Special Report

How Weddings Have Changed Over the Last Century

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6. Wedding registry

The gift registry was invented in the 1920s, and with it, the idea that guests should give something to the bride and groom. Wedding gifts have evolved over time from crystal, silver, and china, and other presents for couples getting their first home together, to more practical gifts for modern couples and ones that are more personal. Some couples are even asking for cash now.

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7. White wedding dress

The white wedding dress tradition started when Queen Victoria wore one for her wedding in 1840. Today’s brides are breaking the rules when it comes to the white dress. It is no longer reserved for first time weddings, and white isn’t the only color a bride can wear on her wedding day.

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8. Wedding veil

The wedding veil can be traced back to ancient Rome, when it was believed the accessory would protect a bride from evil spirits. It later became a pure style statement when Queen Victoria wore one during her wedding in 1840. The veil has transformed through the decades with fashion trends. Even today, veils are seen as the one accessory that makes a bride a bride, as proven in any episode of “Say Yes to the Dress.” But some brides are choosing to go veil-free and are donning alternative accessories, such as flower crowns, hair pins, and tiaras.

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9. Matching bridesmaids

It was once a faux pas to have mismatching bridesmaid dresses. Bridesmaids tended to dread these dresses, which were often coordinated with the color scheme of the wedding and were often thrown into the back of the closet as soon as the wedding was over. Today, this trend is somewhat less rigid but to different degrees. For example, in some weddings, bridesmaids have to wear the same dress, but each woman can wear a different color. In others, the bride would pick one color but let each bridesmaid wear a cut that flatters her.

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10. Different sexes in bridal parties

Traditionally, bridesmaids and groomsmen have been friends or close family, and they have also been the same gender as the bride or groom. More recently, brides and grooms are picking members of the opposite sex to stand at their side of the altar, whether a bride wants to include a male BFF or a groom is close to his sister.