2020 Southern Vermont Bridal Guide

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Southern Vermont Bridal Guide Saturday, January 25, 2020 | BenningtonBanner.com | Reformer.com 2

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New beginnings Young couples haven’t given up on weddings — they’re just rewriting the rules


Hand-me-down gowns Is an heirloom wedding dress the right fit for you?


Wedding flowers becoming larger than life


Make a statement with your wedding cake


Plan to treat guests in extra-special ways


The evolution of wedding favors Learn about reception lighting rentals

14 16

Cater wedding menus to guests’ dietary needs


Getting here to there on your wedding day


Band or DJ? How about both?


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Table of Contents


Bennelks567@gmail.com 22 Photo Credit: Todd Stoilov

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Southern Vermont Bridal Guide

Young couples haven’t given up on weddings — they’re just rewriting the rules BY K IMBERLY K IRCHNER

A great many pearls have been clutched over the state of the American wedding in the last few decades. Have vow exchanges fallen out of fashion? Are bouquet tosses a thing of the past? Have we danced our last “Electric Slide”? The short answer: weddings are doing just fine. In fact, the CDC reports that, while marriage rates took a slight dip in 2018, they had actually risen slightly over the previous five years, from 6.8 marriages per 1,000 adults in 2012 to 6.9 in 2017. There’s no easy way to track how many of those mar-

riages were celebrated with a wedding, but we can see what those weddings cost. A recent report by IBISWorld found weddings generated $78 billion in revenue in 2019. But if it seems like you’re getting less wedding invitations in the mail, there’s a reason. Contrary to popular belief, younger Americans aren’t forgoing marriage altogether — they’re just doing it later in life. In 1968, the average age at first marriage in the U.S. was 23.1 years for men and 20.8 for women. Fifty years later, those numbers had risen to 29.8 and 27.8, respectively. This is ultimately a good thing

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New beginnings


Southern Vermont Bridal Guide Saturday, January 25, 2020 |

Mentatdgt /Pexels

for the wedding industry. Older couples are generally more financially stable and able to spend more on their Big Day, a fact illustrated by data from The Knot’s annual Real Weddings Survey. Per-guest spending has risen dramatically in past years, from $194 each in 2009 to $249 in 2018. Couples are no longer approaching weddings as by-the-numbers formalities, but as true celebrations designed to showcase their personalities in the most entertaining way possible. A mere 16% of weddings in 2017 fell into the “formal” category, according to The Knot. Instead, couples are focusing their efforts — and spending — on lively entertainment, from photo booths and sparklers to games, bonfires and make-your-own dessert bars. The dress code has loosened up, too. Wedding planning site WeddingWire found 20% of brides chose a dress in a color other than white, according to their 2018 Newlywed Report, and 63% of grooms said “I don’t” to the tuxedo. In what will surely be a relief to future bridesmaids everywhere,

WeddingWire’s 2019 survey found that only 36% of brides asked their party to wear identical dresses. 34% of wedding parties included bridesmen and/or groomsmen, and 61% walked down the aisle to non-classical music. All in all, the definition of “wedding-appropriate” has gotten a whole lot wider in the past decade, and businesses around the region are stepping up to provide for a new generation of newlyweds. From museums and historic homes transforming themselves into reception venues, to local farms feeding a hunger for farmto-table catering, New England continues to stand as one of the nation’s premier wedding destinations, even in the face of rapidly changing trends. Well, there is one tiny bit of bad news: for those wondering, "Electric Boogie (Electric Slide)" now sits at number six on FiveThirtyEight.com’s list of songs couples ban from their wedding receptions. Sorry, line-dancing dads — time to brush up on your “Cha Cha Slide.”


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Is an heirloom wedding dress the right fit for you?

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Hand-me-down gowns

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Creative and Distinctive

Wedding Flowers

There are more reasons than the sentimental to walk down the aisle in a loved-one’s gown: it’s more eco-friendly, it bypasses the stressful shopping experience and, with the average price of a new gown on the rise, it could potentially be a way to cut costs. That said, rewearing an heirloom gown usually isn’t as simple as pulling it out of a box and shaking out the wrinkles. Depending on the age of the dress, the materials used and the alterations needed, getting a used dress wedding-ready can be a time-consuming and expensive process. With creativity and the help of skilled professionals, however, it can be a meaningful way to blend personal history with the start of a new life.

