Call me crazy but when I see these three words together, ‘black wedding dress,’ I swoon. Yes, please!
Is it because I adore wearing black? Or because I like the thought of bucking the Western ‘white wedding dress’ trend? Maybe because I could repurpose and wear it again?
All relevant thoughts but I think my love for the idea of wearing black might come down to the archaic meaning behind the white gown – purity.
Some research suggests it was Queen Victoria who started the trend in 1840 when she wore a white gown at her wedding to Prince Albert. In fact, aristocrats apparently baulked at the colour because white traditionally symbolised mourning, and red was the typical colour of wedding dresses at that time.
Within a decade, it seems all was forgiven, and white started to become more popular, with an article in 1849 saying, ‘Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue … It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.’
However, Queen Vic may not have been the first, with another article I read, dating the practice of wearing white to more than 2000 years ago, to Rome, when brides were dressed in a white tunic. ‘The color white represented purity, symbolizing both a woman’s chastity and her transition to a married Roman matron,’ the article says.
So, although the founding date of the whole white wedding dress trend isn’t certain, the one thing they both have in common is that the colour represents a moral, which seems incredibly outdated.
I say – wear whichever colour you like for any reason you like! That’s 21st Century liberation for you.