Queen Victoria was actually the first bride to wear white way back in the 1800s. Interestingly, she received flak for it, with some calling the subtle color too conservative. (Interestingly, at the time, white was known as the color of mourning, which made her decision even more ground-breaking.) Seeing as the royal majesty was not one to be told what to do, the vivacious queen made her own call and started a trend in royal wedding dresses that eventually extended to the general populace.
Not surprisingly, after the Queen donned her white dress, other women began to follow suit. It became a symbol of wealth and status, not only because of the Queen but because wedding dresses in those times were worn again and again. Having a white one meant you had the money to have it cleaned. After World War II, white wedding dresses started to become the norm for all socioeconomic classes.
According to the Godey’s Lady Book, white is considered to be “the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material.” It is also, as many believe to be the dominant reason for white being popular for weddings, an “emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.” Heather McReynolds, vice president and general manager of Bridal and Dresses at David’s Bridal, adds that white bridal gowns “give delicate, classic and timeless vibes,” not to mention that wearing white is a great way to stand out among guests.