Buttons and Bows

Some wedding dresses have millions of buttons.  Some have zippers.  Some have zippers and buttons.  The new thing is the bow or the corset type dress.  It ties in the back.  In our business, a Bridal Portrait is known as the “documentation of a costume.” 

I remember when bridal gowns first became strapless.  Everybody thought they looked like prom dresses!  Some bridal gowns have buttons so that you can tie up the back of the dress during the dancing.  Some gowns have buttons so you can remove the train entirely.  Some brides even change their dresses half way through the reception. 


Weddings performed many years ago were often more than just a union between two people. They could be a union between two families, two businesses or even two countries.  Many weddings were more a matter of politics than love, particularly among the nobility and the higher social classes.  Brides were therefore expected to dress in a manner that cast their families in the most favorable light, for they were not representing only themselves during the ceremony.  Brides from wealthy families often wore rich colors and exclusive fabrics.  It was common to see brides wearing bold colors and layers of furs, velvet and silk.  Brides today are beginning to wear colored dresses instead of white.

Ever wonder why men’s suit coats have non-functioning buttons sewn on the sleeves?  Maybe it’s because King Frederick of Prussia in the 18th Century ordered that buttons be sewn on the sleeves of his troops’ coats to discourage them from wiping their noses on them!

Today, there are wedding dresses available in every price range.  Traditions have loosened up to include a rainbow of colors and variety of lengths, which are now considered acceptable.  Women may purchase ready-made gowns, wear a family heirloom, or they may choose to have a dreammaker create one for style and orders one to be made to fit.

This is my own mother’s bridal portrait made at home on N. St. Mary’s St. in 1935.  She was 18 years old.  I was born when Mom was 20.  Brides were much younger then!



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