Wedding dresses with Medieval, Renaissance, Victorian, Vintage, and Modern styling, with Celtic and Scottish embellishments and motifs…
Wedding dresses and veils and trains, oh my…!The day you’ve dreamed about for years is fast approaching.
You’ve imagined the neckline, the sleeves, the billowing skirt, the veil, the train…but how do you find them?
Are you dreaming of a Medieval wedding gown? Perhaps a lavish Renassaince wedding gown? How about a Victorian wedding gown with a hoped skirt? An ultra-feminine Edwardian wedding gown? Something Vintage, Retro, or Modern?
Whatever wedding dresses you’ve dreamed about, more than likely there’s a source for buying it. It’s simply a matter of you and the sources connecting…and that’s why we’re here …to help you find the wedding dresses of your dreams for your Scottish wedding.
Way back on the Wedding Planning page, you should have worked up a budget and know how much you can spend on your dress and accessories.
If not, take a little time, go back and work up a budget so you don’t blow your whole wedding budget on your dress…it’s been known to happen, much to many a father’s heart-failure.
If you’ve found the dress and it’s in your budget, go for it.If your dream is Drew Barrymore’s Cinderella ballgown, right out of ‘Ever After’, go for it. We’ve even got a source for it. If it’s a gorgeous beaded gown, covered with Celtic knots on the gown and train and it’s in your budget, go for it. If it’s a simple Edwardian jacket and skirt, we’ve found it, so go for it.
But, if your dream gown is too far beyond your budget to fudge, consider some alternatives...
- Contact a local or online seamstress and get a bid on a similar dress. Just make sure you get references and check them out. Look at samples of their work, closely examining the work for content, construction, and finish details. If the references are local, you could ask to see their finished bridal gowns.
- Rework your budget.
If you’ve allowed $2 per person for reception favors and want to invite 200 guests, that’s $400. You can reduce what you spend on favors, or eliminate them completely. Another option is to pare down your guest list.
Say you’ve allowed $500 for custom engraved invitations. Consider using software to design and print your own, possibly gaining $450 for that special gown.
Are you planning to serve liquor at your reception? Would you enjoy wearing and remembering the over-budget gown more?
Keep looking until you’ve found enough money elsewhere in your budget.
- Another idea is to have a garage sale and get rid of “stuff” from both of you that just won’t fit into your new married lifestyle. You could possibly gain another $100 to $200.
My husband and I once had a yard sale, just to move our “junk”, which became someone else’s “treasures” and made us over $800.
- Take a part-time second job, putting all your earnings toward your bridal gown budget.
- If you just can’t swing the cost, look for something similar, or go looking for something completely different.
For ideas, including where to go for deeply discounted wedding dresses, go to
Fire Your Wedding Planner
Which Wedding Gown Style Is Right for You?The style you choose should be influenced by your body type. A tall woman dresses differently than a short one. A slender woman will choose one style while someone a lot heavier will choose another style of gown. Wedding dresses are as distinctive as the women who wear them.
Do you look like a triangle, rectangle, hour-glass, or inverted triangle?
has information on the four main body types and how to select wedding dresses for your body type. It’s good information any ‘body’ will appreciate.
~~~~~ As you shop, dream and plan, remember there were different socio-economic classes then just as now. Though fashion changes began in the upper classes, they soon filtered down the economic scale.
When a milkmaid saw a lady pass by, you can just bet she eyed everything about that beautiful gown, front and back, in minute detail. Then the next gown she sewed incorporated new ideas she’d seen.
Today is no different. If it’s someone you know, you stop them, admire their dress, then either turn them around or circle them. You check out every detail, storing them away in your mind.
Later, you mull over those details, solidifying them in your memory. If you do a lot of sewing, you might even make sketches.
Well the milkmaid did the same thing! But she had to do it on the sly, without showing or expressing any interest. When she needed to sew a new gown, you can bet at least one detail from ‘her ladies’ gown could be found in her design…a neckline detail, a style of cording on the bodice, a piece of lace from her lady’s discarded petticoat. Perhaps the milkmaid was given a discarded gown to make over as her ladyship moved on to a newer style.
Even though traditional
wedding gown colors
were on the Scottish Wedding Traditions pages here’s a recap, along with their meanings for the Medieval knights, and modern meanings. You might want to keep them in mind as you browse and select ideas for the wedding dresses for yourself, your bridesmaids, the flowergirl, and your mothers.
~~~~~ Many of us love fine fabrics ~ the touch against our skin…how they drape…the swish of a full, formal skirt. We enjoy the play of light on a silk or satin fabric…the woven textures…perhaps the patterns of beading that enrich and embellish. Maybe what we imagined as we read a stories of ancient times that described maidens wedding dresses…
Ladies Fashion History Through the AgesThe eras of fashion are
- Medieval ~ 500 to 1500
- Renaissance ~ 1500 to 1820
- Tudor ~ 1500 to 1558
- Baroque ~ 1689 to 1702
- Rococco ~ 1730 to1760
- Empire, Regency ~ 1810 to 1820
- Victorian ~ 1820 to 1901
- Edwardian ~ 1901 to 1918
- Vintage ~1918 to 1960’s
- Modern ~ 1970 to 2000’s
Within each period of history, there are gowns to compliment each style and size of wedding dresses for the bride.
