Wedding Dresses of the Past – What We Can Learn

Wedding dresses, and fashion in general, has changed immensely over the past century. The white wedding dresses we have today can be traced back to Queen Victoria, who wore a white lace gown at her wedding – this sparked a trend amongst the elites of the day, and the tradition has persisted ever since.

But, the buck didn’t stop with Queen Victoria, as the wedding dress culture has now taken on a life of its own, and in our present day and age, there are multiple styles to choose from – many that maintain a strong nod to dresses of ages past. Fashion is cyclical, and most wedding gowns today are not the first of their kind, but rather a revival of movements that made a statement during former fashion phases. In this article, we are going to have a look at some of the wedding dress styles that have stood the test of time, and some that should never have been invented in the first place.

The 1910s

The 1910s were the dawning of a new century and thus introduced many new customs. It was during these years that people were dancing more often at weddings, and late Edwardian wedding dresses had to adapt accordingly. The 1910s saw women favouring looser high-neck collar and empire line waist dresses, lace, and ruffles. We see hints of this style in our modern take of the “vintage” dress style.

Flapper Dresses of the Dapper ‘20s

The roaring 1920s marked the end of World War I and the beginning of the great economic boom. People were living more freely and it showed in their weddings. Wedding dresses bordered on risqué with hemlines that crept up towards the knee. A dropped waist was favoured and lavish materials, such as silk and lace, were preferred.

The 1950s

This is the decade in which Jackie Kennedy donned her iconic white number. It was here that full skirts and portrait necklines became a trend that saw many brides flocking to get their hands on a ballgown styled dress.

Swinging in the 1960s

Brides in the ‘60s left the full dresses behind in favour of slimmer (and shorter) column dresses, sometimes with the empire waistline that seemed to make a comeback.

Rocking the 1980s

The hippy-era seventies saw a boom in large, puffy sleeves, and this style was cemented in fashion history by Princess Diana’s ivory silk taffeta gown in 1981. After inflated sleeves began to die down, the late eighties were a time recognised for their strapless sweetheart gowns.

The Modern 2000s

Tighter A-line dresses found their place in vogue, but brides were beginning to diversify their tastes, and the rules of trends began to blur.


Wedding dresses have come full circle and we see a culmination of past trends. Courtesy of the house of Givenchy, Meghan Markle wore her understated, minimalist silk cady dress this year. This simple design with sleeves seems to be making a huge comeback, with most of the detail being left to delicate jewellery and the veil.

If you want a classic, elegant dress that will look good in photographs for decades to come, why not consider Timeless Bridal Couture? Contact us today to book your appointment.