Wedding Dresses Through the Years

The bright shade of yellow colour was very popular. In the eighteenth century it was THE most fashionable colour for a while, and many wore it, a bride of around 1774 whose dress is at the Gallery of English Costume in Manchester, before that time it had been associated with heathens and non Christians and was considered an unholy shade to wear in church!

Lower class brides generally wore grey colours as they were able to wear it again and again as Sunday best in 1842 this colour became associated with domestic service as they were give a new grey dress every year
The traditional wedding as we know it first appeared in the late 18th century when machine fabrics and cheap muslin was imported from India by 1800 the white dress and veil was definitely the one to wear. This began in London an spread throughout the UK. Princess Charlotte gave this style royal approval when she married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg in 1816, Queen Victoria also approved the styles by wearing white silk and Honiton lace, she was the first royal bride to have bridesmaids to carry the train

In the 1920 the everday fashion changed from the hemline being at the shoe to being above the knee and therefore the wedding dress styles also changed and wedding gowns were shorter than ever before although some believed that these were unworthy of a church marriage so the traditional floor length dresses also stayed in fashion among many.

The white wedding dress virtually disappeared through the war years, clothing rations were introduced in 1941 and fashion almost ceased to exist. Some brides borrowed gowns from relatives while the majority wore uniform.

The 50s brought the ballerina length dresses held out with stiff petticoats, there were many variations of this. Many women dyed their petticoat after use for use as a cocktail dress. However Many brides still wore the traditional wedding dress.

In the 70s sleeves were a very big feature, Princess Ann led the way with her Tudor style sleeves and brides followed by having sleeves from every era.

The princess of Wales led the 80s with her extravagant skirt and full sleeves, every bride now wanted the fairytale crinoline and tiara. Taffeta and silk were very popular

Embroidery and beading with stiffly corseted satin bodice became a huge hit in the 90s with the all important sleeves, these were adapted to be off the shoulder in many brides.