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The first step in reworking a gown is deciding how much you’re willing to change. Is it important to keep the original design intact, or do you want to adapt it to your

own style? There is no rule for deciding the “appropriate” amount of alteration on an heirloom gown; it comes down to personal preference and what part of the dress holds its sentimental value. When in doubt, discussing the changes with the gown’s previous owner can help everyone feel comfortable with the end result.

Looking at condition Even the deepest emotional attachment can’t reverse the effects of time, so it’s important to get a frank assessment of the gown’s condition before going all-in on restoration. Mild damage, like yellowing, rips and wrinkles, is often reversible, but some fabrics hold up better to repair than others. Especially old or delicate materials may not survive the cleaning process, or be strong enough to support new stitching. Beads and sequins can also complicate things, as they impact the chemicals that can be used. Simple gowns, however, present their own challenges. Without

Adapting style If you’re more invested in the idea of a hand-me-down than the particular style of your inherited gown, you may consider making more substantial alterations to create something that better reflects your own tastes. Simply removing sleeves or shortening the skirt of an old gown can make it feel like a new dress, while retaining its history. Added details, like floral appliqués or a rhinestone belt, bring some flash and can also be used to cover up stains, rips or

Obed Hernandez /UnSplash other issues. The more elaborate the alterations, the higher the chances of something being damaged during the process, so it’s a

good idea to seek out an experienced professional to tackle complicated changes.

Sometimes, it’s simply not possible to make an old gown work for a new bride. The fabric may be compromised, or the fit too far off to be fixed with alterations. In these cases, you may consider pulling pieces from the heirloom dress to incorporate in your own wedding look. Veils made with fabric from a loved one’s gown are a popular option, as are embellishments like buttons and lace reused as accents on a modern gown. Even something as simple as a ribbon, constructed from the old fabric and wrapped around the bridal bouquet, can be a way to include the spirit of a gown that can’t be worn again. Ultimately, the gown should be a reflection of the person wearing it today, and not just the person who wore it before. For many people, family heritage is a core piece of their identity, and wearing an heirloom gown — in whole or in pieces — is a way to infuse their wedding day with a long history of love.

Southern Vermont Bridal Guide | Saturday, January 25, 2020

When it just doesn’t work out

extra layers or decorative detailing, it becomes harder to hide any imperfections that can’t be removed through cleaning. A restoration specialist will be able to look over the dress and set realistic expectations for how much work it can withstand. There are sophisticated techniques available for salvaging fragile textiles, such as bonding the old fabric with a supportive backing layer, but they require expert hands and can often cost as much as, or even more than, a brand-new gown.

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Whether you want to say your vows at the water’s edge or under the eave of our covered pavilion you can choose a variety of settings to host your event. Make wonderful landscapes and romantic views the backdrop for your celebration, naturally enhancing the beauty of your special day. Our 2 Pavilions and lovely indoor Great Room offer covered space for over 100 guests along with 2 accessible bathrooms. Hire a caterer or rent our commercial kitchen for your food and refreshments. We offer recreational opportunities such as fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing and hiking to round out your celebration. Lake Paran offers you a beautiful and affordable natural location for this wonderful day.


Couples are moving away from traditional centerpieces to floral chandeliers and curtains made of blooms for their weddings. Move over bouquets and centerpieces. Flowers are taking over weddings in a big way. While wed-

ding trends come and go, flowers will always have a place at the wedding table.

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Southern Vermont Bridal Guide

Wedding flowers becoming larger than life The blooms brides and grooms choose and how they decide to display them can say much about the couple's style. Many modern couples are opting for statement pieces with their flowers to rival the big and bold ideas they're incorporating elsewhere into their occasions, such as in cakes and clothing. In fact, floral designer Tom Uberuaga says traditional hurricane vase centerpieces are outdated and only focus the eye on the middle of the table. He prefers guests enter the wedding and have their senses stimulated by flowers from all angles. Large flower installations, as well as blooms popping up in unexpected places, are some of the hot trends for couples to keep their eyes on.

Floral chandeliers

Mariana Acevedo /UnSplash

There's no need to worry about seeing over table centerpieces or flowers getting in the way of

photo moments. Thanks to hanging flowers and floral chandeliers, flowers are quite literally moving up in the world. Hanging floral pieces can add instant drama and make a large visual impact. Florists can hang flowers from beams over tabletops to increase visual impact, whether as individual baskets, single stems or floral swags. Hanging floral chandeliers are dramatic but naturally expensive. Think about a large installation that forces guests to look up into a sea of greenery and flowers. The smell and the sight can be breathtaking.

