Despite never having been officially married Barbie is probably the doll that has been dressed as a bride more times in history. Her first wardrobe already included the Wedding Day Set but, apparently, Barbie was only modeling because marrying Barbie in the story would spoil the game so she would never go to the chapel but she would dress as a bride countless times going with the fashion decade by decade since her birth to nowadays.
But ... why white?
Queen Victoria of England transgressed in many things and, although she was not the only one, she was who made the white wedding dress fashionable in the West. That was in 1840 and in its design intervened the queen herself, the artist William Dyce and many people who were working for months to make that pre-Raphaelite dream come true in cream tones and Honiton lace whose patterns are said to have been destroyed by Royal order to not be copied. The dress was simple in line and the Queen did not choose exhuberant jewels for the occasion because she didn't want to pronounce her vows as the Queen but as a woman in love.
Before that, basically people married in the best clothes they could afford, it's not that there was a specific color but, especially rich families tried to wear the most expensive colors and the most luxurious materials because, in many cases, it was a display of status and power that had little or nothing to do with love. Thus, pearls, heavy brocades or gold and silver threads were the norm. People not so wealthy simply wore their best clothes until almost mid XXth century and that is why we see so many dark dresses in tune with the fashion of the time, although sometimes it could also be a matter of mourning.
It seems that England has always been influential when it comes to weddings despite other influencers such as Jackie Kennedy, Bianca Jagger or Brigitte Bardot, among others because in the 60s Mary Quant made the mini skirt fashionable in the highest of the Swinging London and unleashed the craze for mini wedding dresses. Not only that, in 1981 Lady Di married in a great wedding dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel when the future princess choose them after falling in love with one of their shirts in a photo session and became an icon like its carrier. The designers were determined to make an impression and satisfy Diana's desires for grandeur and they definitely succeeded. The dress was followed by a decade of "meringue" brides that created a trend that Barbie of course signed up for.
And from the ostentation to the simplicity that followed in the 2000s and to the eclecticism we live in today. Vintage, gothic, 1920s-inspired brides, series or submarine-inspired ceremonies, anything goes while Barbie continues to model those classic wedding dresses that we loved so much as children.
by The Barbiest.