The Symbolism of the Wedding Dress

The Symbolism of the Wedding Dress


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In Ephesians 5 we see a husband and wife being compared to Christ and His church. Verse 27 talks about a glorious church, that will stand holy, spotless, and blameless before God.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. – Ephesians 5:25-27

The word glorious here is endoxos (Strong’s G1741) It means that something is held in high esteem or has a reputable character. It’s also translated in other verses to describe beautiful clothing.

I’ve been to several weddings over the years. Some were indoors, others were outside, a few of them were small, and many were big. Regardless of how they unfolded, one thing that they all had in common was that the dress took center stage. Without fail, when the bride walked in, everyone rose to their feet, heads turned to face her, and we all stood in awe of her beauty.

Grace Kelly’s wedding gown was made from 25 yards of silk taffeta. It took three dozen seamstresses and six weeks to complete it. Kate Middleton’s designer kept her gown a secret during her six-month engagement to Prince William, while the world waited in anticipation to see it. And let’s not forget Princess Diana, her 25-foot train was the longest in royal history. (

Historically, brides dressed well to reflect the wealth of their family. The higher her social status, the more expensive her dress. And did you know that white dresses haven’t been popular all that long? It’s only been since the 1800’s when Queen Victoria wore a white lace dress at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. (Wikipedia) Even then, for the longest time, the rich wore white and the middle class wore more practical colours.

Regardless of history, most people today will say that the symbolism of the white dress is purity. That’s a good thing to teach our daughters, after all white does signify purity. But why so elaborate?

Why the long trains, the excessive fabric, the elaborate detail?

Because it also symbolizes the crown she will be to her husband. Her beauty is the outward reflection of an inner heart. Yes, it represents wealth, but we’re not dressing to represent the wealth of our family, we’re dressing to represent the treasure hidden within.

When a bride is clothed in a white gown, she’s radiant.

Her integrity is a gift to her groom, and her dress represents that. She’s set aside for him, and only him, in the same way that we are set aside for Christ.

A virtuous wife is a crown to her husband. Her noble character is a gift of love that brings honour to him.

Here’s just a glimpse into the inner beauty of a radiant wife:

  • Honesty. He can trust her to take care of his household and also his heart.
  • Purity. She’s set aside for him and only him.
  • Humility. Standing humbly before God, she takes up her cross daily.
  • Strength. She’s ready and willing to fight for her marriage.
  • Considerate and Kind. She is sensitive to the needs of her husband and walks in humility.

Risen from the dust, like a diamond she shines. She’s unbreakable. Made strong by faith under pressure.

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. – Proverbs 12:4

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht

Let’s discuss chapter 16 on Friday!

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Today’s Challenge: Choose one of the characteristics from the list (honesty, purity, humility, strength, consideration, or kindness) and tackle that one area of your life this week. Or if there’s another characteristic that you feel needs a little working on, then take on that one instead. 


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Written by Darlene Schacht

I'm an Evangelical Christian whose number one priority is to serve Jesus Christ in every area of my life. My husband Michael and I live in Manitoba Canada. Married 25 years, we have four children (three still at home), a bird and two pugs who are everyone's babies, especially mine! Our lives are basically surrounded with three things: our faith, music and everything books. I’m an award winning and New York Times best-selling author who is nothing without the grace of God. Facebook: timewarpwife Twitter: timewarpwife Pinterest: timewarpwife

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