Vera Wang Fall 2018 Collection

Patrick Demarchelier

Why Do Brides Wear White? And Other Questions

It was only until Queen Victoria chose an ivory lace style in 1840, for white wedding dresses to become the fashion. Before then red was the favoured colour for wedding gowns, in fact white was actually the colour worn for mourning. Mary Queen of Scots' white wedding dress was a bit of a scandal back in the day and deemed as inappropriate. But the reason behind the now traditional 'bridal white'? Brides wear white because it symbolises purity and innocence - adorable.

Why Do Brides Wear Garters?

Although the 'tossing of the garter' trend has fallen out of favour with modern brides, the garter tradition dates back to the dark ages, where the wedding guests would follow the newlyweds to their chambers (we've all seen the bedding ceremony on Game of Thrones). While helping the couple undress, it would be lucky to get a piece of the bride's wedding dress - and that's why brides wear a garter.

Why Do Brides Carry Flowers?

This is an ancient tradition, where brides would carry potent smelling herbs and spices to ward off bad spirits. Then in Roman times, both the bride and groom would wear flower garlands signifying new life and hope for fertility. But it's thought the main reason for a bridal bouquet was for the sweet smell (as bathing was far less frequent back when the tradition began).

Why Do Brides Wear A Veil?

The reason behind a woman wearing a veil on her wedding day isn't exactly crystal clear. In Roman times, a red veil would cover the bride to protect her from evil spirits - the idea was if the demons couldn't see the brides face, they would be confused... White veils are also said to symbolise the purity of the bride, when lifted by the groom, the marriage is then symbolically consummated. And in Jewish faith, the veil is worn to show the groom wants to marry his bride, not just for her looks (we like this one!).

Why Do Brides Have Something Blue?

We're all familiar with the old English rhyme - 'Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.' But why do brides have to wear something blue? While the old stands for continuity, the something new represents optimism for the future, the borrowed item is said to bring borrowed happiness and the blue symbolises purity, love and fidelity.

Why Do Brides Throw The Bouquet?

So now we know the history behind the bouquet, but where did the toss tradition come from? Similar to the garter idea, guests would be grabbing at the dress for any piece of luck they could get their hands on (literally). So to distract guests from ripping their dress to shreds, brides would throw the bouquet, so the guests bee-lined for that instead.

Why Do The Bride's Parents' Pay?

Back in olden times (aka before women could provide for themselves), the brides family would pay a dowry to the groom; as he would then be the provider for the bride. But obviously times have changed and now both sides of the family traditionally pay for different parts of the day. The grooms side traditionally cover the marriage licence, boutonnieres, the bride's bouquet, groomsmen gifts, liquor, and the musical entertainment. The bride's side cover everything else, including the dress and veil, photographer, all other flowers and decorations and the food.

Why Do Chinese Brides Wear Red?

Red is one of the luckiest colours to wear in China because is represents joy, love and prosperity - so of course perfect for weddings. This colour is also associated with success, loyalty, honour and fertility, so not only the brides dress, but most of the decorations are red too, teamed with gold - the colour that portrays wealth and fortune.

Why Do Wedding Invitation Replies Go To The Mother Of The Bride?

While we're now clear on wedding invite etiquette, but why is the RSVP sent to the brides mother? It's usually because the parents are paying for or organising the event. Before wedding planners, it was mum who would be keeping track of guests, seating and all of the organising!