On March 26, Reese Witherspoon walked down the aisle to wed Jim Toth, but she didn’t wear white. While Reese has been married once before (to Ryan Phillippe) she opted for something a little less traditional. Seeing as Reese has two children (Ava and Deacon) from her first marriage, some might say that it was only right for her to not wear white. Many traditionalists associate white wedding dresses with virginity. Well, a couple of things here: 1. There are very few brides who actually wed with virginity still in tact (It’s 2011. Let’s not be ridiculous), 2. White dresses actually have absolutely nothing to do with virginity.
The popularity of white dresses for weddings began back in 1840 when Queen Victoria wed Albert of Saxe-Coberg. Before then, it was common for women to wear dresses of any color to walk down the aisle except black (mourning) and red (prostitutes). Brides wishing to flaunt their virginity actually wore blue. White was a color associated with wealth because it was a dress that would not be easily worn again. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the white dress really picked up steam and became a social standard.
When I was trying on wedding dresses, I noticed a lot of muted pastel tints to the dresses. I tried on an icy lavender, a beautiful blush, and a steely grey gown. I was almost sold on a blush Vera Wang creation (Farrah below), but mama wasn’t having it. Below are several non traditional gowns created by the very traditional bridal ateliers:
Photo via People.com