Monday, May 17, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Over at my author blog, I received the following comment regarding the 1828 wedding dress I posted.
"I am struck by the fact that this is Ackerman's 1828 and yet the gown is white; telling my readers at HereComesTheGuide.com over and again that white was not a common wedding color until Victoria inaugurated the tradition, I am wondering if it was at all unusual for the 18th* century?"
Well, I’d been under the same impression. But, as is pointed out at one of the links I cited, there’s good evidence of white wedding dresses prior to Victoria’s wedding on 10 February 1840.
At left is Exhibit A, a wedding dress of 1831. For a description, click here for my author blog. Below right is Queen Victoria’s wedding.
Here are some mentions in pre-1840 books.
"You know there must be a change of dress, in the last act, for Zara's nuptials—now for my wedding dress, mamma, my taste would be
'Shine out, appear, be found, my lovely Zara,'
in bridal white and silver."
—from Patronage, Volume 15, by Maria Edgeworth, 1833
PRINCESS CHARLOTTE OF WALES WEDDING DRESS AND JEWELLERY (she was married on 2 May 1816)1. The wedding dress is a slip of white and silver atlas worn under a dress of transparent silk net elegantly embroidered in silver lama with a border to correspond tastefully worked in bunches of flowers to form festoons round the bottom the sleeves and neck trimmed with a rich suit of Brussels point lace. The mantua is two yards and an half long made of rich silver and white atlas trimmed the same as the dress to correspond.
—from Niles' Weekly Register, Volume 10, 1816
You can see a photo of her dress at the Hibiscus-Sinensis Regency pages, and read more on the subject there as well.
Here are a few more mentions:
We have, a few days ago, seen a dress which was completed for a young bride of high distinction; it was entirely of fine lace ; and was worn over a slip of white satin: a scarf of the same hung in graceful negligence over her shoulders.
—from The Ladies' Pocket Magazine, 1829
The pair were standing before the parson, the pretty bride attired in her wedding dress of white calico at the left hand of her sturdy bridegroom...
—from Atkinson's casket, Volume 9, 1834
"… as I looked at her in her white wedding-dress.”
—from "The Dominie's Legacy," by Thomas Carlyle, Fraser's Magazine, Volume 1, 1830
*Given the date of the dress I posted, I’m assuming she means the 1800s or 19th century. Anyone who'd like to comment on 18th century wedding dresses, however, is welcome to do so.