A bridal dress in the color white signifies virtue and also upholds tradition. We all know that Britain is well known for its age old traditions and rituals. Hence, it is easy to guess that the white bridal wear has its roots in the English monarchy. The wedding ceremony of Queen Victoria was one of the first events where the white bridal wear was sported. This was in the year 1840. Hence, you can say that the white bridal gown came into existence around 150 years ago.
The fact to be noted is that the marriage ceremony of Queen Victoria did not immediately start the tradition of white bridal dresses. However, wearing a white bridal gown was seen as a statement of class and elegance, hence several women copied the Queen by also getting married in white although most of them were cheap wedding gowns. During those days, the color white was not at all related to being virtuous. Wearing a white wedding dress was just a symbol of wealth. The reason being that it was difficult to afford a white wedding gown which you would not be wearing your whole life again, because of its style and color.
Regardless of the new trend, many women continued to be married in various different colors and styles of cheap wedding dresses. Only the wealthy ones insisted on being married in a white bridal dress to show off their snobbish class. The royalties and wealthy business class of Europe were the ones that continued wearing white.
The popularity of the white bridal gown reached even greater heights during the reign of King Edward. This was mainly because of the introduction of a new knee- length version of the white bridal wear. This proved to be quite a hit not only amongst the classes but also the masses as a lot of them opted for cheap wedding dresses.
The funny part came in during the great depression after World War I and just before World War II was approaching. Although, several women continued to marry in cheap wedding dresses, a few of them still hung on to the tradition of wearing white. Some women even used to marry in a short white informal cheap wedding dress that could be dyed later and used as an everyday dress!
The white wedding dresses made a final comeback in the 1950s post World War II. The popularity of Hollywood and better access to the royalties stunned the people as they saw the actors, film- stars, members of high societies getting married in the elegant white bridal wear. Since then, the white wedding gown has always been in trend. The color white for wedding dresses is considered to be evergreen and it is surely here to stay!