The White Wedding Symbols in Today’s Setting

When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840 while wearing a white dress, she ended up making it the official color to be worn by women in Western weddings and thus was born the white wedding tradition.  Gone were the best Sunday dresses of women that used to serve as their wedding dresses as well. The standard set by royalty was to be observed by many women up to the present time.

The white wedding tradition brought with it several symbols that will be seen over and over again in weddings. The white wedding dress, the rings, the flowers, the candles, and the doves are just some of the many symbolism that will forever be identified with such type of a wedding. It would be worthy therefore to understand the white wedding symbols and how they are used in today’s setting.

The Wedding Dress

It is said that the trendsetting queens’s choice of white represented extravagance and purity. The color still holds the meaning of purity now although many modern brides opt not to have their’s in pure white, choosing either to accentuate the white dress with their chosen color or choosing a different color altogether.


The Rings

The ring symbolizes unending circles of commitment and faithfulness. The use of diamonds relates to romance and love.


The Flowers

Brides of yesteryears carried flowers for a particular meaning like rose means love or lavander means devotion. Modern brides now do not only concern themselves with meanings but also in how the physical appearance of flowers go with the overall theme.


The Candles

The candle represents unity and it still does up to now as well as the resolve of both bride and groom to leave the past and face a new future together.

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The Doves

Doves represent peace, love and devotion to the promise to stay true forever.

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The Cake

Historically, wedding cakes were white and represented fertility, purity, and loyalty.  Today, the cake is the centerpiece in the traditional cutting of the cake by the bride and groom which represents their desire to take care of one another.


My Say

There are many other trappings that come with holding a traditional white wedding such as  the processional music, invitations, entourage, and many others.  What is especially noteworthy in today’s modern weddings is that marrying couples are getting more and more adventurous in their choices and there is much emphasis in creating a truly unique wedding.  This practice has resulted to the emergence of wedding planners who undertake to manage the preparations involved in a white wedding ceremony.  It would not be at all surprising that women have dream weddings set in their minds even before they even meet their dream men. The white wedding symbols may have varying looks through time but their meanings will never change.

98 Comment

    1. The hands-down favorite has always been roses primarily because of their romantic representation. However, the weddings of today are no longer limited by any rule so we get to see other types of flowers getting the center stage as bouquet like calla lilies, daisies, tulips, and orchids, among others. The best type will probably be the bride’s personal choice. Mine was a mix of roses and carnation which are both relatively sturdy flowers.

  1. It’s so nice to know that everything has its own meaning, dapat tlga very careful din in preparations.

  2. Even if I didn’t get married in the church, still my heart is so thankful until now that I married the man I truly love. Regardless of all the symbolism, one sign was so clear, I was meant for Him.

  3. I agree white symbolized purity, but it depends to the couple to be what is there preference, and it’s funny my mother-in-law felt guilty I wore purple in my wedding, but I told her, that was my choice, and I’m happy with the colour.

  4. Next time na magpakasal kami ni misis, I’ll see to it na may hawak siyang flowers, yun ang wala the first time we got married. Sa recollection ko, dynamite hawak nya, making sure na hindi ako umatras. LOL Sorry sis, just my old self..

  5. I respect the traditional wearing of white as a sign of purity but I also respect those who prefer to wear their favorite colors as long as they are not loud and disrespectful. I wore ecru on the day of my wedding not because I wasn’t pure nor didn’t believe in the symbolical value of wearing the pure color white. I just wanted to be my own individual, not conforming to what society dictates and simply because I love the earth tones.

    I remember researching about the meanings behind the ceremony, from the arias, the rings, the veils and the vows. It is refreshing to recall them now, 16 years since I got married. The meaning of the sacrament still bring tears of joy because I realized how much love, respect and value we have put in the wedding and the meaning it has in our lives from then on.

    Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

  6. I’ve got everything mentioned on my wedding except for the Doves:) I have read Che’s comment and I truly agree that the marriage itself is the one that we need much preparation and not the wedding. These wedding traditions had been practiced for ages and I think will continue for a long long time

    1. It is my personal belief that traditions have been placed there to ensure the continued connection of the past to the present. It is true that marriage is the real important thing to focus on and it is simply a bonus to have a memorable and beautiful wedding.

  7. Personally, mas gusto ko pa din yung traditional wedding.. Yung simple lang gaya nung sa unang panahon.. Mas solemn kase pag di sobrang bongga naman..

    1. We are free to wear what we think we will be comfortable in as long as our clothes do not scandalize the senses taking into consideration the fact that a wedding has religious overtones for most.

  8. These days, couples are more adventurous and innovative. While some traditions are still maintained, couples have explored more and have really incorporated their own style and persona in their own weddings.

