A Little Commentary On Bridesmaid Dresses

As a follow-up from yesterday’s post, here’s a little commentary on colors for bridesmaid dresses from the February 1883 issue of Demorest’s Family Magazine:

 Quite a new departure has been taken recently in the adoption of colors for the dresses of bridesmaids instead of the repetition of the conventional white. Why it should ever have been considered necessary for bridesmaids to wear white does not appear. There is a pretty sentiment in the purity of the robes of the bride, but the bridesmaids ought to be differentiated in some way from their companion who is about to take a serious step, and separate herself forever from the old happy life. It ought to represent the innocence and joyousness of youth, the free hopeful spirit which is still theirs, and which would naturally express itself in tints and colors, in light delicate green, mauve, pink, and dull pale gold.

It’s interesting to note that it seems that having both the bride and all the bridesmaids all in white was a thing, at least in some weddings. The writer makes an interesting point in that visually, the bride should stand apart because of the significance of getting married. This is an interesting tidbit and just reveals that when it came to wedding dress protocol, things were a lot more mixed than what we’d expect.


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2 thoughts on “A Little Commentary On Bridesmaid Dresses

  1. I have noticed that our royal family always dress their bridesmaids in white or cream with possibly a hint of colour in sashes or trimming.

    • Many of the “real” (i.e., ones not driven by marketing) wedding traditions that are used up to today got their start with Queen Victoria’s wedding although by no means were they “absolute”. It’s no surprise that white or cream are used as colors for bridesmaid dresses and it often shows up, along with the colors referenced in this passage. The Victorian Era was a lot more fluid in what was done although people tended to copy what was done by someone that was high status. The major thing you see for many Victorian Era weddings were orange blossoms (usually artificial). It was a bit of a leap with bridesmaid dresses since that was a lot more of an expensive undertaking.

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