Wedding Dresses in Georgian England
by Jenna Jaxon
The Georgian wedding gown was foremost an elegant and fashionable garment for the ladies in the ranks of the nobility. This in part stemmed from the idea that the gown, although worn first on one’s wedding day, would also be part of the bride’s regular wardrobe after the wedding. Therefore, current fashion was a great consideration when ordering the wedding gown.
Our usual vision of a wedding dress is of the long white satin gown with a train, encrusted with lace and pearls. But the white gown was brought into fashion almost a hundred and fifty years after the eighteenth century, by Queen Victoria when she married Prince Albert in 1840. Eighteenth century brides wore white gowns, but silver and blue were also popular colors. The color blue was especially trendy because in that era it was linked to purity more so than white. Blue was also associated with piety and the Virgin Mary. Some brides chose bold colors, such as deep blue, red, or purple for their wedding gowns because the darker shades helped hide dirt at the hems better. The only color brides avoided was green, which was considered unlucky due to its association with fairies.
The picture here is the wedding dress worn by Mary Chaloner in 1763 for her marriage to Colonel John Hale, from the McCord Museum. As you can see, prints were also popular for bridal wear.
Bridal gowns were also a way for families to show off their wealth and social status. Women’s dresses were expensive due to the sheer yardage needed for eighteenth century fashions. Wedding gowns were doubly so as they entailed not only the yards and yards of fine fabric (silk, velvet, satin), but also the costly lace and jewels often sewed onto the fabric. So if the bride appeared so sumptuously attired on her wedding day, her family would be showing all the world just how affluent they were.
In Only Marriage Will Do, because of the circumstances, we never get to see what Lady Juliet Ferrers wears to her wedding. But I suspect it would have conformed to the current standards that brides of the time adhered to.
|A beach wedding dress ...|
ONLY MARRIAGE WILL DO
Not every happy-ever-after begins at “I do.”
When the hero of her dreams rescues Lady Juliet Ferrers from the man claiming to be her husband, she is sure she has found her one true love. But is she free to marry him? Not to be deterred, Juliet arranges for her hero, Captain Amiable Dawson, to escort her to her family estate, hoping that along the way she can win his love.
Amiable is charmed by the sweet, beautiful woman he rescued, and although he has grave reservations about her marital status, he allows himself to be swept up into Juliet’s romantic spell and the promise of a happy-ever-after.
The spell breaks when legal questions arise and Juliet faces the horror of not knowing if she is married to her knight in shining armor or the cruel viscount who is determined to have her at any price.
|These Hawaiian flowers look like a bridal bouquet ...|
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.
Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as President of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. Her debut novel, Only Scandal Will Do, is the first in her House of Pleasure series, set in Georgian London. Only Marriage Will Do, the second book in the series, is set to release in June 2015 from Kensington. Her medieval serial novel, Time Enough to Love: Betrothal, Betrayal, and Beleaguered, is a Romeo & Juliet-esque tale, set at the time of the Black Death. The next book in that series, a short story called Beloveds, will release in May 2015.
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.
Find Jenna Jaxon online:
|Hawaiian wedding ... Gangnam style!|
Mahalo, Jenna, for visiting us at SOS Aloha! Jenna is giving away a digital copy of ONLY MARRIAGE WILL DO to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about wedding dresses - do you have a favorite style? Do you have a favorite celebrity dress? Do you watch Say Yes to the Dress? I liked Angelina Jolie's dress with her children's drawings etched into the skirt.
2. Comments are open through Saturday, June 13, 10 pm in Baltimore.
3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, June 14.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City