Why a White Wedding Dress?

So a few of my friends are planning their weddings now and trying to decide what color wedding dress they want to have. Huh? Why not white? Well, they wanted to learn WHY it is what people succumb to this tradition of having a white wedding dress. After all, if you don’t understand it, why are you doing it?

Photo from The Wedding Lens!

I suppose “tradition” is a good enough reason, but when you look at the history of the white wedding dress, the “tradition” can only be traced back to 1840 when Queen Victoria of England married Prince Albert of Saxe. She wore a white wedding dress…. but why? Well, it has nothing to do with virtue and everything to do with money. After all, even in 1840 you couldn’t re-wear a white dress! Not only because there were no events to where them to but also because white clothing was harder to clean. So it was very extravagent and prestigious to wear a white wedding dress.

So people were getting married in any ol’ color except for those who wanted to show their wealth and take after the British monarchy. And yet, slowly but surely the white wedding dress took a strong hold and everyone wanted to have that sort of glamour as part of their wedding.

During the Depression, women would marry in white — and then dye their dress so that they could rewear it. Or, they would marry in their fanciest of clothing out of necessity.

Anyway, the point is that the white wedding dress is not at all what I thought it was. It has nothing to do with virtue and a long, deep-seated history. It’s all relatively recent and has more to do with showing off money than anything else. Interesting, right? Especially since even today the wedding attire is “supposed to be” at least 5% of the total wedding budget.

With that in mind, I point out that there are other colors to marry in, if you’re looking for something that bucks with the recent tradition. An old poem explains the meaning of the wedding dress color:

Married in white, you will have chosen all right.

Married in grey , you will go far away.

Married in black, you will wish yourself back.

Married in red, you’ll wish yourself dead.

Married in blue, you will always be true.

Married in pearl, you’ll live in a whirl.

Married in green, ashamed to be seen,

Married in yellow, ashamed of the fellow.

Married in brown, you’ll live out of town.

Married in pink, your spirits will sink.”

Incidentally, we did a post a while back about colorful wedding dresses — take a gander if you’re thinking about changing your wedding dress color from white to… something else.

What color will you marry in?

~ Natasha

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Flowers in Season During the Fall

Not sure what kind of flower this is, do you know? Then I can tell you when it's in season! Photo from The Wedding Lens!

A friend of mine just got engaged (congrats!!!) and she and her partner have decided to get married next fall. They really want purple flowers, but they also want to be sure that they use flowers that are in season. Why? Because it’s a little more green: if flowers are in season, then they dont need to be transported from another part of the world where they’re being grown.  Here’s a list of flowers that are in season during the Fall, organized by color.

If you’re getting married at another time of the year, here’s the complete list of which flowers are in season when, organized by color! And check out our list of green wedding tips, if you think there’s something else small you can do that helps the environment AND doesn’t change your wedding!

Year Round Flowers

  • White: Baby’s breath, Bachelor’s button, Calla lily, Carnations, Delphinium, Gardenia, Gladiolus, Lily of the Valley, Orchid, Rose, Scaboisa
  • Red: Bachelor’s button, Carnations, Roses
  • Orange: Carnations, Roses
  • Yellow: Carnations, Roses
  • Blue: Bachelor’s button, Carnations, Delphinium, Eucalyptus, Roses
  • Purple: Delphinium, Orchid, Roses, Scaboisa
  • Pink: Bachelor’s button, Heather, Lily of the Valley, Orchid, Roses
  • Silver: Eucalyptus

Fall Flowers

  • White: Aster, Crysanthemum, Dahlia
  • Red: Marigold, Zinnia
  • Orange: Crysanthemum, Dahlia, Marigold, Zinnia
  • Yellow: Crysanthemum, Dahlia, Marigold
  • Green: Dried leaves
  • Purple: Statice
  • Pink: Aster, Crysanthemum, Zinnia

Hope that helps! Dont forget to share your photos of the flowers!

~ Natasha

Wedding Question: What to Wear!

Here’s the latest wedding question:  We have a wedding to go to up North in August. The wedding is at a catholic church at 3 in the afternoon and the reception is at a country club afterwords. Was wanting to know what kind of dress should I wear?

Good question! There are a few factors that you have to take into account when deciding what to wear:

  1. time of year
  2. time of day
  3. location of wedding (as in, the state or city)
  4. ceremony place (as in, church or outdoors)
  5. ceremony + reception locations

Lots to consider. So, bearing in mind that you are going to an afternoon wedding in August up North that is a Catholic ceremony and a country club reception — here’s my advice:

Catholic weddings tend to be more conservative, so you should NOT wear something that is strapless or too low cut (unless you have a sweater or pashmina to cover up during the ceremony).  Your shoulders should be covered.

Since the wedding is in the afternoon and in the summer, you can wear either a short dress or a longer one — whichever you feel more comfortable in.

As for colors, that’s up to you. Not white! But other than that, it’s what you feel comfortable wearing. I tend to think that nothing too bright is a good idea, especially in an afternoon wedding + night time reception. Blues and browns are my preference — but that’s just me.

Good luck!

