‘Here Comes the Bride’
There are clear gender specific dress codes at a wedding ceremony. Wedding dresses or gowns are typically worn by a female bride they would merely wear the best dressed they could afford. According to the views of ]Stamper and Condra (2010 p.125) ‘the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert provoked a tremendous amount of interest in many countries. Her choice of white dress was a clear break with the royal past and is reported to have been influenced more by her interest in encouraging English manufacture than in setting the new standard for wedding attire.’ whatever her intentions may have been she has been a clear impact on wedding dresses since then.
Figure 9: The silk satin wedding dress worn by Queen Victoria in 1840, (Historic Royal Places)
‘While fashion may affect the silhouette, the white dress and veil have virtually remained unchanged in over 150 years’ (Delamore, P. 2005, p.6)
Wedding dress practices vary across the globe as the meaning changes from culture to culture. I believe the wedding dress is the only garment to a female has that holds such importance a piece of fabric can. This is why there is such a variety of wedding dresses as a dress is individual to the bride, her culture, her views and her body therefore no wedding dress is the same or means the same to each bride.
Although women have changed the way their femininity is expressed through the clothes the wedding dress surpasses time and still remains the height of ones femininity in a dress.
‘Selecting your wedding dress is a big decision that has more to do with just how you look on that day; it is the ultimate expression of your personal style.’ (Fleetwood, T. 2005, pg.1)
Stamper, A. and Condra, J. (2010) Clothing Through American History: The Civil War Through the Gilded Age, 1861-1899. California: Greenwood.
Historic Royal Places (2012) Figure 9: Queen Victoria’s Wedding Dress [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.hrp.org.uk/Assets/RWD_QueenVictoria_SS.jpg [Accessed 08/01/14]
Delamore, P. (2005) The Wedding Dress: A Sourcebook London: Pavilion Books.
Fleet, T. (2003) The Afrocentric Bride: A Style Guide Phoenix: Amber Books
Foster, H. and Johnson, D. (eds.) (2003) Wedding Dress Across Cultures (Dress, Body, Culture) 1st Edition. New York: Berg
De La Haye, A. and Wilson, E. (eds.) (1999) Defining Dress: Dress as Object, Meaning and Identity Manchester: Manchester University Press
Historic Royal Places. (2011) Royal Wedding Dresses: a history [Online Video] Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htSvZDvIf5I [Accessed 08/01/14]