The white wedding dress as we know it today, is actually a fairly modern fashion "invention". Take a look at any painting from the middle ages or the Renaissance and the chance of you seeing a woman wearing white on her big day is close to zero. Today's traditional shade of white (associated with purity and virginity) only became popular in the 19th century thanks to Queen Victoria. Before that, you could literally get hitched in any color of the rainbow, most commonly red, and it would have been ok. But then again, that was an era without washing machines so white wasn't a very practical shade anyway.
While trends have always been a big factor in bridal fashion, politics and current affairs sometimes affected these trends in more ways that you can imagine. During World War I and II for example, resources were limited, so brides sometimes wore gowns made of ... parachute silk or nylon.
Flapper-style gowns were, of course, a trademark of the roaring 20s, and in the 30s and 40s, the A-line dress transitioned to a full-on princess ball gown. The 60s and 70s, as you can imagine, were all about freedom. Experimenting with different silhouettes such as mini dresses and suits was very popular.
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Now take a walk down memory lane and see some of the most iconic wedding dresses throughout history.