One of the most important decisions a bride must make is her wedding dress. Brides go through great lengths to pick the perfect dress and keep the big reveal a surprise for that special moment. When the music plays and she makes that magical journey towards the altar, she becomes the focal point of the entire ceremony and her true love. With seemingly a million color, fabric and style variations, the task of choosing the perfect wedding dress can be challenging. With a pinch of history, a dash of culture, a touch of tradition, and a handful of designer secrets, we can help you pick the perfect dress to match theme, tradition, style and body-type.
History Behind White Wedding Dresses
In Western culture, brides traditionally wear white to the altar. The history behind the white dress stems from times when only the wealthy could afford to wear bleached white fabrics. Wearing white had much more to do with status than the common association with purity. Queen Victoria set a trend with white in 1840 during her wedding ceremony with Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha at Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, in London. While the color of the dress once represented wealth and status, the evolving traditions related to the color of a wedding dress have developed many meanings.
White vs. Ivory Wedding Dresses
A white wedding dress is commonly associated with innocence, purity and perfection. Ivory is sometimes erroneously associated with a loss of purity or a loss of innocence. This ideal is possibly the reason why some brides once chose ivory for a second marriage. While white remains the traditional color of a wedding dress in Western culture, brides commonly choose to wear ivory to match skin-tone and wedding colors. Never be afraid to break tradition and experiment with color.
Red Wedding Dresses
Red is often a color symbolic of romance, passion and love, but culture and a bold theme can be a controlling influence when it comes to picking a red wedding dress. In Asian and East Indian traditions, brides commonly wear red during their wedding ceremonies, which matches the related color pallet. In Western culture, a red wedding dress can make a bold and classy statement.
Pink Wedding Dresses
The much softer pink is often associated with innocence, sweetness, and child-like attributes. While pink dresses are commonly viewed as a bridesmaid dress, they have grown in popularity for good reason. Pink is a very feminine color that is compatible with varying skin tones. Pink wedding dresses work well during the day at outside wedding venues where natural light and earthy colors are part of the occasion.
The History of Blue Wedding Dresses
Something borrowed and something blue might have given rise to the idea of a blue wedding dress. However, history takes us back to the 1400’s, where the early wedding dresses of wealthy medieval brides were deep rich blue.
A blue wedding dress represented purity and innocence, long before white dresses made the runway. Whether silk, velvet or satin, blue was the dress for anyone of status. In general, the color blue represents purity, serenity, and loyalty. The shades of blue vary from pastel to bright and vibrant, creating the perfect touch to a Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast wedding theme.
Black Wedding Dresses
Black wedding dresses break all the rules and tradition, but can make a powerful statement. Black wedding dresses are becoming part of modern ceremonies to match bolder color schemes, and for their association with elegance and formal events. Black is a symbol of sophistication, formal affairs, and class.
Wedding Gown Silhouettes
With all eyes on the bride, the perfect wedding dress must fit perfectly. While almost every dress can be fitted to meet fantasy, and the beauty of every bride can make perfect of anything their heart desires, there are a handful of designer secrets to matching dress to body type. There are six fundamental wedding gown silhouettes:
1. The empire gown has a raised waistline sewn just below the bust. Placing the beginning of the waistline high and allowing the fabric to flow outward from beneath the bust makes this style flattering for almost every body type. The cut of this dress fits well with curves or a pear-shaped body type by skimming over the midriff. It typically has a square neckline, which draws attention to the neckline, and creates definition that compliments a smaller bust. It can make the perfect wedding dress for pregnant brides.
2. The A-line gown has a fitted bodice and flows outward in the shape of an ‘A’. It compliments almost all body types, and a larger bust. The A-line can create an illusion of curves, making this dress a good choice for a narrow frame. Easy modifications of the neckline and waistline can alter the fit to hide and accentuate body features as desired.
3. The ballgown has a dramatic skirt that is paired with a fitted bodice and a dropped waist. It accentuates the waistline while hiding the lower body, creating an hourglass appearance. This dress works well with slender and curvy body types. If the bride is of shorter stature, this style can create unwanted illusions. Modification to the volume of the dress can accommodate height accordingly, if a ballgown makes the list. Think Cinderella, and imagine a princess fairy tale with this dress.
4. The trumpet flares just beneath the hips, creating a shape similar to the bell of a trumpet. It is very similar to and often mistaken with a mermaid-style dress. However, a trumpet is less fitted.
5. The sheath gown creates a slender and elongated effect. It compliments lean figures, whether tall or short. A shorter bride might choose this type of dress to give the appearance of height. It is a tight-fitted dress that is not forgiving when it comes to concealing features. Boxy figures might consider adding a sash around the waist to create definition and more curves.
6. The mermaid gown tightly contours the chest and torso down to the knee or just below. The hem flares from bottom, resembling the shape of a mermaid. It is more fitted than a trumpet wedding dress, demanding confidence to pull it off. It is a daring design that hugs every curve of the body. The cut highlights a slender waist with proportionate curves, and is recommended for slender brides.
The Perfect Wedding Dress
The perfect wedding dress should always match the theme and color scheme of a wedding or provide the right amount of contrast to make the perfect statement. The designers at Crystal Ballroom are the finest in the art of designing and creating fairy tale weddings to match the dress of your dreams. Contact Crystal Ballroom to speak to a professional designer!