Welcome wreaths Why should wreaths only be reserved for front doors and holiday decor? A welcome floral wreath can be placed by the entryway to a chapel or reception hall with a heartfelt sentiment that shows guests how much they're appreciated.

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A floral curtain of hanging flowers can line a chuppah or drape the altar in beautiful blooms. Couples who would like a fairy-tale entrance also can make their debut as a couple by coming through a flower curtain at the reception. Martha Stewart Weddings says a cascade of flowers and greens can be romantic and elegant.

Dance floor blooms With a plexiglass dance floor, or one made from some other transparent material, flowers can be underfoot, creating a magical floral carpet.

Floral necklaces Brides needn't carry their bouquets, they can wear ethereal and whimsical floral pieces around their necks or on their waists instead. Couples are urged to speak with their florists about the innovative ways they can make flowers an even more awe-inspiring component of their weddings.


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Fairy-tale flowers

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Make a statement with your wedding cake Apart from clever cake-toppers, here are ways to stand apart when dessert is served. Brides and grooms may pour over every detail of their weddings, but few components of the festivities may be as fun, especially for foodies, as deciding what the wedding cake will look like. Couples who want to deliver showstopping visuals often express some measure of their creativity and personalities through statement wedding cakes. Many couples now eschew the classic three-tiered white cake in favor of a dessert that garners instant attention. Whether the cake is brightly colored or handpainted, a towering architectural marvel or shimmering in metallics, couples are opting to make a statement with their confections. Apart from clever cake-toppers, here are ways to stand apart when dessert is served. · According to the Perfect Wed-


ding Guide, a rising trend in cakes is to cover a white or naked cake with translucent glaze tinted in the couple's wedding colors. This artistic expression can be especially stunning in boho-chic weddings. · Statement tiers also are popular. The cake may be traditional in nearly every way, but couples then set the cake apart by featuring an elaborate design or a different hue in one tier. · Martha Stewart Weddings advises that more than just color can be used to make a statement. Lifelike sugar flowers can really set cakes apart. Guests may not be sure if they can consume all aspects of some cakes. But delicate sugar flowers taste as good as they look.

bride and groom may be inspired by a European vacation or the stained-glass effects of religious windows and want to add that feel to the tiers of the cake. · Sometimes a statement comes by way of texture. Even an allwhite cake can be dressed up with interesting textural effects. Ruffles, lace, embossing, and 3-D rosettes are different textural components that can be incorporated in cake designs. · Couples also may want to tell their unique stories with cake. In-

dividual tiers designed to reflect various milestone moments from the couple's relationship can be quite engaging. · Capitalizing on the trend of edgier weddings, couples may opt for darker hues on their cakes even a black tier - or nontraditional geometric shapes to the cake itself or its design elements. Statement cakes can really say something about the couple getting married. Much like other wedding elements, cakes provide a window into the minds of happy couples.

· Hand-painted tiles on a cake are another way to add panache. A

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Weddings may focus on the couples getting hitched, but weddings also are special thanks to the many family and friends couples involve in the festivities. Some of the more successful weddings are ones in which couples honor their guests and let them know how much they're appreciated. By incorporating these ideas into their wedding ceremonies and receptions, couples can let their guests know how much they're loved. · Arrange seats at the ceremony (if practical) in a circular pattern around you so that everyone can have a great view when you exchange vows. · Create a bathroom convenience basket for both the men's and women's bathrooms. Stock items that might come in handy, like mouthwash, toothpaste, first aid items, spare pantyhose, hair spray, sanitary products, moisturizer, gum, and whatever other niceties you can think of. · Provide prearranged to-go boxes so that guests can take home tasty tidbits from the meal or dessert table. · Be mindful of all food allergies or requirements and have accommodations set up in advance. · Offer transportation between the ceremony and reception.

· Provide inexpensive slippers or flip-flops so that avid dancers can rest their toes in between songs. · If valet parking service is not included, ask for an add-on so that guests get door-to-door treatment. · Honor those people who could not be at the wedding in a special way, including deceased family and friends.

James Schultz/UnSplash · Always be considerate of special needs by seating guests in places where they're most likely to be comfortable. Keep elderly guests away from speakers and near exits to facilitate trips to the bathroom. · Make sure the photographer takes photos of everyone at every table and then share those photos on a wedding website or via social media. Create a hashtag unique to your wedding so that guests can easily find the photos. · Include information about how guests can request songs at the reception. Pass on the information to the band or DJ. · Encourage guests to get up and dance by making it fun. Put song lyrics from different songs on each table. When that song is played, that table has to join you on the dance floor. · Remember to thank everyone for coming and follow up those inperson sentiments with handwritten, personalized thank-you notes after the wedding.

