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Everything Old Is New Again

May 5, 2010

Here at Mojuba Wedding, we love history – especially when it comes to fashion!  Here are 10 fun facts that we’ve unveiled about wedding attire trends and traditions throughout history:

– The first documented wedding dress was worn by Princess Philippa of England in 1406.  For the big day, she wore a white satin tunic with gray trim and a white veil.  Though she was technically the first to sport a white wedding gown, this didn’t become the norm until hundreds of years later (see below!)

– Medieval brides often wore brightly colored gowns in the most luxurious fabrics their budgets would allow.  The bolder the colors – and the more fur and frills – the better!

– The tradition of throwing a garter dates back to the Renaissance, when the guests would follow the couple back to their marriage bed (awkward?!) and hope to catch it from the groom – doing so would bring them good luck.

– Blue, rather than white, was originally upheld as the color of purity.  Brides and grooms would both wear a band of blue, which explains where the “something blue…” expression came from.

– Our very first lady, Martha Washington, walked down the aisle in a yellow brocade dress trimmed with lace, accented by pearls in her hair and purple satin shoes – sounds like modern day runway!  She wed George Washington, who proposed after knowing her just three weeks, on January 6, 1759; he was definitely a man who knew what he wanted! (Click here for more on George, Martha, and their love-at-first-sight romance)

– Queen Victoria was the trendsetter behind wearing a chaste white gown; she was also the first to have her bridesmaids carry her train as she walked down the aisle.  She wed Prince Albert in 1840.

– In the late 1800s, it was common for brides in America to alter their dresses after the ceremony and re-wear them to cocktail or dinner parties.  Doing so was the ultimate compliment to the hostess. These ladies were shopping their closets before it became a trend!

– Detachable trains (and we’re not talkin about choo-choos) were introduced in the 1930s – one of many ways women were beginning to get creative with their dresses and show their own personal style.

– Grace Kelly’s elaborately gorgeous wedding gown (see photo at left) required 25 yards of silk taffeta and just short of 100 yards of tulle. Glamour at its finest!

– The train on Princess Diana’s wedding dress was 25 feet long. It was truly an amazing sight to see for the 750 million people who tuned in to watch the ceremony, but personally we’re glad we weren’t the ones carrying it!

If we’ve sparked your curiosity and you’re in the Chicago area, be sure to check out the fabulous new exhibit on historical wedding attire at the Chicago History Museum, opening May 22!

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