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

Wedding Attire Roundup: Wedding Dresses, Tuxedos, and the Wedding Party’s Clothing

Photo from The Wedding Lens!

When it comes to selecting the clothing options, there’s a lot of information out there. I’ve written a lot myself! In case you’re looking for all of it in ONE handy dandy location…. here you go!

Photo from The Wedding Lens!

See anything I didn’t cover? Let me know! Email me: natasha@theweddinglens.com

~ 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!

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!