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Plan to treat guests in extra-special ways


Southern Vermont Bridal Guide Saturday, January 25, 2020 |

Obed Hernandez /Unsplash

The evolution of wedding favors BenningtonBanner.com | Reformer.com

Like many other elements of the wedding, favors are evolving to help give weddings a custom feel.


Wedding favors have changed and in many cases for the better. Favors have evolved from the inexpensive trinkets purchased in bulk into more personalized mementos that guests can cherish. Today's couples are interested in customizing their weddings and offering guests something meaningful, or at the very least, edible, so that favors don't immediately get relegated to the trash can. According to Heather Jones of Wente Vineyards in California, favors have moved from "goodie bags" toward items that are experimental and fun. Wedding planners from across the country offer these wedding favor trends that couples may want to incorporate into their own celebrations.

Welcome bags Rather than take-home bags, welcome bags have replaced the traditional favor trinket at some weddings. Many weddings have become multi-day events that ask guests traveling from out of town to attend a wedding weekend. To help greet them and make their experience memorable, couples may fill a gift bag with items guests can use or enjoy during their stay - like a bottle of locally sourced maple syrup or some handmade soaps from a nearby shopkeeper.

Experience gifts Instead of a candle or a monogrammed cake server, think of

Charitable donations Some couples feel that favors are wasteful and would rather set aside a portion of their wedding budgets toward giving back. In such situations, a donation to charity in guests' names can be the way to go. Guests can vote on two favorite charities advertised on a special table at the wedding reception. The one with the most votes will get the proceeds.

Late-night snacks After a night of celebrating, some guests may want the festivities to continue, but may need some extra sustenance to make it through a few more hours. Some couples are eschewing traditional favors in lieu of making room for extra food

Zeno Aras/UnSplash or beverage expenses that can include after-party treats. These may run the gamut from wood-fired pizzas to food truck vendors to extra

desserts. A tasty take-home option also may be given, such as fresh zeppolis or beignets, or even a personalized bottle of wine. Even if

Southern Vermont Bridal Guide | Saturday, January 25, 2020

experiences to offer guests. A coupon for free drinks at a nearby brewery, a tour of a local attraction while guests are in town or a group excursion for guests attending a destination wedding can be fun and will help guests create lasting memories.

the food and drink is not consumed right away, there's a good chance it will hit the spot when guests return to their hotel rooms.

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Learn about reception lighting rentals

Lighting can transform a wedding reception venue and has become a focal point for many couples. Couples experiment with various trends to make their wedding receptions unique. One of the more popular trends in recent years involves utilizing lighting in innovative ways. Modern couples are using lighting to add drama and other special effects to their weddings in various ways. While lighting may have not been on many couples’ radars in the past, it is now being used to create a wow factor. Couples interested in adding extra lighting to their weddings can utilize these tips to make their receptions a sight to behold.

Illuminated letters/words Illuminated letters can be used as a trendy monogram in lieu of ice sculptures or framed initials. Illuminated words that describe how you feel as a couple or words Obed Hernandez /Unsplash that describe you both are fun, too.

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Uplighting is a popular lighting trend and a great way to transform a venue, according to the wedding resource Rent My Wedding. Uplights are essentially small lights that are put on the floor around the perimeter of the space or underneath key design elements. The lights will shine up and create immediate drama.

Many people have probably never heard of a gobo. Also known as monogram lighting, gobo, which stands for “goes before optics,” is a growing, special effects-heavy trend. A gobo projector projects an image on a wall or dance floor. It can be used to showcase a monogram, names or wedding date.

Christmas-inspired lights are not exclusive to the holiday season. When strung around tree boughs, ceiling rafters or other architectural elements of a reception hall, these lights can be breathtaking. It Girl Weddings suggests hanging them against an exposed brick wall to light up the space and add drama. Bistro lights

are similar to string lights and can be used as well.



Hanging candles The warming glow from candles can be used to transform spaces instantly and create great photo opportunities. Candles can be hung as makeshift chandeliers over banquet tables or used as sconces on walls for antique appeal.

Southern Vermont Bridal Guide | Saturday, January 25, 2020

Aahna M/UnSplash


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Couples who know in advance which types of dietary restrictions their guests have can work with caterers to devise a menu that suits everyone.

