The Symbols and Meanings Behind Everything White in a Bride


The Symbols and Meanings Behind Everything White in a Bride

Wedding gowns have become statement pieces in wedding ceremonies. We look up many styles on the internet to have an inspiration on what gown we'll be wearing on our own wedding, or to simply admire them. Bridal gown shops in Provo and in other cities offer a variety of styles at affordable prices. They might be worth checking out.

Now, you may wonder why wedding gowns are usually white and why they come with veils. If you are always curious about the origin of things, the symbolic meaning of a traditional western wedding ensemble may interest you.

The Gown

It's common knowledge that white symbolizes purity. The trend of white bridal gowns started in the Victorian era in 1840 when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert. However, she wore white not to symbolize her virginity, but rather because she just liked the color. Later in her reign, Victorians started idolizing innocent brides and their white gowns. The color then started to be an emblem of a woman's innocence and purity and wearing white on her wedding day symbolized that she would yield her heart to the chosen one.

Before the trend of white wedding dresses, brides could wear whatever color they desired. In fact, white wasn't popular to commoners back then, because they were expensive and difficult to clean. White wedding dresses were usually reserved for the wealthy.

An interesting trivia about the white wedding dress was that it was once accused of cursing a man. Mary Queen of Scots had worn a white dress on her wedding, but for French royals, white was the color of mourning, so you could imagine the kind of reaction she had received. When her husband died two years after the wedding, the white wedding dress was blamed.

The Veil

Happy bride spinning around with veil

Wedding historian Susan Waggoner said that veils are the oldest pieces of a bridal ensemble. In the ancient times, brides were wrapped from head to toe to represent them being delivered as a modest and an untouched maiden. In Roman times, a flame-colored veil was used, called flammeum, and it was worn by brides to hide them away from evil spirits that may thwart their happiness.

In the days when arranged marriages were the norm, veils were also used to hide the bride's face from the groom. But apart from that, it also prevented the bride from running away from a future husband she's never met before. Now that purity until the wedding day is no longer glorified like before, veils have meant totally different to brides and some even opt to skip them.

Meaning of Colors in Today's Generation

Many trends are being introduced since the 2000s, and that include bridal gowns of other colors. Now, brides may choose to skip the white and that's perfectly normal. Here are some colors that brides may choose from and what they mean:

  • Ivory – It's an off-white color that's also popular among brides. It is worn by brides who think the color looks better on their skin tone than pure white.
  • Red – In other cultures, red tends to be a popular color among brides. It is quite a statement color that means many strong emotions such as love and infatuation.
  • Pink – Like white, it also symbolizes innocence and purity, but on a more feminine and child-like side.
  • Blue – Before the boom of white gowns in the Victorian era, brides actually wore blue on their weddings because it was associated with the Virgin Mary, meaning it also symbolized purity. Now, the reason for wearing blue could be about its other symbolic meanings, such as peacefulness, loyalty, and stability.
  • Black – It could be an odd color to wear on your wedding, but more than its eerie appeal, it also symbolizes power, sexuality, sophistication, and wealth, among others.

Female photographer photographing beautiful happy bride indoorsWe are indeed lucky to live in an era where society is no longer obsessed about symbolism. Wear white or not, it's totally your choice and no one is going to question your character for it. While white remains the popular color of choice, it no longer holds the same meaning as before, so you don't have to follow rules and standards to be able to wear it on your wedding day.

Scroll to Top