While there are plenty of different white wedding dress styles out there, there is one tradition that most women tend to stick to.
The colour white has been associated with marriage and bridal attire for decades. So when did this ritual begin and why do we follow it?
Many believe that Queen Victoria was the first to walk down the aisle in white.
The royal dazzled in a silk dress when she wed Prince Albert on February 10, 1840. But contrary to popular belief, members of the aristocracy were wearing similar dresses decades before.
Geraldine Roberts bestselling book, The Angel and the Cad, explores how a high profile marriage shaped how brides choose their frocks.
Catherine Tylney-Long was a British aristocrat who was born in 1789. At the age of 16, she inherited the fortune of her baronet father, making her Regency England’s wealthiest heiress.
So when she tied the knot with William Wellesley Pole, who wasn’t of a royal background, it caused a big stir.
The wedding hit newspapers’ gossip columns and the public was intrigued by every detail of the wedding ceremony.
At the high profile wedding, Catherine made the decision to wear white, this was a bold decision – as the heiress was the first to make it fashionable.
Geraldine explained: “White weddings were a relatively new trend reserved for the rich and fashionable. Most women simply got married in their best gown, regardless of the colour.”
The nuptials were widely reported and other brides were desperate to replicate the craze themselves.
Geraldine added: “Details of Catherine’s outfit caused a sensation and made the white wedding dress desirable at all levels of society.
“From this moment onwards, brides increasingly wore white as a symbol of romantic love and purity. Perhaps this formula has been used before, but never with such pomp and publicity.
“It was a defining moment in the history of the British wedding, establishing a blueprint that remains popular today.”
Talking about white gowns and weddings, wedding excitement will reach fever pitch in Britain this week, as the highly anticipated nuptials between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will take place on Saturday.
While it goes without saying that Meghan will wear white or an off-white shade, there has been plenty of speculation about what frock she will choose.