Have you ever been to a wedding? If so, you probably already know that there are a lot of special traditions that go along with weddings. Many of those traditions have to do with what people wear at weddings.
As a guest, you probably had to dress up. If you're a girl, you might have worn a special dress. If you're a boy, you might have even had to wear a tie! Even in your dress clothes, though, you still probably weren't as spiffy-looking as the bride and groom.
Brides wear special dresses called wedding gowns. Many brides spend many hours and lots of money to buy a very special wedding gown that she will keep forever. Some brides even have wedding gowns designed especially for them.
Most grooms, on the other hand, wear special suits called tuxedos. They're fancier than normal suits. They can also be very expensive to buy, so most grooms rent tuxedos and return them after the wedding.
If you've seen wedding gowns, most, if not all, of them have probably been white. White is certainly the traditional color of most wedding gowns, but not all wedding gowns today are white and they haven't always been white throughout history.
Long, long ago, wedding gowns were popular in many different colors. After Queen Victoria's wedding in 1840, though, white became the most popular, traditional color, as brides wanted to have a wedding like Queen Victoria.
Of course, wedding dress traditions vary from country to country and time period to time period. For example, frontier women in America often chose to get married in regular dresses that could be worn again after the wedding. Over time, though, special wedding dresses meant to be worn once and then kept forever or passed on to a daughter, friend, or relative became the norm.
While white wedding gowns are popular in the western world, many brides in the eastern world, including countries such as China, India, and Vietnam, often wear red. Japanese brides may wear three or more dresses during a wedding ceremony. They may start in a white dress and eventually change into a red dress. This symbolizes death to her old family and rebirth into her new family with her husband!