Should brides only wear white?

Posted at 07/09/2012 5:23 PM | Updated as of 07/10/2012 2:06 PM
Precious Lara Quigaman in a beige wedding dress by Veejay Floresca. Photo from Veejay Floresca's Tumblr page.

MANILA, Philippines – Former beauty queen Precious Lara Quigaman wore a beige wedding dress on Sunday as she tied the knot with actor Marco Alcaraz at Hacienda Isabella in Tagaytay City.

Guests and viewers of “The Buzz” (where part of the ceremony was aired) were pleasantly surprised by the beige gown, with several of them turning to Twitter to praise both Quigaman and designer Veejay Floresca.

"The gown you made for Lara is Super WOW and ♥ ! Now I know whom to entrust my wedding gown for my church wedding. Yay!" said Twitter user Nina Ricci.

"Gorgeous Precious Lara Quigaman was wearing her beautiful wedding gown. Such a lovely bride!" added user Cristina Torcullas.

Others, however, were left wondering why the dress was not white, as demanded by tradition.

As the wedding ceremony progressed, the couple admitted that Quigaman is already five months pregnant.

“You may be Miss International to everyone, but for me Jiamps, you will always be my precious one. And I commit to taking care of you with all my life, my precious one, plus our forthcoming son. And you both will be my precious two,” Alcaraz said during the recitation of wedding vows.

Before their church wedding on Sunday, Alcaraz and Quigaman tied the knot in a civil wedding in Canada two years ago.

It is widely believed that a bride should wear a white wedding dress to signify that she is a virgin. The color is said to be reserved for women who are getting married for the first time, with second-timers left with other hues such as ivory, cream, gray, beige, and even red.

But did you know that this has not always been the case?

Wealth

Back then, it was common to see brides wearing dresses in bold colors on their big day. Those who belonged to poor families only wore their best church dresses, while the well-off preferred layers of fur, velvet and silk.

All these changed, however, when Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom wore a white lace gown to her wedding during the 19th century. At a time when laundering techniques were limited, the white dress was a way of showing the world that the bride’s family is so wealthy that they can afford an elaborate dress that is not only easily stained, but will only be worn once.

In other words, before it was associated with innocence and purity, white used to symbolize the wealth of the bride’s family.

Practicality

With the arrival of department stores in the 1890s, every woman had the opportunity to get married in a white wedding dress, which eventually became the norm.

In the 1920s, Coco Chanel introduced the white knee-length wedding dress, which became a hit among brides across the globe.

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, however, several women had to give up the traditional white wedding dress for the sake of practicality. Some borrowed or rented a dress, while others dyed theirs after the wedding so these can be worn again.

Individuality

Today, the wedding dress has become a canvas of sorts for fashion designers, who have come up with countless styles, cuts and designs.

The bride’s personality is also taken into account – conservative women usually opt for long-sleeved gowns, while the daring ones prefer short and strapless dresses.

While most women still prefer to wear white on their big day in the belief that it is the ideal color for virgins, a growing number of brides are trying other hues, as influenced by trends they see in fashion magazines.

From being a symbol of wealth, the wedding dress has indeed gone a long way.

References:

From Times Past
Readers’ Digest
Love to Know Weddings
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