The Victorian style wedding dress is an extremely popular choice for brides today.
Part of the popularity of this vintage style stems from the fact that full gowns worn by fairy princesses in popular fairy tales and even the Good Witch Glenda from Wizard of Oz were modeled from Victorian styles our popular idea of a ball gown with the full bell skirts comes from the Victorian gown.
Even the traditional white gown actually stems from Queen Victoria’s choice in her wedding gown color supposedly chosen to match some lace she had. There is however some features that a bride may look for when choosing a Victorian style wedding dress.
These beautiful gowns are ideal for cool weather weddings because the sleeves to Victorian wedding gowns are usually extremely elaborate. A dress in the Victorian style might have sleeves that were both breathtaking and incredibly elaborate comprised of yards of fabric and elaborate ruching.
Or the simple puffed sleeve called a leg o’mutton might be used. Victorian style wedding gowns are known for their elaborate styling and the full gowns.
Victorian clothing was very formal as were the behaviors expected of the well bred lady or bride of the day. This was the era where crinoline was introduced. A crinoline is the structure which gives the full gown its shape and keeps the yards of fabric from collapsing against the body. Eventually these were replaced by what were called hoops that served the same purpose and were made or whalebone.
The authentic Victorian dress was extremely heavy due to the weight of the fabric and the numerous undergarments. Today’s Victorian style wedding dresses though are usually light though they still require a lot of fabric and are beautiful for a formal wedding.
Bustles also became fashionable during the Victorian era and evolved from the original crinoline. Although the full belled our skirt was popular for many years eventually bustles began to be more popular keeping heavy skirts pulled away from the woman’s body in the back but not providing the original full circle. This was a practical move that became fashionable as well.
The bustle kept the woman’s skirt pulled away from her body in the back and skirts were fashioned in length to fan behind the woman making a sort of train.
The bodice of the Victorian wedding gown was tightly laced and helped to give a girl the coveted tiny waist look so popular in that era. Combined with the full skirt puffed out from her the Victorian bride was the picture of beauty for that day and age.
Women were known to go corseted so tightly that they would faint frequently or at the slightest bit of excitement. Of course today with lighter materials and clever designer, the same effect can be achieved without the bride needing a fainting couch close at hand.
Naturally styles are a lot more relaxed today and the bride to be can pick and choose among the most desirable features of the Victorian era to have them incorporated into her wedding gown. Ruffles were the most fashionable and notable Victorian formal dress adornment.
Victorian wedding etiquette was as structured and formal as the clothing and many of our modern day traditions can be linked directly to the etiquette proper for that day and age.
For instance wedding rings were fitted to the third finger of the left hand and as was proper for the period. The best and of course most "proper" rings were made of precious a single precious stone such as a diamond or ruby.
However, engagement rings were never of pearls because that was felt to be a bride’s tears. Fortunately some of the formal requirements for the bride do not remain such as the requirement the bride not appear in public after the formal announcement of the engagement.
The modern bride can select a Victorian style wedding dress secure in the fact that she will have to endure little of the discomfort the Victorian bride did in getting dressed. Fabrics are lighter and yet sturdier and the structural undergarments of today are designed to be light and as comfortable as possible.
A bride can pick and choose among designer creations that have her favorite features for the Victorian style wedding gown and yet lack the uncomfortable or unflattering features the bride in the Victorian age was expected to wear willingly.
These are wedding dresses reminiscent of that formal and elegant age that can complete the fairy princess look for the bride who always dreamed of that for her wedding day, or allow another beauty to become the elegant lady at court on that special day.