The History of Wedding Costumes

The history of wedding costumes dates back centuries ago. Before then, only royalty and the very rich wore white. Today, however, it is customary to wear colored dresses for the occasion. Godey’s Ladies Book, published in 1860, was the first book to publish bridal costumes in color. Aside from color, other factors influencing the design of wedding costumes have been cited, including culture, aristocracy, and material.


The tradition of wearing a wedding gown began in the sixteenth century and was based on a religious rite. Brides wore dresses of different colors and ages. The traditional white dress was soon outmoded, replaced by more colorful garments. However, the traditions did not end there. Yellow, once regarded as the color of the heathens, gained popularity in the eighteenth century. The Gallery of English Costume displays several examples of dresses in bright yellow. However, yellow was associated with non-Christianity and a heathen color and was often a forbidden shade in the church.

As the Western fashion tradition took hold, brides and wedding parties began to dress differently. While the traditional bride in white became the norm in most cultures, they also introduced a variety of new styles and designs, often contradicting centuries-old local traditions. For example, the nudity of hippies and the wear of camouflage during World War II were occasional fads, and weddings commemorating deployed soldiers often included wedding apparel evocative of that time. Nonetheless, the primary formal bridal dress costumes Fort Worth, TX, remained the same.


There’s no definitive answer as to when wedding apparel was first used. Some cultures began wearing unique clothing and accessories at the time of a wedding. In the Hellenistic period, all people did not use wedding dresses.

In non-western industrial societies, however, the style of wedding apparel has changed significantly. While there are still many regional variations, the most common type is white and is accompanied by equally formal bridesmaids and groomsmen. While this Western-style was accepted mainly throughout the nineteenth century, it often contradicted traditional practices. Today, the majority of medium-priced gowns feature pearl and bead decoration. Many brides can also rent a wedding dress. The practice is common in Japan and is making inroads into Europe.


Whether you’re planning a traditional or contemporary ceremony, the material of your wedding costume will make a dramatic difference. Silks are a classic choice for wedding dresses and are chiffon. Lightweight and breathable, chiffon is perfect for spring or summer weddings, but it wrinkles easily.

Charmeuse – A lightweight, wavy fabric with a beautiful sheen, charmeuse is a classic choice for a wedding dress. Charmeuse can be made of polyester for a more affordable option. Crepe is woven with a grained surface and a matte finish.


Throughout history, brides and grooms have donned elaborate wedding gowns and headpieces. Although they typically don’t showcase rich fabrics or intricate designs. Throughout Eastern Europe and the Middle East, wedding dresses are elaborate and often symbolize the bride’s dowry. Most brides wore layers of dresses and were accessorized with coins and metal.

Some weddings incorporate elements of Western African cultures. These weddings can feature authentic garments from West African countries, such as kente cloth. The Lazarus Bridal Salon contributed dresses, and the Honda Family Center donated a wedding kimono to the museum.


Chinese symbols are often included in weddings. For example, Chinese lore describes the dragon as “the Ruler of Beasts” and the phoenix as “the King of Birds.” Both became symbols of the Chinese Emperor and Empress. Both the bride and the groom wore this symbol during their wedding. Symbolism in wedding costumes can be fun to show the bride and groom’s unique personalities.

Symbolism in wedding costumes may have a very different meaning in every culture. For example, the ancient Roman bride wore a white tunic, a woolen belt tied in the traditional Herculean knot, and a saffron-yellow surcoat. While white is no longer associated with purity, it still has a meaning in Catholic and secular contexts. Symbolism is not limited to the wedding gown, either. For example, a veil can be a symbol of a new beginning.