It’s a story as old as time: A man and woman meet, over time they fall in love and get married. That’s what happened this Halloween to my son Robert and his beautiful bride Kimberly. How they met, I don’t know, how they fell in love, I don’t know. All I know is it happened and about a month ago I got a late night text informing me of their Halloween wedding. Their wedding ceremony was held in their back yard with only a couple dozen masked friends and family members in attendance.
The ceremony started at 5:30 with the hour hand rising and ended at 6:00 the start of Halloween.
Now there is a lot of textile symbolism in weddings especially when it comes to the wedding dress. Cultures perform wedding rites for women not only to acknowledge their transition into their new role as wife and child bearer, but also to mourn the life they have left behind.
Many Eastern cultures have thousands of years of wedding attire culture. During the 3,000 years of China’s Zhou Dynasty, both the bride and groom had to wear specific attire. This conformity also applied to who could wear what and when based on profession, social standing, gender, and occasion.
People often associate a white wedding dress with the bride’s purity rather than as a sign of snobbery.
In Western culture Princess Philippa married Scandinavian King Eric in 1406 dressed in a white tunic lined with fur. In 1558, Mary Queen of Scots wore white at a time when white was a color of mourning for French queens. Could this have been prophetic to her losing her head a few years later? For the next few centuries brides wore whatever color they chose to wear, but a more expensive and more difficult to clean white wedding dress would certainly communicate to their guests the wealth and social status of the bride.
Think back to the wedding of Princess Diana and the cultural impact her dress had on the wedding world. Imitations were on the racks and women were purchasing them like mad so they too could look like a wedding princess. Although she was a trend-setter, Princess Diana could not beat her great-great-great grandmother-in-law Queen Victoria. When she married Prince Albert in 1840 in an off -white wedding dress made in the fashion of the day, it became the must have dress for the brides of her time. Practical Queen Victoria did what women of the day commonly did: she repurposed it to wear another day.
So, often, the first thing women who could not attend a wedding want to know is “What did the bride wear?” Paying social editor, I can report to you Kimberly wed Robert in their backyard wearing a beautiful long white strapless gown with a train. She carried a bouquet of dried autumn flowers tied up with a burlap bow with Robert’s ring attached to it. Officiated by dear friend Emily, the wedding ritual was simple and full of symbolism.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds changed into costumes. Kimberly Eubank dressed up as a corpse bride in a beautiful purple dress and wore macabre make-up. Her costume was appropriate since Day of the Dead follows Halloween. Reflecting on their special day, I pray Robert and Kimberly will share a joyful life together for many, many years.