  9. very informative post. brides these days don’t go with tradition, white is not the only wedding dress color that they choose from. but the wedding dress is not what’s important, what is important is the marriage that comes after the wedding ceremony

  10. Like what they always say… prepare for the marriage and not the wedding for it is only one day and marriage will be for a lifetime. With these symbols I hope all couples bear them in their hearts and mind.

  11. When I got married ten years ago, my gown is $100 and it is simple and I love it. We also have a simple wedding celebration. I know that you will get married once. I believe in simple wedding where everything is affordable than having a glamorous wedding and in the end you are buried with credits to pay. Perhaps getting divorce after few months of getting married.

  12. Very informative post. Weddings really evolve a lot from many centuries ago. Trends in wedding changes through the years. Although the symbolism is still carried out until now, but you can now see some twists in this modern era.

  13. Now i know where the color white for a bridal gown and in a wedding came from…I used burgundy as the motif of my wedding but i wore all white bridal gown.

    1. I’m sure you haven’t closed your doors yet to the possibility of getting married so a little info may just come in handy.

  14. I am a bit adventurous myself. Even amidst some disagreement, I had a not-so white wedding gown in box pleats skirt. 🙂 Modern times really brings in more and more choices but I think white will always remain.

    1. Deciding on what to wear is a prerogative of the bride. What makes her comfortable and beautiful for that special day will suffice.

    1. I believe many brides prefer the off-white color. For one, it goes well with the natural color of the groom’s barong tagalog and another, most natural fibers have such color.

  15. wow. I didnt know bout this til now. dami pala meanings.. thanks for sharing.. I would love to share this to my friend who’s engaged now 🙂

    1. For a while, I thought some of these symbolism were mere decorations and for-effects only, so we all learn along the way.

  16. Thanks so much for sharing this, especially about the symbolism of the rings. Hopefully, it serves as a reminder for those that are about to get married and are married that it’s more than just some piece of jewelry that they were on their finger.

  17. when my brother decided to get married after living together for more than 2 years, he wanted to wear a white tux…my reaction was …ANO? He sheepishly agreed to wear a silver grey one instead.

    1. Your brother apparently got your message with your three-letter-word question. Your story is kind of funny and heart-warming since I don’t know of many men who also envision themselves wearing white on their wedding day. Now, I know women are not alone in this.

    1. These symbolism need not be used in the grandest scale. The important thing is understanding their relevance in real-life application.

  18. everything changes for change is the only permanent thing in the world… and wedding ceremonies have evolve into many variation. they have been very creative with how they want to do it right now.. but whatever the motif is.. it all comes down to the essential pieces mentioned above for without them.. weddings would never be complete

    1. Regardless of the choices we make for outer appearances with regards to these symbols, we must not forget what they really mean.

    1. Yes, most of these symbols are still being used although many have provided their own variations or interpretations of them.

  19. Thank you for sharing this one. It will come in handy for my future church wedding because to be honest I never really know that all those wedding symbols have meanings and also because of this post I already know the reason why wedding dresses are usually in white.

    1. You have a very exciting time ahead of you and I hope this post will help in a way as you go through your preparations. Best wishes to you.

  20. oh! i always like weddings. given the chance, i would want to to have a second wedding (with the hubby, of course) wearing the same dress (off white) i worn years back…i still have it buried in my closet 🙂

    1. I am too keeping my wedding dress with the hope of wearing it in the silver anniversary perhaps? Now, the problem is whether I’ll still fit into that dress.

  21. Thanks for the information. Symbols give objects deeper meanings. Marriage must have a lot of symbols to make binding two people together deeper than just signing a piece of paper (sorry for the pun).

    1. Our ancestors must have felt that the real meaning of marriage cannot be overemphasized thus the good number of symbolism used.

    1. We tend to take for granted most of the things we do today but a little more information can give deeper meaning to them.

    1. Knowing the history or background of anything allows us to appreciate it even more and gives more meaning to how it can be used in our lives.

  22. I never knew the origin of the white white wedding dress tradition. Thanks for this info.
    I think what’s more important than knowing the rituals’meaning is both bride and groom being faithful to the marriage vows.

    1. The importance of faithfulness in marriage is probably the reason for these many symbolism used. The problem arises when a couple fail to go beyond the wedding day by pursuing a fairytale rather than a marriage.

    1. Yes, many brides are now seen wearing wedding dresses in colors other than white and yes, even in black as you noted. The choice will usually depend on the bride herself.

    1. Time and culture have a way of adding on to original traditions which enrich it more to conform with beliefs and other existing traditions.

  23. Very Informative… honestly i have no idea what all the wedding symbols represents. It’s just sad to say that nowadays the true value of wedding is not taken seriously anymore,,, here in europe divorce is very normal.

    1. It is sad that many get caught in the hype of wedding preparations without really understanding the real meaning of the rituals performed.

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