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Wedding Dresses, a Brief History Lesson

by Mark Douglas June 21, 2018

Andrew and Kaleigh Branham at Howe Farms w/ All Dressed Up Chattanooga, TN | Christan C. George Photography

From ancient China to the recent royal wedding, wedding gowns have made up a large part of culture all over the world. But what is a wedding gown, and where did the modern idea of a wedding dress come from? Keep reading to learn all about the style and history of these beautiful dresses.

What is a wedding gown?

(Mrs. Kaleigh Branham | Christan C. George Photography)

Wedding gowns are unique from other dresses for two reasons: 1) their use and 2) their style. As the name says, a wedding gown is uniquely for the bride to wear on her wedding day. Usually, these dresses only get worn once, although some families choose to pass dresses down from generation to generation, with some girls actually wearing the antique. 

Sophia Tolli Wedding Dress Style #Y11632

(Mr&Mrs Andrew and Kaleigh Branham | Kaleigh is wearing our Sophia Tolli Riona Y11632. Her veil is a Berger 9943.)

The other thing that sets wedding gowns apart is their style. Traditionally, if it's a first-time wedding, the dress is almost always white, which is a key feature. This symbolizes virginity and purity. Again, with tradition, if a woman is getting remarried, the dress might be off-white or cream. Either way, wedding gowns stay in the white color range, which makes them instantly recognizable from other dresses. In addition to their color, wedding dresses are unique for their elegant, intricate style. Many wedding gowns will include beaded or laced features.

Where did wedding gowns come from?

Bridesmaids Dresses by All Dressed Up, Style #146

(Kaleigh's Bridesmaids are wearing our Morilee BM Dresses, #146. Her earrings are David Tutera's Embellish Sydney Crystal Balls.)

Before the 19th century, wedding dresses weren't all that fancy. Most Americans dressed up in whatever they could find around their house, which was usually something closer to their "Sunday best" than a formal ball gown. But when the British Queen Victoria got married in the middle of the century, her stunning white dress instantly started a trend that has endured until today. 

ADU Tux Rentals are #HOT!

(Andrew and crew are wearing our Jim's Formal Wear Tux Rental, a Stephen Geoffrey, Slate Blue #382.)

Of course, not everyone could afford a wedding gown, and many people still purchased nice dresses that they could re-wear later in life; the same is true today. But as time has progressed, the white gown has evolved into a universal American symbol of marriage and love. 

Where can I get my own wedding gown?

If you're looking for your own stunning wedding dress look no further than All Dressed Up. Our selection of wedding dresses ranges from the traditional to the extravagant, and will help make your special day unforgettable. And stop by our store today to meet Cheron, make an appointment, and peruse our in-house selections. 

Andrew and Kaleigh Branham w/All Dressed Up, Chattanooga, TN | Photos by Christan C. George Photography

Above I've added in a few Christan C. George photos from the fabulous wedding of Mr and Mrs Andrew and Kaleigh Branham's Wedding on October 14, 2017 at Howe Farms. Kaleigh sat down for an in-depth interview with me. Two weeks ago I introduced this couple with an intro vid about their love (#14 Finding My Soulmate) and a corresponding ADU blog about relationship virtues (Nurturing Your Soulmate, Living and Loving Through Virtues). Don't miss that intro! Today I dive even deeper and talk about their actual Wedding Day. Trumpets Please! ;)

This week's corresponding Video Bonus just went LIVE!: #15 My Wedding Day, The Kaleigh & Andrew Story, Pt 1 | 'Puttin On The Ritz w/ DJ Mark!'  

