The white wedding gown
Audrey Cabahug (The Freeman) - August 28, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines - There have been a lot of tweaks applied to the wedding dress. Many brides today wear modest white dresses on their big day. With some, it doesn’t even have to be white anymore.

But if life conditions – and resources! – permit, a woman would want to wear a white gown on her wedding day. She’d want to be the traditional concept of a beautiful princess even just for this one day in her life. Wedding traditions may have relaxed in recent decades, but the ideal remains generally the same – a white wedding gown.

It’s a curiosity how women get to have this hankering for a white wedding gown, in the first place. Some believe it naturally came with the very idea of a wedding itself. Others say it must have taken off from one bride looking fabulous in a white wedding gown on her wedding day, at some point in the past.

Sarah Begley, in an article at www.time.com, writes: “Like any number of traditions, the white wedding dress comes to us straight from the Victorian era – in fact, from Queen Victoria herself, who was married to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on February 10, almost 200 years ago. Yet when she chose white silk-satin for her wedding, the choice was almost as iconoclastic as it would have been for Catherine Middleton to walk down the aisle in scarlet.”

Interestingly, red was in fact a very popular color for brides during Queen Victoria’s time, Begley notes, but the young queen broke with the status quo and insisted on a lacy white gown. The twist must have caused concern among the members of the court, because white is “much too restrained in color.” The public, however, is said to have viewed it differently, admiring the queen’s choice for its regal simplicity.

Begley adds, though, that Queen Victoria was not really the first royal to choose white for her wedding – several others, including Mary Queen of Scots in 1558, preceded her. But Victoria is the one widely credited with changing the norm, Begley writes. And white has since become “the most fitting hue” for a bride, “an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.”

Today’s white wedding gowns may be a little elaborate but, just the same, take after the Victorian style. As Begley describes: “With its fitted bodice and full, floor-length skirt, the typical contemporary wedding gown looks a lot more like Victoria’s dress than it does like anything else in the bride’s wardrobe.” She cites that even Madonna, the pop star, wore white in both of her weddings.

The wedding gown has spurred the birth of a multi-billion dollar industry, and only four to five percent of the gowns produced are in colors other than white. Any woman wouldn’t mind spending a fortune on the most important dress of her life. And very few – if at all – look back and regret it. (FREEMAN)

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