Kiki goes shopping for her dream wedding gown - and ponders where the big-white-dress tradition comes from...
With our wedding venue established, my next step was finding the perfect dress. But what was I after? Silk? Tulle? Strapless or V-neck? White? Or perhaps light blue or pink? I have always wondered why wedding dresses are traditionally white. Where did it all start? And why white?
It turns out that the Western tradition of wearing white is not a symbol of virginity or purity as is commonly believed – it was actually the colour blue that symbolised purity, truth, faithfulness, piety and the Virgin Mary.
Until the 19th century, most colours were acceptable including pink, purple, yellow, red and even black. It was Queen Victoria who popularised the white wedding dress by wearing a white lace gown at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840.
I downloaded a few copies of Wedding Magazine on my iPad, and flicked through with my mother and younger sister (one of my bridesmaids). We took screenshots of those we liked the most. I knew I wanted a lacy gown that would suit my figure – simple but attractive. As a general rule, lace is pretty expensive, so I promptly hunted down a few sample sales as I thought this would be my best chance of finding something I liked at an affordable price.
The first sample sale I found online was by Emma Hunt London, who recently held a sale in West London. With a range of stunning gowns on offer, I spotted a few dresses I liked the second I walked through the door.
The first I tried on fit me like a glove - with intricate lace details, it was comfortable, and I could move about freely. It was perfect for the warm September weather in Sicily. I couldn’t believe my luck at having found my ideal dress so quickly (at half price, too!). One hour later, I left armed with my much-treasured wedding gown as I let out a huge sigh of relief: that was 3/3 of the “big 3” (venue, date and dress) I’d ticked off.
Now for the fun stuff: food tasting and designing the invites - the beginning of setting a theme for my wedding...
Imagery: Emma Hunt. Kiki Deere is a travel writer raised bilingually in London and Turin who writes regularly about all things Italy for a number of travel publications including the Rough Guides and UK broadsheets. Follow Kiki on Twitter here.