One of the vintage photos I posted yesterday showed a wedding couple. Barry posed the question: why is the bride wearing a dark (presumed black, as we can't really say which colour it is) dress?
Here is another example.
I knew that white wedding dresses have not always been the style. Wikipedia has this information to offer:
White did not become a popular option until 1840, after the marriage of Queen Victoria to Albert of Saxe-Coburg. Victoria had worn a white gown for the event so as to incorporate some lace she owned. The official wedding portrait photograph was widely published, and many other brides opted for a similar dress in honor of the Queen's choice.
The tradition of a white wedding is commonly credited to Queen Victoria's choice to wear a white wedding dress at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840.
Queen Victoria was not the first royal bride to wear a white wedding gown, but the first of the modern era. White had been a traditional color of royal mourning, and although not often utilized as such, white was not considered a suitable choice for a royal wedding. Victoria's choice popularized the white gown as no other had before her. Previously, brides wore their best clothes or the most expensive new clothes they could afford. Gold or gold-threaded dresses became popular with royal brides; the rank-and-file wore dresses that reflected their station. White was one of many choices, pastel shades were also popular.
Most of the older photos of wedding couples that have made their way into my hands show brides in dark dresses. Most of these ladies are not young brides. I am guessing that these are perhaps widows marrying a second time. Also, these pictures are for the most part from Bavaria, which was very widely rural at the turn of the century, meaning people didn't usually have a lot of money, to invest in a special dress for only one occasion. They probably wore their best dress, which would have been black or dark, at any rate.
Wikipedia did mention that it was tradition in Finland for the bride to wear a black dress.
I haven't been able to unearth any other information so far. Do any of you know more about this subject?