding dress that fits many body types such as the Apple, Inverted Triangle, Hour Glass and Pear body types. The seam comes underneath the bust. The waistline is high with the fabric below it falling on the ground gracefully. It is a suitable option for brides with slim body and small busts. It is also a good choice for pregnant women.
Column Wedding dresses
This is also known as the Sheath. This type of bridal gown runs down the ground vertically from the shoulders. Unlike the A-line, Ball Gown or Empire bridal gown, the hem of this type of wedding dress does not flare out. It hugs the body. It is the best option for slim brides with balances shapes.
Fairy-Tale Wedding dresses
This is also known as the Ball Gown bridal gown or Cinderella bridal gown. The dress normally flares out from the hips and it is paired with fitted bodies. It is not suitable for women with petite body. It suits brides with Pear, Hour Glass, Inverted Triangle, Apple and Rectangular shapes.
The above are some of the popular types of wedding dresses that you can choose depending on your body shape and size.
Tips for choosing a wedding dress
When it is time to choose your wedding gown, the tips given below will be of help to you.
Know about Wedding Dresses
Before you start searching for your ideal wedding dresses, it is important that you first know about wedding dresses. As it has been mentioned earlier, there are various types and designs of wedding dresses in the market. Knowing the various types of wedding dresses gives you an edge over another person that just starts searching for it without doing any research.
There are several avenues of getting reliable information about wedding dresses. You can check online or make use of bridal magazines. A lot of bridal magazines are where you can find useful information about wedding dresses that are in circulation today. Typical examples of bridal magazines are Modern Bride, Wedding Bells, Bridal Guide and others. There are also today fashion TV stations. If you watch these TV stations, you will get to know about wedding gowns.
Pick the right silhouette
Wedding dresses are available in a number of silhouettes to suit different body shapes. You should first know your body shapes and then decide on a silhouette that will match and flatter your shape. It is wrong to choose a wedding gown simply because your friends wore it during her wedding and it matched her very well. No two persons have exactly the same body shape. So, you should consider your body shape first.
Decide on the colour with your groom
Nowadays, any colour of wedding dress can be used. However, it is good for the colour of bridal gown to match with the colour of the groom’s attire. So, before you choose a colour, you have to discuss with your groom to find out the colour of his suits. It is also good to choose a colour that matches with your wedding theme.
Consider your circumstances also
Your circumstance will influence your choice of wedding gown. A particular dress can be appropriate for a wedding ceremony as a result of a number of factors. For example, your choice of wedding gown is affected by the climatic condition of the time. If you want to wed during the winter season, dresses made from light fabric are not good options for you but they are suitable for couples wedding during the summer season.
Make your choice according to your finance
Wedding dresses are available in different price ranges depending on the materials used in making them and their types and styles. Some are very expensive and can only be afforded by wealthy people. However, there are some less expensive but nice bridal gowns. So, when making your choice, you should always consider your finance. If you have the money, go for the best quality because your wedding is a special occasion in your life. But if you are on budget, you should not break a bank. You will find a type that will suit your budget. Rather than buying one, you may consider renting it in order to cut cost.