Some museums of clothing around the world have different wedding dresses in their exhibitions. Many of these wedding gowns are real masterpieces. For instance, here are several dresses displayed at the Victoria&Albert Museum in London. We’ll see a few wedding outfits from 1775-1899, though, this museum exhibits many more gowns from other periods. We might have chosen the most outstanding and strikingly beautiful wedding dresses from the 18th-19th centuries.
In the 18th century, brides with a connection to the royal family and aristocracy were presented in court after their marriage. Special court dress worn with wide side hoops was required for this important occasion. Although, they do not know the name of the woman who wore this court dress, the family that donated this garment to the museum associated it with a bride. And you can see it’s a beautiful elegant dress, perfect for a wedding.
In the 19th century, wedding gowns were not only worn for weddings but were usually worn afterwards for other occasions as well. For a church wedding, sleeves were required, so this particular dress has removable sleeves. The bride could have short sleeves on another day and use the dress again.
This wedding dress was worn in 1841. And you’ll notice that it has color in a pattern. Women with less money often wore colored wedding dresses, which were more practical than white. The pattern on fabric is after date, but the cut of the dress follows the silhouette of the mid to late 1830s, reflecting the slower pace of changing fashion in rural communities.
Bridal styles in the 19th century followed fashion. The cut and decorative details of this late 1857 wedding dress are typical of their date. Notice the beautiful fringe – it adds so much class and distinction to this wedding gown.
This beautiful wedding dress from 1874 was worn by a Quaker. Quakers in Britain varied in their posture dress. In general, they favored mainstream styles – they wanted to appear well-dressed, without standing out. Notice the pretty lace on the front and the bottom. It’s made with silk gauze, a machine-made lace, and silk satin.
Artificial pearls were newly-fashionable trimming for wedding gowns in the late 1800s. Charles Frederick Worth was Paris’ leading dressmaker in this time period. His international clientele included wealthy Americans like Clara Matthews, who chose this dress when she married in England in 1880. This dress also came with a separate train that is not displayed here. Although, this dress does have a train itself, a separate train could make it even more glamorous.
Harriet Joyce worked as a lady’s maid before marrying Percy Sams. They wed on the 8th of June 1899 at St Andrew’s Church in Earlsfield, England. She was an accomplished needlewoman and made her own wedding dress. That’s very interesting to know that the bride chose to wear purple because she was 35 years old and she considered herself too old to wear white. The dress is made from corded silk, silk satin, and machine-made lace.