Regency Weddings

Amanda is attending her brother’s wedding today so I volunteered to blog for her. I hope she’ll show us photos of her dress, but until then, let’s talk about Regency weddings.

Regency brides did wear white, but they didn’t have to. In the Regency, white gowns were popular for many occasions. Other colors like pale pink and blue were also worn at weddings. The older the bride, the darker the color. Wedding dresses were worn after the wedding, too. By the time Queen Victoria became a bride and wore white, the white wedding dress was well on its way to becoming a tradition.

Princess Charlotte, who wed Prince Leopold in 1816, wore a dress of silver lamé, embroidered in silver.

Sites that tell more about Regency Weddings:

Jessamyn’s Regency Costume Companion

Regency Weddings

Quick facts about Regency Weddings:

1. Weddings could take place after reading of the Banns, a license, or a special license. Banns must be read for three consecutive Sundays in the parishes of both the prospective bride and groom. A license, purchased from the bishop of the diocese, did away with the banns but the couple still had to be married in the parish church. A special license, purchased from the Archbishop of Canterbury, allowed the couple to be married in a location other than a church and without banns. Licenses were never blank; different names could not be substituted.

2. Scottish weddings went by different rules. In Scotland couples could be married by declaring themselves married in front of witnesses, by making a promise to marry followed by intercourse, or by living together and calling themselves married.

3. Weddings could not be performed by proxy. Both the bride and groom had to be present.

4. Ship captains could not perform marriages. Couples could be married aboard ship, but only by clergy. (How many times have you read that plot?)

5. Brides had wedding rings; grooms did not. The bride could give the groom a ring as a wedding gift, but it was not part of the ceremony and didn’t symbolize he was married.

Do you want a Regency Wedding? There are many sites on the internet offering custom made Regency wedding dresses:

Regency Reproductions

Fashions in Time

Or if you are handy, like Cara, you could make your Regency gown:

McCall’s Pattern 202 Regency era Empire Waisted Wedding Gown

I was married a Brazillion years ago, before a bride would even DREAM of a strapless gown. Before I married, I’d never read Georgette Heyer or Regency Romances and it had been a few years since I’d read Jane Austen.

Take a look at my wedding dress.
It’s a little hard to tell here, but it has an empire waist. It’s a Regency Dress!

Do you have any questions about Regency weddings?

Did anyone else have a Regency wedding dress?

Don’t forget to stop by on Monday for Grand Central Publishing editor Alex Logan

And while you are blogging on Monday, stop by The Wet Noodle Posse. My friend Darlene Gardner is blogging about researching character occupations.

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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