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The History Of Expensive Wedding Dresses

UntitledWhen it comes time to say “I do,” you don’t want to be caught in a ho-hum dress. Today, for most women, it is all about the dress. While they may want to stay within budget on so many other items, many females seem to lose that little bit of control when it comes to purchasing “THE DRESS” for their big day. They often opt for the most expensive wedding dress. In MN and elsewhere, this means visiting bridal shops and looking at couture dresses on and offline.

The Expensive Wedding Dress In History

The most expensive wedding dresses in the past were those worn by the wealthy and socially prominent. Throughout history, they were the ones who were able to afford wedding garments made specifically for them. Depending upon the era in history, they would feature furs such as ermine and lace. Jewels and pearls would bedazzle the eyes as the bride made her vows in church.

The dresses were rarely white. This did not become part of wedding fashion until the Victorian era in England of the 20th century. In fact, white dresses were considered mourning for French royalty in the past. This made the wearing of a white gown by Mary Queen of Scots when she married the Dauphin of France in 1559 a rarity. In fact, the first princess in Great Britain to wear a white expensive wedding dress was Philippa of England in 1406. This was not to be repeated for centuries afterwards. Queen Victoria wore white as part of a desire to revive the English handmade lace industry and to establish her role as Queen. White did, however, reflect her wealth. The ability to produce white cloth of this quality was still a rarity and not something most individuals could afford to follow.

In general, wedding dresses were made of rich fabrics such as damask, silk and velvet or shiny metallic materials. They favored vibrant and auspicious colors of the period. An expensive wedding dress meant pomp and circumstance. It indicated the wealth and social standing of both families. It also meant a lot of sewing by hand. This included the incorporation of jewels and rich metals. Wedding dresses were not purchased at some retail or bridal outlet. If you lacked money to buy an expensive wedding dress, you opted for your best dress.

The Roaring Twenties and Afterwards

During the 1920s, the gowns continued to reflect the era if not always the status of the families and the Bride and Groom. Wedding dresses had a long train which emphasized the short skirts of the front. The 1930s upheld this fashion. The 1940s brought back long skirts but white was not a common color. During this period, designers such as Chanel, Vionnet and Harnett continued to supply those who could afford it with an expensive wedding dress for the occasion.

Enter the Modern American Expensive Wedding Dress

In American history, two designers had the greatest impact on what was to become the American tradition of an expensive wedding gown. The gown now was less a statement of family wealth and status (although it some cases it continues to be so) than the realization of a dream. An expensive wedding dress, especially a designer wedding dress, is all about making the wedding the most important day of a Bride’s life. It is about looking your best and impressing your family and friends and anyone else you have invited. Anyone who had good credit could buy an expensive designer gown.

Among the earliest that helped to set the trend in the United States, including MN, were:

  • Priscilla Kidder (1916-2003) or Priscilla of Boston from the 1940s onwards
  • Carolina Herrera (1939) – her career covers more than 30 years
  • Vera Wang (1949 – ) during the 1990s
  • Monique Lhuillier (1971 – ) during the 1990s
  • Reem Acra (?) – late 1990s

If you plan on buying an expensive wedding dress in MN, you will need to consider a designer gown. Today, this can come in a vast array of styles and even colors. While white remains the traditional color, the style can and does vary from season to season and year to year. It is up to you to decide how much you can afford and/or will spend and what style or designer you prefer.

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