Vintage wedding gowns are graceful, elegant, and unique. Today, Victorian dresses can still make a bride feel like a queen on her wedding day but are sometimes hard to find in your typical wedding gown shop.
The Victorian Style
Firstly, you have to get to know what facets of a dress make it specifically Victorian. The Victorian wedding dress is known to have a neat, fitted bodice and a full skirt. During the Victorian era, this skirt would be hung over hoops and petticoats. While some features may have evolved over the years, the key is being bold and extravagant, while flattering the hourglass body shape. You will find this style in several traditional wedding dresses, so if your goal is have only a hint of Victorian style you should have no problem finding that perfect gown with your favorite features.
Bridal Departments and Boutiques
Many dresses at bridal sections in department stores, boutiques, or online stores will include the special corset aspect or lacy long-sleeves you’re looking for. Nordstrom’s and Macy’s have popular bridal departments that will get you started. You should also browse both well-known and antique bridal boutiques. David’s Bridal has over 300 locations and has a website, davidsbridal.com where you can browse a large selection and sales.
For a specific style like Victorian, you will want to check out pre-owned dresses and consignment shops. These can all be found online and is often a more convenient alternative. People often travel out-of-state and browse several collections for vintage dresses.
Pay Attention to Detail
Victorian wedding dresses can get expensive if you’re buying one at an antiques store. Many people opt for cheaper alternatives like thrift shops and second-hand stores. Just remember to be on the lookout for any tips, tears, or stains! Vintage doesn’t mean it has to look used.
White is still the classiest color for wedding gowns, so keep whites and off-whites in mind. If you want to go bold, you may find burgundy and deep purple to be popular Victorian dress colors in online stores.
The best place for Victorian wedding dresses is Etsy.com. Etsy.com features and endless amount of small businesses and designers and is the perfect place to find something creative, one-of-a-kind, and totally handmade. There are detailed descriptions and a variety of photos so that you know what you’re browsing for.
You can also search among several designers and resellers online at sites like bestbridalprices.com, ebay.com, or amazon.com.
You should decide whether you would like to go for more of a full-on Victorian-artsy theme or if you’re just trying to incorporate simple aspects of Victorian vintage into your wedding day. If you want more of an authentic look, you will want an extravagant piece with multiple layers of ruffles and lace. Authentic dresses are hard to find. Reproductions of antique dresses are like works of art and can be found on websites like recollections.biz.
It all depends on how “Victorian” you want to go with your dress. Victorianbridalwaupaca.com and Victorianrosebridals.com have great selections of Victorian formal and bridal wear, whereas sites like Bustledress.com have more a costume-like, historical theme.