Why Are Wedding Dresses White?

Tradition of the White Wedding Dress

Christine Schultz
Walking Down the Aisle


Rate this Article: 

Average: 3.4 (17 votes)

Why are wedding dresses white, and what are wedding dress color meanings? Find out about the history of wedding dresses!

Until the nineteen-hundreds, brides hardly ever bought a special wedding dress, opting for their best outfit instead.

Wedding Dress Color Meanings

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.

Who Started the Tradition of the White Wedding Dress?

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.


What Does the Groom Wear to the Wedding?

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 boutonniere he chooses. A red chrysanthemum means “I love you;” a white rose means “I am worthy of you;” a sweet William represents gallantry. Find out more about the meaning of flowers.

Are you ready for your wedding? Use our tools to plan for wedding weather! Plus, find out more about wedding customs and traditions and wedding folklore.

Tell us about your wedding dress below!


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 Beginners Garden Guide

Vegetable Gardening for Beginners!
Your complete guide on how to grow a vegetable garden—from scratch!


You will also be subscribed to our Almanac Companion Newsletter