A wedding is a wonderful, ceremonial event. It is, after all one of the most beautiful moments in a woman's life. The guests invited to take part in the ritual ceremony are aware that a new family is beginning. It is a very moving occasion and I love being invited to a wedding, it is a romantic beautiful affair.
One of the most talked about features on the day, is of course, the bride's dress. What do you think she'll be wearing? What fabrics will she choose? Will it be a classic cut or very modern? Brides today can find inspiration in the past. The most beautiful ones are those made with true craftsmenship and exquisite fabrics. Like many wedding traditions the white wedding dress comes to us straight from the Victorian era, 175 years ago. The Victorian bridal dress, with its structured bodice and full skirt and train, remains a classic as well.
Did you know #realbridebrigade you owe a great deal of gratitude to Queen Victoria, whose wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on February 10th, 1840, was the talk of the world. Before Queen Victoria, a bride simply wore her best dress, whatever its colour, for a brief ceremony in the church. But the Queen's white satin and lace-trimmed gown, her lace veil held by an orange-blossom wreath, and her twelve bridesmaids set the fashion in weddings for years to come.
Really, I do not think it possible for any one in the world to be happier, or as happy as I am. He is an Angel, and his kindness and affection for me is really touching......What I can do to make him happy will be my greatest delight. Queen Victoria's journal, February 11, 1840
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on their return from the marriage service at St James's Palace, London. Original Artwork: Engraved by S Reynolds after F Lock. Image Rischgitz Getty Images
The Queen did not wear white to flaunt her wealth or reflect her purity. For Victoria, the decision to wear white was to show off the Honiton lace trim of her gown. During the mid-nineteenth century, England’s lace makers were struggling to work due to the effects of the Industrial Revolution. Featuring the lace on her dress was meant to draw attention to, and revitalize support for, the failing local industry.
Affluent weddings in the 1800s were often about political alliances and assertions of wealth and power. Queen Victoria famously married for love and her dress ultimately reflected this.
Victoria was not the first royal to choose white for her nuptials. Coming from Scottish background myself I had to include Mary Queen of Scots in 1558, who also wore white. But it is Queen Victoria who is the one widely credited with changing the norm, she touched the hearts of women throughout the world and influenced bridal style for generations to come.