Uncommon Knowledge: Why does the bride wear white?

It seems so obvious that the color white symbolizes purity and innocence. And yet, for centuries it was the color blue that carried that meaning. White, on the other hand, historically represented mourning in France, while black was a popular color for wedding dresses in Scandinavia. Wedding dresses, in general, were meant to show off the affluence of a bride’s family, and were made in the richest materials available, in any color imaginable. So how did the white wedding dress become near-universal? It dates back to Queen Victoria of England, who married in 1840. Victoria was fond of intricate, English-made lacework, and commissioned a white wedding dress in order to highlight it. This fashion innovation was featured widely in the press, and the wedding was even re-enacted by the royals in 1854 so that moment could be captured and spread by the new medium of photography. Women of all classes quickly followed suit, and it was not long before white was hailed as the must-have color for brides.

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Written by Nathan

Nathan is a copywriter, who helps create our product descriptions as well as our weekly emails. He is also a nationally award-winning musical theater writer, whose work includes an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver. Nathan has also been a classical violinist, tutored Kazakhstani jewelers in entrepreneurship, created large-scale games played across entire city blocks, served as a missionary in South Korea, conducted experiments in sonoluminescence, co-founded an exotic fruit-growing business, was a theater critic for Tucson Weekly, and as a teenager composed a women’s jazz quartet that is currently performed around the world.

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