Tracing the history of gowns in Scotland starts across the Channel in Europe. Because of the strong ties with France, Scottish women were mostly influenced by French fashions. But France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, and England all contributed to fashion changes.
Many of the Scottish nobility were raised and educated in France, including Mary, Queen of Scots. When they came home, French fashions came with them.
When Margaret Tudor, of England, married James IV, her entourage reported that the wedding dresses of the Scottish women were decked out and bejeweled far better than they. The Scottish ladies even had gold threads interwoven in the garments.
As with most of Western Europe, fashion followed the same trends in Scotland…with one exception. The ladies, both high and low, wore their arasaids. Whatever the fabric, whatever the occasion, Highland ladies would not go out unless they had their arasaid about them ~ even in their wedding dresses. The most common arasaids were of undyed, natural wool with few stripes.
Some writers have described the arasaid as coarse as a horse blanket. Others discuss fine wool lined with silk. Yet others talk of beautiful, colorful silk arasaids. Allan Ramsay, a Scottish poet, wrote a poem, Tartania, extolling the arasaid.
|Tartania, or, The Plaid|
by Allan Ramsay, 1721
(After the Rebellion of 1714, ladies were laying aside their arasaids. Ramsay hoped to emphasize the beauty, history, and practicality of the arasaid, thus encouraging their continued use. The last verse places the ladies in their arasaids above the beauty of the ancient goddesses.)
Ye Caledonian beauties, who have long
Been the muse and subject of my song,
Assist your bard, who, in harmonious lays,
Designs the glory of your Plaid to raise.
How my fond breast with blazing ardour glows,
Whene’er my song on you just praise bestows!...
And you who, on Edina’s streets display
Millions of matchless beauties every day;
Inspir’d by you, what poet can desire
To warm his genius at a brighter fire?
I sing the Plaid, and sing with all my skill;
Mount then, O Fancy! Standard to my will;
Be strong each thought, run soft each happy line,
That gracefulness and harmony may shine,
Adapted to the beautiful design.
Great is the subject, vast th’ exalted theme,
And shall stand fair in endless rolls of fame.
The Plaid’s antiquity comes first in view,
Precedence to antiquity is due:
Antiquity contains a certain spell,
To make e’en things of little worth excel;
To smallest subjects gives a glaring dash,
Protecting high-born idiots from the lash;
Much more ‘tis valu’d when, with merit plac’d,
It graces merit, and by merit’s grac’d…
The Plaid itself gives pleasure to the sight,
To see how all its set[t]s imbibe the light,
Forming some way, which e’en to me lies hid,
White, black, blue, yellow, purple, green and red.
Let Newton’s royal club through prisms stare,
To view celestial dyes with curious care;
I’ll please myself, nor shall my sight ask aid
Of crystal gimcracks to survey the plaid…
And thus they spake, with air divinely free:
“Say, Paris, which is fairest of us three?”
To Jove’s high queen and the celestial maids,
‘Ere he would pass his sentence, cry’d, “No Plaids.”
Quickly the goddesses obey’d his call,
In simple nature’s dress he view’d them all,
Then to Cyth’rea [Aphrodite] gave the golden ball.
The brooch pinning the arasaid on the breast was often set with several smaller stones around one larger central stone of amber, crystal, amethyst, or coral.
At the waist, a belt held the arasiad in place. A combination of leather and metal work were intermixed in patterns, with fine stones and coral decorating the ends that hung down.
If married, the ladies wore their kerchief, or breid tri chearnach. If unwed, they went bareheaded or wore their hair cockernonie in a snood, which denoted their unmarried status.
As with the kilts and tartans, a history of ladies’ dresses will help solidify what era and styles will fulfill your wedding dreams. There’s lots of illustrations from each era in fashion history.
Historic Medieval Gowns
as wedding dresses
Historic Renaissance Gowns
as wedding dresses
Historic Victorian Gowns
as wedding dresses
Historic Edwardian Gowns
as wedding dresses.
Do you know which princess paid for her bridal gown with ration coupons? How about which princess revived the romantic wedding gown? To see the wedding and coronation gowns of European royalty and learn of their influence on our modern styles of wedding dresses…return in October for the answers.
Due top illness, adding information has been temporarily suspended. Hopefully writing will resume by mid-summer.
Coming in mid-summer ~ Historic Vintage Gowns, Modern Gowns, Embellishing Ready-Made and Custom Designed Gowns, Finding Used Wedding Dresses, Dressmaker and Designer Sources Listing by States, Patterns with Scottish suggestions, Fabric Sources, and Tartan Undies to Buy and Sew!
As the styles may be “foreign” to you, have everyone wear their attire a few times to get the feel of being ‘laddies and lassies’. In many cases, you also need to see if the undergarments do their job and fit comfortably.
Have fun, as any good Scotsman would at a wedding, and the very best wishes for a long and blessed marriage!