During Medieval times, a wedding was more than just a union between two people. It was a union between two families, two businesses and even two countries. Weddings were more a matter of politics than love. Brides were required to dress in a manner which cast their families in the most favorable light, for they weren’t only representing themselves. Medieval brides of an elevated social standing wore rich colors and expensive fabrics. It was common to see well-to-do brides wearing boldly colored layers of furs, velvet and silk. Those of a lower social standing wore fabrics that weren’t as rich, though they copied the elegant styles of wealthier brides as best they could.
Throughout the years, brides continued to dress in a manner befitting their social status—always in the height of fashion, with the richest, boldest materials money could buy. The poorest of brides wore their best church dress on their wedding day. The amount of material a wedding dress contained was a reflection of the bride’s social standing. The more material used and the longer the train on the wedding dress, the wealthier the bride’s family was represented to be.
In modern tradition, the color of the western-culture wedding dress is white. Used in this sense, ‘white’ or ‘wedding white’ includes creamy shades such as eggshell, ecru and ivory. The popularity of this color can be traced back to 1840 and the marriage of Queen Victoria to Albert of Saxe-Coburg . The Queen chose to wear a white wedding gown for the event. The official wedding portrait photograph was widely published and many brides opted for a similar wedding dress in honor of that choice. The tradition of the white wedding dress continues today. Prior to the Victorian era a bride was married in any color wedding dress except black (the color of mourning) or red (which was connected with prostitutes). The white wedding dress came to symbolize purity of heart and the innocence of childhood. Later attribution suggested that the color white symbolized virginity (and also regarded as a symbol that the bride is happy), but this guideline is often ignored with brides wearing a white wedding dress for any number of marriages. It was originally the color blue that was connected to purity.
Many wedding dresses in China are colored red, the traditional color of good luck. In modern Chinese weddings, particularly in Western countries, the bride usually opts for the white Western wedding dress or changes from a red wedding gown to a white wedding gown later in the day.
In northern parts of India the traditional color of women’s wedding garments is red, a color symbolizing auspiciousness.The green colour is also commonly used;green, a colour signifying fertility. Nowadays many women opt not to wear the traditional red wedding dress, and choose other colors. South Indian weddings traditionally use white or cream colored saris. Indian brides in Western countries often wear the sari at the wedding ceremony and change into traditional Indian wear afterwards (like lehnga , choli , et cetera).