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White wedding dress,custom.

“Here comes the bride, all dressed in white.”

We all know the famous wedding song that accompanies brides down the aisle. But what many don’t know is that the tradition of the white wedding dress started in England.

Queen Victoria started the tradition in 1840 when she wed Prince Albert in a flamboyant white dress that was a stark departure from the colored gowns of the day, according to Weddinggazette.com.

Wealthy women across England viewed the white dress as a statement of class and style and copied it in their weddings.

Prior to the white-dress tradition, English women about to be wed normally would buy a fancy gown that would later be used for formal functions. Less well-off brides would make do with their best dress on hand.

Years later, other members of the English royalty would add the lengthy train to the end of the dress and another trend was born, according to the Web site.

Still, most women were wed in colorful dresses throughout the early part of the 20th century in both England and America. It wasn’t until the Hollywood starlets of the 1950s all wed in white that the white gown became a permanent fixture in the Western wedding landscape.

It’s unclear if Queen Victoria intended the dress to be a symbol of purity and innocence, but for many, that symbolism remains.

Got a question about something you’ve seen or heard around the United Kingdom? E-mail us at: uknews@mail.estripes.osd.mil


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