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Southern Vermont Bridal Guide

Cater wedding menus to guests' dietary needs

Sasha • Stories/UnSplash

Gone are the days when wedding reception menus were limited to the one-size-fits-all offerings of meat, chicken or fish. Thanks to modern diets, couples hoping to accommodate guests may need to provide a wide array of food choices. It is impossible to pinpoint an exact number, as there are no definitive surveys classifying all dietary preferences, but there are believed to be around 7.9 million people in the United States who follow a vegetarian-based diet. Of those people, around one million are strictly vegan, according to data in The Economist. In addition, NYU Langone Health says one-third of Americans are trying to avoid gluten. The Gluten Free Agency, which is a consulting group dedicated to helping advertisers, says some nine million people in Canada are going gluten-

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free now for medical or personal reasons. Toss in the scores of people with peanut or other allergies and even more caution is needed when designing wedding menus. Savvy couples who have guests' health and comfort in mind recognize the importance of offering a varied meal plan for wedding-related parties and receptions. The following are some ideas to consider when planning wedding menus.

Consider a buffetstyle service. Although couples might like the tradition and flair that a seated/ plated meal offers, it creates a much more limited selection of meal options. Buffet-style dinner service often provides couples with multiple choices, and it's much more likely they can come

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Offer alternatives for dessert. Wedding cake can be a challenge to someone with a gluten sensitivity or an egg or a nut allergy. While not every guest indulges in dessert, make it a point to offer an alternative to cake. Perhaps a groom's cake can be revamped into gluten-free cookie bars or a nut-free trifle.

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Getting here to there on your wedding day

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You’ve planned the date, met with the officiant, decided on what to wear, and booked the venue. But how are you going to arrive in style? Arranging wedding transportation can be tricky, even if it seems like it’s a relatively minor detail. However, getting not only the bride and groom, as well as the rest of the bridal party and guests, from point A to point B and even point C is often a taller task than it seems. The wedding planning resource The Knot says couples should begin focusing on transportation between four and six months before their weddings. If the wedding will be held during prom or graduation season, couples may want to reserve vehicles even earlier due to high demand. While rented transportation is not necessary, it’s a luxury many couples prefer, as it allows them to leave the driving to someone else. Generally speaking, hired cars will pick up the bride and groom separately before the ceremony; otherwise, they will arrive to the ceremony by other means and then utilize a limo or other vehicle afterward. The transportation will then take the married couple and typically members of the bridal party and immediate family to the reception venue.

Depending on the head count and how many other people will be getting a lift, two or more vehicles may be necessary. And since the limos will leave after the reception drop off, some other form of transportation will be necessary to take the couple and whomever else rode to the reception back home (or to the airport). This may require dropping off one or more personal cars at the reception venue in advance. Budget also will dictate if transportation is provided for other guests. The majority or guests will drive their own cars to the wedding. However, if the ceremony and reception site are far apart or if the journey is arduous and out of the way, some well-meaning couples will arrange for transport. Many times couples will have to opt for function over form when tasked with transporting a large number of people. Pricing out different options can yield the most cost-effective route, which very well may be a school or charter bus instead of several limousines. Couples can start the process by asking their reception venue for transportation recommendations. Or if there are hotel accommodations after the party, the hotel may have connections or offer shuttle services.

Few elements can make or break a couple’s wedding day more than entertainment. While factors like the weather are beyond couples’ control, ensuring guests have an opportunity to dance or sing along to some good music is something couples can emphasize as they

plan their weddings. When it comes to music, the two main options for weddings are a live band or a disc jockey. Each has its share of advantages and disadvantages. A live band may be more expensive, but it can get the crowd excited. A good bandleader

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also acts as a master of ceremonies and can pay attention to the vibe of the room, tailoring a playlist around that overall mood. Plus, bands offer live performances, which adds an extra special element to the occasion that can’t be replicated at home. A DJ is a popular choice, and today’s DJs are often artists in their own right. They know just how to select and seamlessly mix music to create the mood and really keep the party going. Couples who prefer to hear original versions of particular songs - especially for their first dance song - often prefer DJs. The popular wedding planning resource The Knot also says that it is often no problem for a DJ to find and play a song from an extensive digital library, while bands may not be able to learn and perform a song in time. Couples who can be flexible with their entertainment budgets may be able to enjoy the best of both

worlds. There is nothing that says a wedding cannot feature both a live band and a DJ. Such a wedding may just take a little more planning. Consider the scenario of bringing in a band for the cocktail hour and perhaps an hour or more during the dinner service of the reception when live music can accompany the meal. After that, a DJ can take over and drive the festivities up another notch with a late-night dance party. Some music vendors also do a combination of live and prerecorded music. They may have live singers who accompany recorded tracks, or digital instruments like keyboards and drum pads that can enhance recorded songs. These also are options when selecting wedding music. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to setting the soundtrack for a wedding. A band, DJ or combination thereof can make the occasion even more memorable.

