Timeline Tuesday - Wedding Edition (1/3)! Which was popularized first: The white wedding dress, or playing music during the wedding ceremony?
Bonus question... Which came first, Mendelssohn's Wedding March (the exit song common at weddings), or Wagner's Bridal Chorus (aka Here Comes the Bride)?
(And yes... That's the same Bridal Chorus that was used in Princess Vicky's wedding.)
Yep! Mendelssohn wrote the Wedding March for A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1842. Wagner wrote the Bridal Chorus for his opera Lohengrin in 1850.
White has been a symbol of innocence and purity for a long time, but it’s not a practical color. So wedding dresses were more often other colors with bits of white incorporated here and there. Enter Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840.
Queen Victoria wore a white wedding dress when she married, and it caught on among the upper class because they could afford to pay the expense of having that massive expanse of whiteness cleaned. A bride in white meant a rich family.
Music was generally reserved for the reception after the wedding, and not played during the ceremony, itself. This changed with the wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Victoria, in 1858, who had choral music during her processional.