What started off as a norm for Wealthy European Brides in the 19th century has since been adopted till date in all parts of the world. We would be surprised if you showed us a Malawian bride in a wedding gown that isn’t anything close to white – despite white dresses being the unusual thing back then (western culture) as colourful dresses were the widely accepted fashion.
Although she was not the first royal to be married in white, the white wedding dress was made popular by Queen Victoria in 1840 at her wedding with Prince Albert. She wore white to show a frugal affair; good sense and prudence – to show her people that she will run her country in the same way – according to CNN. What followed was a wide publication of the illustrations of the Queen’s dress; being reported for months on end.
Prior to the wedding, brides used to walk down the aisle in their normal day-day dresses – which made the white dress popularized by Queen Victoria a symbol of wealth – basically anything white back then.
CNN, in their article “Why so many brides wear white on their wedding day”, reports that the white dress caught on because it looked like money. And that it does.
Eventually, perhaps in accordance with the Queen’s choice, most brides opted for white. The rest is history.
A misleading belief that the white wedding dresses are intended to symbolize virginity has since grown, though this was not the original idea.