What to Wear When Saying “I Do” to Your Beau: Regency Wedding Gowns by Katherine Givens

Recently, I have been busy researching Regency weddings for one of my current manuscripts.. The simple family affairs are the prime setting for romance. From the announcement of the wedding banns to the olden churches, I have been captivated. One of my fascinations throughout my research has been for the Regency wedding gown. Who can blame me? Have you seen how beautiful these gowns are?


The silver lace dress worn by Princess Charlotte in 1816 when she married Prince Leopold.


The wedding gown worn by Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte.

Queen Victoria is accredited as having started the tradition of wearing white. However, she was not the first bride to wear a white wedding gown. She started the trend of no other color doing for wedding gowns, but contrary to belief, white was a popular choice throughout the Regency era.

A fashion plate of a white wedding dress from the June 1816 issue of Ackerman’s Repository.

A fashion plate of a white wedding dress from the June 1816 issue of Ackerman’s Repository.

The color and shade of the wedding gown depended on the bride’s tastes. The gown could be an array of colors, but contrary to what many believe, white was a popular choice. White muslin was a fashionable choice for dresses throughout the Regency era, and so it only makes sense this favorite prevailed in wedding ceremonies. Other pale shades, such as pink and yellow, were also prevalent throughout the era.

Simplicity was the rule. The shape of wedding gowns was loose fitting with high bodices. Lace, silk, and satin were particular fabrics to be used. Slippers adorned the feet, and jewelry was utilized as well. Veils did not come into popularity until later in the nineteenth century, but flowers and herbs were woven into the Regency bride’s hair. The flowers and herbs symbolized nature and beauty.


A Wedding Gown from 1818. The flowers in her hair were popular for the time period.

The wedding gowns of the Regency were breathtakingly gorgeous. The silks, laces, pale hues, and whites and silvers were all a part of the simplicity celebrated in the era. Perhaps it is the beauty that comes from the simplicity that has me so fascinated with the wedding fashions? How about you?

About Katherine

Katherine Givens is a museum employee with a secret. Few know the truth of her greatest passion, but those closest to her know she loves to write historical romances… Alright, maybe more than a few people know she is a writer. Anyone who will listen to her can glean this from a conversation.

So, Katherine Givens is a museum employee who wishes she had a devilish secret or a jaw-dropping double life, but the characters in her manuscripts often do. From the withdrawn duke mesmerized by his quiet maid or the savage viking eager to ravish a Christian girl, her heroes are always bound to have a secret or two. It is often up to the headstrong heroine to unravel the mysteries surrounding the man that has captured her heart.

Katherine is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Romance Writers of America PRO. She has two novellas, one already released and another upcoming.  In Her Dreams (Harlequin Australia’s Escape Publishing) was released October 1, 2013, much to her delight! Love Amidst the Egyptian Sands (Red Sage Publishing) will be released on January 1, 2015.

Katherine loves to hear from readers! She can be found at these places:

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Pinterest


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