The white wed­ding, ex­plained

Ever won­der where the western bri­dal uni­form came from?

The Coast - Halifax Weddings Guide - - The Essentials - BY AL­LI­SON SAUN­DERS

Nowa­days, cou­ples are fo­cused on mak­ing their big days as unique as pos­si­ble with ul­tra-per­sonal touches, DIY decor and big sur­prises. Deep down, ev­ery­one just wants to be a pre­cious snowflake but when it comes to west­ern­ized wed­dings there are a few tra­di­tional style de­tails that seem to be in it for the long haul. Here are some the­o­ries on how his­tory has in­flu­enced the “classic” white wed­ding look the main­stream still abides by.

The white dress

We can most likely thank Queen Vic­to­ria for this one, she wore white when she wed in 1840 (be­fore her, roy­als usu­ally wore colour) and much like the Kate Mid­dle­ton-lace-sleeve trend of 2011, the masses fol­lowed suit. White has also long been a sym­bol of pu­rity (in all senses of the word, in­clud­ing vir­gin­ity) in many coun­tries across the world as well as in Chris­tian­ity (hello, ever-so-sin-free bap­tism gown). Plus, un­til the 20th cen­tury dry-clean­ing wasn’t ex­actly a thing, so a pris­tine white get-up prob­a­bly meant you were rich or at the very least, not ac­ci­dent­prone.

The bou­quet

Back to that whole san­i­tary is­sue the pre-20th cen­tury brides were deal­ing with, what bet­ter to cover up the scent of a stinky (but pure, oh so pure) 15th cen­tury woman than a bunch of fresh flow­ers? This tra­di­tion has ties to the times when bathing was a yearly tra­di­tion, but also has been cred­ited to a) folks from the Mid­dle Ages us­ing flow­ers as a way to ward off evil and b) the flo­ral gar­lands of Ro­man times that rep­re­sented fer­til­ity. And you think fork­ing over big cash for a one-time-wear, pos­si­bly hideous out­fit and plan­ning an over-the-top bach­e­lorette—and maybe a shower too—is a lot of work? It’s said the tra­di­tion of the matchy-matchy get-ups was born out of an­cient times when the troop of brides­maids dressed like the bride as a way to trick evil spir­its, and pro­tect the pre­cious cargo (the cou­pleto-be). Just call me Evil Mag­net.

The veil

Should we be more wor­ried about evil spir­its? Yet an­other tra­di­tion that re­lates back to bad vibes, the bri­dal veil has roots in Ro­man times when the bride wore a head-to-toe red veil that was meant to spook the spir­its. And, what’s more pure and mod­est than a face­less bride?

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