Brides have been distinguished through the history of manhood for wearing special clothing that becomes the focus point of the celebration. The wedding dress has existed for centuries, becoming particularly important in Europe during the middle Ages and the Victorian Era.
Today, even the informal wedding dress retains the symbolism associated with the cultural and traditional heritage of the diverse countries around the world. In the USA, the wedding dress took the name of the wedding gown and its history can be traced back at least for 200 years.
The British settlement in Jamestown was the scenery of the first wedding traditions brought from their homelands as early as the beginning of the American colonization; however, there is no register explaining or depicting the bride's clothing.
A bridal gown has been always attached with different symbolism, including the white color, white for purity, and something old and blue for good luck of the newly married. The Wedding dress is like an image, it may worth a thousand words … when exists.
Contrary to European women, brides in America began to save their wedding dress around the last 100 years, and a couple of years ago the DAR museum in Washington, DC, featured the exhibition of the early wedding gown.
The informal wedding dress evolved to a more elaborate wedding gown during the 19th century, adding later the tradition of wearing a mother's wedding dress in the ceremony as a sentimental and acceptable option, but Victorian traditions are more popular today that they were in those times.
In the United States, a bridal gown influenced by European styles was usually only seen in ceremonies held by wealthy people. There is evidence of multicolor wedding dresses available in those early days of the American wedding dress history.
However, white became the preferred color for both the informal wedding dress and formal wedding gown after the famous royal wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840. The wedding dress with train and veil became the new trend of the 1870's.
The 20th century brought a new type of bridal gown, with a slight trail of fabric behind, and confectioned with embroideries, laces such as Venice, Honitan, and the popular Chantilly with reminiscences of different previous weddings styles.
The Wedding dress became officially known as the wedding gown during the 1930s, denoting the luxurious floor length clothing worn by brides in the middle of the Depression Era in America, and the informal wedding dress became popular after the pop revolution of the 1960's.