Wedding Dresses
The Renaissance of Marriage in Fifteenth-Century Italy

Love and Marriage in Late Medieval London

Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages

Medieval Marriage: Two Models from Twelfth-Century France

Plenty of webpages will cheerfully tell readers all about medieval wedding dresses, or wedding dresses of the Renaissance -- usually, they're generalizations based on little or no factual information. Take, for example, the color of a wedding dress -- should it be green? blue? white? And must it be a cotehardie?

In truth – there seems to be no overwhelming trends, in terms of color or style. Most of the examples below cover the later Middle Ages and the Renaissance; colors and styles generally cover the same array of what was fashionable at the time (or, in the case of the 16th century “peasant weddings,” of what was worn by women of that social status).

Some 14th century brides carry a set of purses (see Michael Camille’s The Medieval Art of Love for further discussion on this practice).

Some 15th century examples dress the bride in a sideless surcoat that was, at that late date, associated with ceremonial costume, primarily for princesses and queens; however, many of the illustrations depicting brides in such a costume seem to illustrate the wedding of a princess, anyway.

Many thanks to Camilla Luise Dahl for her suggestions on Danish church paintings!