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Band or DJ? How about both?


Southern Vermont Bridal Guide

Victoria’s vows How a 20-year-old monarch, 18 decades and an ocean away, shaped the modern wedding

Saturday, January 25, 2020 |



Queen Victoria on her wedding day, painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter. Royal Collection/Wikimedia Commons

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For all the trouble we Americans put into getting out from under Mother England’s thumb, we never quite lost our obsession with royal weddings. In 2018, more than two centuries after the Founding Fathers bid a formal farewell to Great Britain, approximately 29 million Americans tuned in to watch Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle, according to Nielsen ratings data. That’s almost nine percent of the U.S. population. Shockingly, royal weddings used to be an even bigger deal. Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert in 1840 was so influential that, even in a world without Instagram, Pinterest or the E! Network, her choices sparked wedding traditions that still hold strong today.

White dresses Prior to Victoria’s wedding, brides rarely wore white gowns on their wedding day. Most women, especially in the lower classes, simply wore the nicest dress that they already owned. If the bride was wealthy enough to procure a designated wedding dress, more attention was paid to the richness of the fabrics and opulence of the trim than the color. Enter Victoria, in her white lace gown. Ironically, her decision to wear white had more to do with stimulating commerce than mak-

ing a social statement. She reportedly picked white for her gown because it best displayed the handmade Honiton lace, which she wanted to promote in the hopes of boosting Britain’s lace industry. Her practical rationale didn’t stop the press from painting her choice to wear white as romantic symbolism. Just a few years later, the popular American women’s magazine Godey’s Lady Book would rewrite cultural history to give the Queen’s gown a moral significance, claiming that, “custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.” This breathless insistence that “pure” brides wore white, coupled with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution and mass production, created both the desire and the means for brides across the social spectrum to choose white gowns for their weddings, turning a single sartorial choice into an enduring tradition.

Orange blossoms Unlike white dresses, orange blossoms were a common ingredient in weddings at the time, thanks to their connotation of chastity. Victoria rocked the traditional boat, however, by using an orange

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Wedding veils Wedding veils were also around long before Queen Victoria put her stamp on bridal tradition, dating back at least to the ancient Romans. At the time, the veil was a piece of armor, meant to ward off evil spirits as the bride made her way to the wedding. To really scare off those demons, the Romans favored yellow veils that mimicked a flame. The veil also served to help arranged marriages go smoothly, by hiding the bride’s face from the groom so that he couldn’t get a good look at her until it was too late to back out. By the 18th century, veils were

no longer common in weddings. Instead, brides decorated their hair with ribbons, jewels and other, more colorful signifiers of wealth. Victoria was largely responsible for bringing veils back into vogue, thanks to her 12-footlong veil, made from the same lace as her gown. The Queen reused the veil on multiple occasions, including family christenings and at her Diamond Jubilee. Per her instructions, she was buried with the veil covering her face. The new Victorian veil served two functions. On a symbolic level, it reflected the era’s ideals of purity and modesty. On a social level, it was an easily quantifiable way to flaunt wealth: the longer and fuller the veil, the richer the bride. The use of veils waned a bit during the later part of the 20th century, but has recently picked up again. The Knot, an online wedding planning platform, reported that 76 percent of brides wore a veil in 2018, up from only 47 percent the year before. Maybe it’s coincidence that, in 2018, the Duchess of Sussex appeared on television sets across the country in a 16-foot veil. Or, maybe, royal weddings still have the power to shape the public’s idea of the perfect “I do.”

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Southern Vermont Bridal Guide | Saturday, January 25, 2020

blossom and myrtle headpiece rather than a more typically royal jeweled tiara. In the years following, orange blossoms became so ubiquitous in Victorian weddings that artists began selling wax blooms to keep up with the demand, and society pages reporting on wedding ceremonies would call out real orange blossoms as a sign of luxury and good taste. The orange blossom craze carried through into the 1950s, with British royal brides up to Queen Elizabeth II incorporating the flower into their gowns or bouquets.

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Queen Victoria, photographed in 1897 to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee, wearing her bridal veil. Public Domain photo/Wikimedia Commons

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Perfect Weddings

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