When you look at dresses from the 1980s to today, you can see the drastic changes in style and trends. The further back you go, the more differences you see with brides preferences of what to wear. Many brides are even getting inspiration from generations past, from the Roaring Twenties to the tea length 50s trends. Brides today can gain a lot of inspiration for their wedding dress when they look back on dresses through the eras.
These styles have evolved because the tone of weddings have changed over the years. For example, in the 1850s weddings were extremely serious. In the 1850s, there were no traditions about the dress. The bride simply bought the nicest dress she could afford in any color. Short veils were popular or no veils were chosen at all. The wedding and family gathering were held in homes which was the only practical option at that time. These weddings are very different from the kinds of elaborate and elegant weddings that are seen today. However, you can still find that idea of simplicity with backyard and rustic barn wedding trends.
It took a few decades for weddings to become a little more fun. Soon music was added to weddings. It started with the traditional wedding march down the aisle to piano music and singing and dancing after the ceremony. Traditional photos also began with the groom seated in a chair and the bride behind his chair and to the side.
In 1900, white became the traditional color for wedding dresses. Many brides still chose to follow the previous tradition and chose colors, such as pale pink or azure into the 20th century. Dresses also evolved with the style. Instead of the Victorian look with hoop skirts, dresses slimmed down. Everything was high and long – long trains and gloves, hats with veils attached, and high waists and collars were the style.
The 1910s further evolved weddings with the suffrage movement. Brides were taking charge and making their own choices about weddings regardless of tradition. Dresses flowed more and brides were seated in photos instead of their grooms. The phonograph became a popular way of supplying music to a wedding and dancing became tradition.
The Roaring Twenties begin, the era most envied and replicated by modern brides. This is because brides truly took charge of their weddings. It was like a prehistoric Pinterest bride. They did everything they could to be nonconformist and shock and awe. Granted, it took very little to shock people back then. Instead of a minsiter, couples got married with a justice of the peace or even eloped. Hiring a wedding coordinator became popular. Many 20s brides chose dresses that showed off their ankles. With the popularity of the bob haircut, brides got really creative with headpieces as well. Many brides today go for a flapper girl look, which was used by the risque brides, but many just shortened their dresses to show ankle.
I will cover the evolution of wedding dresses and weddings in part two of the series. You can find it here.