There’s no arguing; white is the most common color of wedding dresses. White is classic and traditional but can also be modern and on-trend.
So why are wedding dresses white? Some of the reasons we’ve found might be very different than what you’ve heard. Keep reading for 11 reasons why wedding dresses are white.
Why Are Wedding Dresses White?
1. The Royals Did It
Once upon a time, Anne of Brittany married Louis XII in a white dress. By once upon a time, we mean 1499, so a really, really long time ago.
That put a little bit of a spotlight on white wedding dresses because if royalty’s doing it, it must be pretty fabulous.
Once again, hundreds of years later, in 1840, Queen Victoria wore a beautiful white dress during her wedding to Prince Albert.
It’s been said that Queen Victoria did this because the lace industry needed a little boost, so she had a white wedding dress with lace.
So Queen Victoria did a little influencer marketing and used her wedding dress as a marketing agent to help the lace industry… and it worked!
By wearing the same wedding dress color as the Queen of England, it makes brides feel a little bit like royalty, as they should on their wedding day.
2. Versatile Fabrics
White is available in so many different fabrics. Wedding dresses are all over the place as far as design and style- they can be simple or extravagant. They can have a very plain cut or a giant trumpet skirt.
But the white fabric is available to suit every style. If a bride wants to have a giant taffeta skirt, there’s a white fabric to make it.
If a bride wants a straight-column dress, then a simple white satin is surely available. White is a simple color that lends itself to almost every fabric.
3. White Stands Out
Wedding dresses are meant to stand out against the wedding guests so that the bride can feel special. White does that.
White is an eye-catching shade, and it’s not common for people to wear all white unless, of course, you’re a bride.
This is especially true at a wedding unless you’re one of those people that wear white to a wedding. But that’s a topic for another day.
White is bright, so a bride wearing white helps the bride become more of the focal point at a wedding. It’s a stunner for sure.
4. It’s An Empty Canvas
White is an actual, literal blank canvas. A white wedding dress is the perfect color for wedding dresses because it can be embellished with a variety of materials- almost everything complements white.
Lace, crystals, satin, sequins… you name it. It goes with a white wedding dress. White is a literal blank canvas.
Wedding day accessories are also a huge part of a bride’s wedding day ensemble. White, being the blank canvas it is, makes a beautiful stage for whatever jewelry and accessories a bride chooses.
5. Symbol Of Purity
Of course, everyone’s heard that white wedding dresses originated as a sign of purity. This is one of the original reasons for white wedding dresses, although this isn’t always the case in our modern society.
Roman brides used to wear white garments to show they were virgins on their wedding day. However, just the white itself was symbolic.
The white garments were far from an actual wedding dress. They were just simple tunic-like dresses- nothing like the wedding dresses we see now.
It’s a common misconception that white dresses as a sign of purity originated from Bible scripture. But, there really aren’t any “weddings” per se in The Bible.
Marriages are mentioned in The Bible, and there are plenty of married people. Of course, marriage is also a major component of most major religions.
But actual weddings as a celebration and ceremony aren’t mentioned enough to determine whether or not white wedding dresses as a sign of purity came from The Bible.
6. Celebrities And Influencers
Celebrities and influencers have a lot of pull in what inspires people. For some, influencers especially, they’re paid to do it.
So, when people see famous people continuing to wear white wedding dresses, they’re going to want to do the same.
Even if it’s just for a day, wearing a white wedding dress does have a certain celebrity feel to it. White wedding dresses do have overall glitz and glam vibe.
As long as celebrities and other semi-famous people continue to wear white on their wedding day, others will too.
7. It’s Pretty
White wedding dresses have obviously been popular for a long time. But, let’s be honest, if they were ugly, would people continue to wear them?
No, of course not. Our seventh reason for why wedding dresses are white is so very simple: white’s a pretty color for wedding dresses.
White is a universally flattering color on just about every skin tone. But that brings us to our next reason why wedding dresses are white…
8. There Are Different Shades
There are white wedding dresses, like plain white. Then there are whites with more of a blue undertone or those with yellow undertones.
Ivory wedding dresses also fall into the “white wedding dress” category. More recently, brides have been considering other colors, like champagne, as white wedding dresses too.
There really are so many different shades of white, so there’s really one for everyone.
9. White Fits Lots Of Budgets
As we’ve discussed, white works well with a wide variety of fabrics. But, what he hasn’t discussed yet is how white wedding dresses can be made for any budget.
White wedding dresses are readily available and in a wide price range. Everyone from ready-to-wear companies to couture designers does white wedding dresses.
This makes it easy to find a white wedding dress, so brides don’t have to spend any more than they want to. Or, they can- it, of course, depends on the bride and her budget.
10. They Work With Different Backdrops
Weddings are very photography-focused. Everyone is after the most beautiful, Insta-worthy photos. White wedding dresses are a great complement to almost any backdrop.
Beach weddings, weddings on a mountain, church weddings, or weddings in a barn… white wedding dresses look great in any setting.
When wedding dresses look beautiful in real life, they’ll translate into lovely photos and great memories.
11. It’s Traditional
Our final reason for wedding dresses being white is simply because it’s tradition. White wedding dresses are seen as the standard, so they’re still made.
Companies and designers continue to make wedding dresses in white because people buy them. Why would they change to a different color when white’s clearly what people want?
Also, some people really value tradition, and white wedding dresses are the epitome of wedding tradition.
Some even see breaking tradition as a bad sign on wedding days. There are lots of traditions that people stick to, white dresses being one of them, to help their marriage start on the right foot.
There are also plenty of people that don’t like to go too far out of their comfort zone or stray from the norm. White wedding dresses are so traditional, and breaking tradition just isn’t in the cards for some.
To learn more, you can also read our posts on why women wear dresses, why women wear skirts, and why women wear bustles.
White dresses have been the standard for so many years, which is understandable because white dresses are beautiful.
History, tradition, and fashion all play equal roles in why wedding dresses are white. But, the bottom line is that as long as people wear white wedding dresses, companies will still make them.