~ Natasha

Need some ideas of colorful attire? Check out our real photos!

Wedding Question: Is wearing colors of wedding scheme okay?

As you know, we answer your wedding questions whenever we get them. Here’s the latest: Is wearing colors of wedding scheme ok or best practice?

There is no color restriction or requirement for a guest of the wedding. That said, there are recommendations for the best colors to wear to a wedding. Basically it boils down to wearing lighter colors for the morning/afternoon and darker colors for the late afternoon/evening weddings. Be sure not to wear anything too bright because you don’t want to outshine the bride. But don’t worry about what everyone else is wearing; you can’t possibly predict what everyone else will be doing.

Good luck!

~ Natasha

Give the gift of a photo album from The Wedding Lens to the engaged couple!

What’s the best wedding color combo?

You’ve used this lovely guide to figure out your color scheme already, but we want to know which of these up & coming color schemes are YOUR favorite! They’re all growing in popularity — especially as wedding season is starting!

Want to see the color schemes of real weddings? Check out our real photos — organized by color!

How to Pick an Engagement Ring

So you’re looking to propose and you want to find the perfect ring. Here’s everything you need to think about!

photo from The Wedding Lens

photo from The Wedding Lens

The first thing is that there are three parts to the ring: the diamond/gemstone, the setting, and the band. You know what the diamond/gemstone is, I hope. The setting is that top part that the gemstone goes into. The setting sits on top of the band. The band is JUST the round part of the ring. Got it?

Okay, here are the tips:

  1. Determine your budget. It seems simple, but you really need to go into the shopping process with an amount in mind. If you want a diamond ring, it can range from $500 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. But you should also consider picking a ring that isn’t a diamond! It can be less expensive but also be the perfect ring for the person you’re buying for.
  2. Figure out her ring size. I know, how on earth….? I’m not sure either, especially if she doesn’t usually wear rings. If she does, then you could try taking one or, as one site suggests, make an imprint in a bar of soap and then trace it.
  3. Consider buying the setting & the diamond separately. This will allow you to check out the diamond to make sure you can assess its quality (more below) and it allows you to see the bands details.
  4. Select a band type. Gold (also known as yellow gold), white gold, silver, platinum. Platinum is the most expensive option, but it is hypoallergenic, never loses its luster, and won’t change the appearance of your diamond’s color. White gold is less expensive than the platinum & not as durable, but it is shinier.
  5. Setting. There are different settings that you can select for the diamond/gemstone to sit in. If you are buying a solitaire ring, the prong or claw setting is recommended. It cradles the diamond and allows the most light to pass through the stone. Other popular settings include channel, bar, and bezel.
  6. Cut. Diamonds can be cut into many different shapes: pear, oval, heart, round, emerald, and princess, and many others. Some of those shapes make the diamond look brighter and shinier, but as you might imagine – those cost more. Some cuts, like Princess and pear, make the diamond look brighter and shinier; they’re also more expensive.  Round & emerald are alternatives that cost less.
  7. Carat. The carat is the unit of measure used to weigh the diamond. When selecting a diamond, consider purchasing a slightly smaller diamond than you wanted to; 1.9 carats costs significantly less than 2 carats.
  8. Clarity. You want to pick the ring with the most clarity that you can.  Diamonds are scored based on their clarity.  FL and IF are top of the line grades on the GIA clarity scale. VVS1 and VVS2 are also very good. VS1 and VS2 are diamonds with some small flaws. S1 and S2 to I1 – I3 are diamonds with very low clarity. If there are many imperfections in the diamond, the clarity score of the diamond can be low.
  9. Color. Select a ring with the clearest color. If they’re not clear, they’re yellow — and that can look weird. Diamonds are rated by the GIA from D – Z, with D – F being colorless, G – J being near colorless, K – M with a slight yellow color, N – R with light yellow color, and S – Z with distinct yellow color.

If you’re having trouble figuring out what your future fiance(e) might like, go shopping together! Presumably you’ve talked about getting married, so going ring shopping is just a step in the process. The engagement itself can still be a surprise!

By the way, once you’re done shopping for the ring, may I suggest that you look into engagement ring insurance. You’d hate for something to happen to the ring (or that it gets lost) and not have insurance to get it replaced, right? Especially after you put in all that work! 

Good luck!

~ Natasha

Colorful Wedding Dresses!

Obviously there’s a stereotype that the bride’s dress needs to be white. But guess what? It doesn’t! There are a lot of dresses out there that are colorful and add just a little bit to the traditional day. The bride gets to add some of her personality to the dress — and they often look better than the plain white counterpart.

For example, consider this lovely blue wedding gown:

photo by yakobusan

photo by yakobusan

Or, there are a lot of dresses that add just a little bit of color to the white gown… Here’s an example of a dress that has a bit of yellow/gold in it. It’s really nice!

photo from The Wedding Lens

photo from The Wedding Lens

Or, if you’re a nontraditional kind of bride, maybe a bright green will be your best option! You’ll look great and hey, you can wear the dress again!

photo by justlgi

photo by justlgi

So what do you think? Do you like the other colors? Check out the pictures of ALL the real wedding dresses!