The White Wedding
The effects of Queen Victoria’s white wedding on Western bridal costume were far reaching. As brides sought to emulate royal fashion, the role and meaning of the wedding dress changed dramatically.
While wedding dresses of earlier times were, in part, prized as “best dresses” that would be worn again and again, by the late 19th century the white wedding dress had evolved into a single use item. Its expanse of white fabric symbolized purity as well as disposable wealth. By the 20th century, a bride dressed in white from head to toe was the icon of the Western wedding.