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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Green Wedding Tips: Wedding Dress!

Beautiful wedding dress! Photo from The Wedding Lens

If you’re really into being green, there are TONS of green wedding tips out there. But sometimes it’s not doing everything, it’s just doing something. If you’re trying to be green, consider being green with your wedding dress (which, of course, doesn’t have to be the COLOR green – just get it or get one that is eco-friendly!)

  • Consider a pre-owned dress. Try a wedding dress that is from your family or even a second hand shop. There are also tons of websites that carry wedding dresses that have only been worn once (or even not-at-all)! For example, check out Green Hanger Shop‘s website. They have so many beautiful dresses and they’re great with customer service. It will save on environmental materials AND save you money. Just remember that if you go an online route, know your measurements!
  • Buy natural. If you purchase a new dress, get one that is made from natural, organic materials such as organic silk. This will make your impact on the environment just that much less. You can ask retailers in advance whether they have natural dresses so you don’t need to waste your time with shops that don’t have them. 
  • Donate when you’re done. When you’re done, donate your dress to a charity that can sell it; it will create funds for them and save someone else from having to purchase a new dress.
  • Re-sell when you’re done. You can go right back to the Green Hanger Shop to sell your dress again. Someone else can rewear it and you’ll get to recoop some of what you spent the first time around.
  • Choose a simple dress that you can wear again. Everything is better if you can wear it again! You don’t need to get an ornate one-time wearing dress. (But if you do, please consider the above advice and donate it when you’re done.) Check out our colorful wedding dresses, which might be more rewearable than just plain white.

Did you do something green to find your dress?

~ Natasha

Guest Post: Wedding’s Over…what about the dress?

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After the flurry of wedding activities, like a melted snowman, the wedding dress lies in a heap on the floor. So now what?

The decision to keep or sell a bride’s wedding gown is a personal, emotional, and financial one.

While waiting to make that decision, it is important to get the dress cleaned by professionals. A reputable cleaner will check the label to see if it is material they can handle properly. Expect the cleaning to run anywhere from $75 or more and to take two weeks or more depending on the level of cleaning and preservation. Leaving this important cleaning undone will render the dress unusable if body oils, food, or drink are allowed to discolor the delicate fabrics and lace.

How about preservation? Isn’t that what an expensive dress needs? Well, not if the bride is uncertain about whether or not to sell. Preservation is quite expensive and actually creates a large box that will require space for storage. It is difficult to see or inspect and if there is any chance of selling it, it will have to be removed to be checked for any damage.

Selling the dress? Placing it on a website, such as The Green Hanger Shop, as soon as possible will increase your chances of making a sale and recouping more of your investment.

Not selling? It will still need to be opened and refolded to prevent deep creases. Best bet, go with reputable professional cleaning, place the dress in its garment bag (Purchase this if necessary) and store in a dark, cool closet. It’s inexpensive and kinder on the environment.

Judy Meggs is the proprietor of a new online eco-boutique, The Green Hanger Shop, which opened in January. It’s a fabulous website where buyers and sellers of nice “wore it once” clothing can connect — including brides, bridesmaids, wedding guests, family, and anyone with a desire to give beautiful handpicked dresses a new life.  Judy is a retired educator and mother of two daughters. She strives to support endeavors that make a difference.

For more on being green, check out our 50 Green Wedding Tips!

Wedding Question: Who Pays for What?

I recently received another wedding question: “One of my friends is getting married and I’m a bridesmaid. She hasn’t mentioned who is paying for the dress, but she already said she wants me there early on the day of because she’s having our makeup and hair done. Is she supposed to pay for the dress? Am I supposed to pay for the hair & makeup? Who pays for what?

Good question! This basically depends on the couple. I’ve known brides to pay for the dress, but not makeup or hair and I’ve known brides who paid for makeup, but not dress and hair. I’ve also known brides who have said, “you pay for everything, but please dont get us a gift.” So see? It can kind of go any way.

My advice is to ASK. I know it’s weird and uncomfortable, but it’s better to be on the same page as your good friend who’s getting hitched, than for either of you to feel stuck or resentful afterwards!

