In fact, in the grand scheme of things, the tradition isn't even all that old. The white wedding dress of today is deep-seated tradition, and for many is worn to signify virtue as well as uphold tradition. Millions -- in fact billions -- of women all over the world start thinking about the perfect white wedding gown before they have even found the perfect partner.
Britain is a place that is rife with traditions and legends, so it is little wonder that the tradition of the white wedding dress was started by the English Monarchy. It was the wedding of Queen Victoria that spawned the interest and popularity of white wedding dresses as we know them today.
Queen Victoria married Albert of Saxe in 1840, and wore what would then have been considered a flamboyant white gown. Of course, this did not start the tradition immediately; however, many women saw this as a statement of class and style, and copied the Queen by also getting married in white.
The white wedding lunadress in those days had nothing to do with being virtuous -- it was all about wealth. Getting married in a white, extravagant gown was a sign that you could afford to buy a dress that you would never be able to wear again because of its style and colour whites were not easy to clean in those days as they are today.