Video Dialogue:

Mark: Ladies and gents we hope you've had a chance to see our last episode, #14 Finding My Soulmate, The Kaleigh & Andrew Story. We all got a chance to hear a short version love story between her and Andrew. And today we're going to find out just how awesome October 14, 2017 really was. Let's start at the top, your formal wear. You purchased your gown right here at All Dressed Up, a breathtaking Sophia Tolli style number Y11632. Tell us about your gown, it's alterations, and how did it perform that day? Kaleigh: My dress, I actually saw it on Pinterest, my Pinterest board. I brought it in, and I said, Cheron (ADU owner and Certified Wedding Planner... Cheron performed Kaleigh's Day-Of Wedding Coordination), I need this dress. She said, I don't have that in. But, she did everything she could to get that dress in, and I tried more on just to see different styles and, (she called and said) I got it in finally. It took about two weeks. I tried it on and I knew that was the dress and it was perfect, it was wonderful and I loved it. Alterations went really smooth; tucked it in where it needed to be and, other than getting a little sweaty towards the end of the night on the wedding it was, I love that dress so much, it was awesome. Mark: You also gave ADU the opportunity to dress your bridesmaids and groomsmen. How was that process and are you satisfied with the products and services? Kaleigh: Yeah, the bridesmaids dresses: I had two of them come in and (they) just tried them on, to see what I liked. And I wanted a style that was flattering to everybody and they all looked gorgeous and it was a lovely maroon color cause I was going for that fall (look). And then the groomsmen I decided to go with navy tuxes with hints of that maroon color we were using for the bridesmaids and it looked so good. Cheron suggested this and just what ties would look well with shoes and together it just looked so nice, and just really classy. And it really helped set the theme for those colors during  that time of year, so it was awesome. Mark: So how was the process of picking up the tuxes, getting the bridesmaids dresses in, making sure everything was fitted properly? Kaleigh: Getting everything is was so easy. I actually had to add a bridesmaids dress, like three months before the wedding. It came in two weeks and it was perfect, it worked out just fine. And then both bridal party, I'd (they) would just come in, pick up what they needed to go and leave. It was super super simple. Cheron made that process so easy. Mark: And your mom. Your mom grabbed a Cameron Blake style number 117614. Tell us about that purchase. Kaleigh: Honestly I think I got more complements on her dress than my dress that whole evening. But no, it was a beautiful navy dress to help accent the groom. She has red hair and the contrast between the red hair and the navy just looked so good and she looked awesome. But yeah, I honestly got more complements on her dress than mine but she looked perfect so it doesn't matter. It was awesome. Mark: You also grabbed a veil (Berger Veil 9943) and a David Tutera wedding bracelet (Sydney Crystal Ball Bracelet) and earrings (Sydney Crystal Ball Earrings). Kaleigh: I just wanted to pick out something that would accent my dress. And Cheron of course picked out the perfect things to that. Just simple pearls, nothing crazy, I didn't want anything flashy because my dress didn't really need that much. It was perfect on it's own. Just those small bits of pearls and a little ring that I got from mom, and then my veil just went with it so perfectly. It was awesome. Mark: Ladies and gents I'm cutting in right now to keep this video short. Tune in next time for Part 2 when we discuss the vendors Kaleigh used at the beautiful Howe Farm. I wanna do a big shout out right now to the photographer, Christin C. George Photography. And the video you're seeing from Axel Marshall Productions. Kaleigh: ADU Ladies, we're interested in your Wedding Day story! Would you like to be featured in one of our blogs or episodes? Share your event directly from the website, alldressedup.me. It's easy to find in the footer section, and Mark will place a link to it in the corresponding blog. Keep up with All Dressed Up! It's easy to Subscribe, Like, Comment, and Share. And make sure you get those notifications! Mark: What She Said!

Next week this sentence will be replaced by the blog link to "My Wedding Day, The Kaleigh and Andrew Story, Pt 2." 

Photography by Christan C. George Photography

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All Dressed Up is a family-owned Chattanooga, Tennessee business offering wedding and prom gowns, bridesmaids, mother and flower girl dresses and tuxedo rentals, to name a few. We have the lowest pricing (MSRP) and a wide selection of dresses for all personalities and styles.

Visit All Dressed Up today to set your VIP Bridal Appointment, your VIP In-Home Tuxedo Fitting, and shop for your favorite Bridal Gowns.

This is an original blog post from All Dressed Up - Bridal Prom Tuxedo.

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Mark Douglas
Mark Douglas

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