Even at the time of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers wedding clothes were subjective to fashion tendencies, regardless of the fact that they were completely different from contemporary models, especially when it comes to color.
In the 15th century there were no specific requirements for wedding garments; the bride usually got married in her newest or favorite dress. What seems unusual today is the tendency for ladies of the feudal aristocracy to place cushions underneath their gowns in order to create the fashionable at the time imitation of pregnancy.
During the Renaissance the trend was for brides to wear a red dress, but red being the color of passion it was quickly forbidden by the church.
Throughout this period European brides preferred colorful wedding garments; white was an unusual choice for a wedding ceremony.
In Baroque times, golden and yellow were the colors of preference, being a symbol for purity and abstinence.
Gradually lace wedding gowns appeared with their large sleeves, lavishly decorated with embroidery and satin bows. And while rose and coral were the popular bridal colors in the 17th century, the 18th is dominated by the pale nuances of blue and green.
White takes the lead as a bridal color with the advent of the new 20th century and its position has not been disputed for almost 100 years. Fashion historians are convinced that the color of snow owes its popularity to the ancient marble statues discovered in digs around Pompey and various Greek islands. These discoveries have had such a significant impact on fashion that white still remains the color of choice for the majority of brides worldwide.
In the 20s and 30s of the previous century the legendary designer Coco Chanel endorses the fashion for long-sleeved gowns. In the 50s Christian Dior brings back the corset, but only 10 years later the skirts shorten to the knees or even above them. By the end of the 60s young rebellious couples tended to avoid long-standing wedding traditions. Many brides kissed lace and flamboyancy good-bye and got married in colorful outfits instead of traditional white bridal gowns.
The brides of today are so different from their predecessors and the latest tendencies of going to the altar in a pant suit are a testament to that.
Apart from the fashion of the times she lives in, the attire of a bride is also influenced by tradition. In Japan according to an old tradition, the bride wears three different outfits throughout the wedding – a brightly colored kimono (uchikake), a colorful dress and a special white kimono (shiromuko).
In other parts of the world, brides give no thought to their wedding clothes, because they are no more than three-year-olds. In the Hindu religion it is very important to marry a virgin; this is why Hindis get married at a very early age. In the state of Rajasthan where most child marriages take place, the bride and groom either sleep through their own wedding or have no idea what is going on. This is why they are not in the least concerned with their outfit.