Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wedding Dresses Through the Ages


Modern brides spend a lot of time and money choosing the perfect wedding gown for their special day. However, only few brides realize that wedding trends change dramatically with every decade. Let's walk back in time to see what used to be considered 'stylish'.

Wedding Dresses from the 1800s
1: Victorian wedding gown from the 1850s or early 1860s; 2: 1869 wedding gown of Elisabeth of Wied, Queen Consort of Romania made of silk satin, silk tulle with cotton and paper faux flowers; 3: 1885 Wedding Dress; 4: 1816 Silver Lace Wedding Dress

The 1800s
The "traditional" wedding gown, aka the white dress with a veil- as we know it today first appeared in the late eighteenth century. In 1840, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe wearing a white wedding gown made of white silk and Honiton lace. In those days white was not a symbol of purity, blue was. In fact, many women chose the color blue for their wedding dresses for specifically that reason. White, on the other hand, symbolized wealth. Soon after, women of elevated social status all over Europe and America began wearing white wedding dresses as well. Some of the unique characteristics from these Victorian dresses are the tight bodice, large skirts dresses with long sleeves and a veil. 

Wedding Dresses from the 1920s
L-R: 1927 linen, cotton, and silk Wedding Dress by Soeur; 1929 Wedding Dress of Joan Crawford when she married Douglas Fairbanks Jr; Wedding Dress Ensemble by Edward Molyneux 

The 1920s
Wedding dresses of the 1920s are a little more of a modern era. The wedding dresses of this era made the women's shape mostly shapeless. The lowered waistline in the dress gave the figure a boyish shape, providing a straighter cut and look to the dress and bride. Veil caps became popular at this time.

L-R: 1937 Wedding of Wallis Simpson and Prince Edward; 1940 wedding of Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman
L-R: 1930s Ivory/Creme Satin Wedding Dress; Front Detail of a 1933 Wedding Dress with Sleeves; Vintage 1930s Wedding Gown
The 1930s and 1940s
Because of the restrictions that the war and great depression, a lot of the 1920′s new found fashions stuck through both of these decades, only dresses became a little more casual, and sometimes shorter and more fitted. Wedding dresses and accessories weren’t nearly as glamorized for practical reasons.

Wedding Dresses from the 1950s
 L-R: 1955 Wedding Dress; 1952 Balenciaga Wedding Gown; 1955 Wedding Dress by Pierre Balmain
Princess Grace Kelly and her Bridal Party

The 1950′s
Formal weddings became fashionable. Fashion designers started to create romantic, old-fashioned gowns. Yet informal looks were also common. Grooms might wear white dinner jackets, and their brides could have ballerina-length dresses. A memorable wedding during this period was of Grace Kelly's marriage to Prince Monaco was because of its grand fairy tale wedding. She wore a white silk and lace gown. This is also when the sleeveless princess-line skirt became popular just like Jackie Kennedy’s dress! 

L-R Brides Magazine in 1980; 1980s lace wedding dress

The 1980′s
The roaring 1980s ushered in a jumble of styles. Petticoats were no longer in fashion and were replaced by skirts which fell freely around the feet. There were a lot of detailed hand-stitching, puffy sleeves and shoulder pads, keyhole backs closed with pearl strands and drop dangles. Very bright and pastel colored bridesmaid dresses also became popular in this time. This was evident in the "wedding of the century," the wedding of Lady Diana Frances Spencer to Charles, Prince of Wales. Her gown was made of six different fabrics, including 25 yards of silk taffeta, 100 yards of tulle crinoline and 150 yards of netting for the veil for the 25-foot train.

Wedding Dresses from the 1900s
L-R: Nolan Miller 1990s Wedding Dress, Whitney Houston's Wedding, 1990s Gloria Vanderbilt Designer Wedding Ball Gown
Romantic Wedding Gown made by Scott McClintock
The 1990′s
Moving beyond the ornate details in the 80s, 90s brides embraced the understated, less-is-more styles of Vera Wang and her silk.

Blue and White Striped Cotton Gown by Ian Stuart via Southern Weddings

The 2000′s
2000 to present is all about you, as modern brides bid adieu to tradition and walk down the aisle in wedding gowns which reflect their own particular passion, vision and personality. This means the 21st century bride can dress in almost any style - from ornate designer dresses to a something informal. The color of the wedding gown still mostly white, eggshell, ecru and ivory, though, colored wedding gowns are making a comeback. If at the end of the day, as long as you look beautiful and feel comfortable on your big day, it works.


  1. This post is really informative. I enjoyed watching and reading it. Thanks for sharing this post to us.

  2. I'm so happy to read this. It is pretty worth enough for me. And the wedding dresses on your pictures are very elegant and fashion. The wedding dresses of different age has different beauty. I love it!

  3. some are beautiful while others remain FUNKYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. only few brides realize that wedding trends change dramatically with every decade.


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