Hope that helps!

~ Natasha

Make sure either the bride or you gets a FREE online wedding album!

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!

Mother Wearing A Dress to Match the Color Scheme?

The Wedding Lens Blog receives questions from our readers on a regular basis — including in our Wedding Questions forum. Usually I try to sum up the question in different words, but I think this question needs to be in its own words:

“I will be attending my step daughter’s wedding in 6 weeks & I have not been given any details of bridal colours, MOB & MOG have NOT yet decided what they are wearing hoping to find something off the rack. I found & bought a long simple blue gown & left a message for the bride if this was ok as time is running out & I did want the mothers to have first choice of colour & well I need to wear something! She never said no but she never said yes, apparently her bridal party will all be purachasing their own gowns? What should I do – stick to what I bought & wear it or am I suppose to wait until the day before the wedding when I finally get everyone’s colours & hope I find something? HELP!”

photo from The Wedding Lens (not the reader!)

photo from The Wedding Lens (not the reader!)

In reading about the attire for the mother of the bride and mother of the groom, there are a few “rules” — all of which are subject to the personalities of the people getting married. In my humble opinion, I do not think it matters whether you’re the mom or the step-mom.

So, in this situation where the reader tried to talk to the bride (and the wedding is only 6 weeks away!) I think she’s doing the best she can. Blue is the perfect color! Regardless of the color scheme that the bride eventually chooses (if she has one?) it is unlikely that blue will clash. It is also unlikely that blue will make the guest stand out — something else you want to avoid!

My only warning: if you hear from the bride and she nixes the dress, give her some slack for the late notice. I’m sure she’s stressed and would otherwise have been more gracious in her response time.

Good luck!

~ Natasha

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How To Choose The Right Wedding Gown

 

Designer and Knock Off Gowns

Many Styles and Designs of the Perfect Wedding Gown

 

Wedding gowns are the foundation of the perfect fairy tale wedding; at least in the eyes of the bride-to-be.  Looking like a princess is the ultimate goal of any bride ready to take that coveted walk down the aisle. Many brides have dreamed of this day since they were little.   When that dream finally becomes reality the search for that perfect dream wedding gown is so very important, especially for the bride-to-be.

 

One of the most exciting parts of wedding planning has to be the search for that perfect wedding gown. There are so many options and styles where do you turn? Are you the traditional floor length kind of girl or do you prefer short and sweet? Would you prefer a custom made gown or do you have the luxury of paying for a Vera Wang wedding gown?  Maybe you stand to pay the cheaper end of a knock off gown. Mind you knock offs can still be priced in the thousands of dollars but you will be getting it far cheaper than you would directly from the designer. For example, lets say the bride-to-be found a designer knock off for only $500 dollars.  In the designer world, this dress could potentially be $5,000.00.  The knock off version totally resembles the actual designer gown but does not resemble the price which can be very beneficial to the future bride. 

 

Taking your time is important when shopping for the perfect wedding gown. Knowing your budget is definitely key but in the end you do not want to regret your final choice when scanning through all of your wedding photos. A good  rule of thumb when purchasing a wedding gown; designer or not is “If it doesn’t take your breath away at first glance, ditch it!” Having any doubts the minute you try it on is a good indication that the dress is not for you.  It may take a couple fitting room tie ups to discover the right gown but it’s so worth it in the end.

 

Here is a suggested list of Designer Gowns which may aid in your hunt for the perfect wedding gown:

  • Akay Fashion
  • Bonny MT
  • Cocoe Voci
  • Demetrios
  • Eva Forsyth
  • Helen Morley
  • Jordan fashions
  • Lazaro
  • Maggie Sottero
  • Mon Cheri
  • Perucci
  • Serafina New York
  • Yumi Katsura
Considering the salon or custom made route?  Pash Weddings had interesting things to say regarding custom made gowns along with a very precise questions and answers session. 
If you are still uncertain about your choices and need a little extra help in narrowing down your style ideas, Wedding Bells Blog has wedding gowns for the traditional to the not so traditional bride. 
You can also browse many photos of wedding dresses from real weddings for more ideas.
~Lindsey