Wedding Dress History, Lore, and Tradition

Christine Schultz
Walking Down the Aisle


Rate this Article: 

Average: 3.1 (11 votes)

Until the nineteen-hundreds, brides hardly ever bought a special wedding dress, opting for their best outfit instead. Here is some more interesting history and lore about the wedding dress tradition.

Green was always avoided, as it was thought to be unlucky. White symbolized purity and virginity and was also thought to ward off evil spirits.

Married in White, you have chosen right
Married in Grey, you will go far away
Married in Black, you will wish yourself back,
Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead,
Married in Green, ashamed to be seen,
Married in Blue, you will always be true,
Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl,
Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow,
Married in Brown, you will live in the town,
Married in Pink, your spirit will sink.

The white wedding dress, now a common tradition in the western world, originated with Anne of Brittany on the occasion of her marriage to Louis XII of France in 1499. But it wasn't until 1840, when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, that the white dress was made popular. Now the white wedding dress is a classic.

And the Groom's Attire?

To cut a dashing figure, the groom should match the bride. For a formal afternoon wedding, he should don a cutaway; after six, a black tie. There is no symbolism in his clothes, as there is in the bride's. But there can, in fact, be symbolism in the boutinnier he chooses. A red chrysanthemum means “I love you;” a white rose means “I am worthy of you;” a sweet William represents gallantry.


Adapted from The 2002 Old Farmer's Almanac

What do you want to read next?

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

what dose the black rose and

what dose the black rose and green roses mean,Becouse I am going to have black and green wedding, those are our favorate colors. I dont think that the colors should mean anything if you are really in love with that purson

Free Almanac Newsletters

Weather, sky watch, gardening, recipes, good deals, and everyday advice!