Wedding Dress Tradition And The Queen’s Role In It

NicoleMaui Photography

Wedding Dress Tradition And The Queen’s Role In It


Wedding dresses are often one of the first things that come to mind when you hear the word wedding. For many of us it’s that beautiful white dress that we all have dreamed about since we were little girls. Have you ever wondered how the wedding tradition of the white dress started? You may be surprised that it had a royal touch to it.


The original wedding dress tradition was that most brides only wore their Sunday’s best dress, with perhaps a veil. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria of England decided to break from tradition and wear a white dress. Little did the Queen know at that time, that her decision would soon become the white wedding dress fashion that we now know today. Prior to her marriage to Prince Albert, it was unheard of to wear a dress for just one day. Since it was an extravagant dress, most brides wanted a dress that could be worn after the ceremony. Therefore, since a white dress was very hard to keep clean and tidy, white was not the first choice. However, every woman wanted to be a queen on her special day, so the idea of white not being the tradition has since been forgotten.


The story of Queen Victoria’s wedding took on some interesting twists considering the era. Prior to her becoming the Queen, she was a 17-year old princess when the man of her dreams came into her life. In 1836, that man was Prince Albert, who also happened to be the Queen’s first cousin. In the world we live in today, that might sound a bit uncomfortable, but back then, due to the small circle of royalty, it was not uncommon for members of the royal families to marry each other. After all, back then if you were born into royalty, you had to marry someone else who came from a royal family as well.


It has been told that from the moment she met him, Victoria was completely charmed by him and decided that she would be thrilled with joy to be with him the rest of her life. Back in those days it was very out of the ordinary to be able to choose your future spouse, let alone someone you loved. Usually the royals had to marry for several of reasons such as an alliance, to stop a war or sometimes to sign a peace treaty to bring the families together. So Prince Albert and Queen Victoria were fortunate to find each other and have their true love endure the test of time.


Despite the Queen’s love for Albert she was in no hurry to get married. Just a year after meeting Albert, her uncle, King William IV, died on June 20, 1838 thrusting the 18-year old Victoria into the position of Queen just eight days after his death. Even though she was the Queen, she still had to go and live with her controlling mother due to the society rules of the time. Everyone knew that the Queen loved Prince Albert and that’s one of the reasons why she married him, but it also enabled her to get away from the control of her mother, which probably led her to marry earlier rather than later. The marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert took place on February 10, 1840 in the church Royal of St. James Palace in London.


On their wedding day, the Prince went military as he was dressed in a traditional British field marshal uniform. While his bride-to-be, the Queen, decided on a simple white gown. As mentioned, this was out of the ordinary for a normal bride, let alone a royal one. The traditional royal attire was very opulent robes that were covered in jewels, and instead of wearing the usual diamond tiara, she opted for a simple flowered wreath of orange blossoms. This wreath represents fertility, which appeared to have worked because they ended up having nine children together.


Her beautiful white satin gown was accented with orange blossoms, a lace veil, along with diamond earrings and necklace. The wedding dress of Queen Victoria was admired by many soon-to-be brides all around the world through the engravings and paintings of their marriage. It’s amazing how just one person can change the future, and shape the customs of today, just by deciding to be different and go with what she liked. So take some wisdom from Queen Victoria and have your wedding of your dreams, and not somebody else’s.