Friday, July 27, 2007

Here Comes the Bride

This is something I wrote some time ago; I wanted to share this with you, as I think modesty and respect are tightly interlinked.

***

It is common knowledge that almost every little girl spends years dreaming about her wedding day, planning it long before she actually meets the man who will win her hand in marriage. She can vividly picture the guests, the ceremony, the cake and flowers and invitations and gifts; but here I would like to address the centerpiece of this girlish dream – the wedding dress.

Every woman is a princess on her wedding day, radiant and glorious. Her dress reflects the way she feels – long and white, flowing and feminine, the symbol of innocence, purity and virtue. She wears it on a holy, sacred moment when her hand and her heart are given to a man who promises to cherish and love and respect her - for the rest of their lives.

Ladies, how many of you attended weddings lately? Or perhaps went to find a wedding gown for you, or your sisters, friends, daughters? Did you, perhaps, notice something unexpected?

My best friend's wedding is looming closer and closer; I still have a long period of engagement ahead of me, but since we needed to find a dress for my friend, I decided I can as well seize the opportunity and try something on – perhaps just to get ideas about which style suits me best, and make up my mind well in advance.

"Here, this fashion is our most popular lately," – said the nice saleswoman, showing us one of the gowns. It had a long, full skirt, a flattering, not-too-tight top. But there was no trace of a sleeve. The shoulders were completely bare.

Surely she can't be supposed to wear it like this, I thought. Something should be worn on top of it; I glanced around, but all I found was a picture of a cheerful bride, who was undoubtedly wearing something similar – white clouds of skirts and a veil, combined with her bare shoulders and almost bare chest. She looked absolutely confident, as if nothing was amiss.

The other gowns we saw were little better. Those with sleeves were extremely tight or low-cut; others left the back naked; one dress had a slash right in the middle, so the bride's belly could be seen. This won't do, we decided exasperatedly. We make our best efforts to dress modestly every day. Why would we want to wear something like this at our weddings? Noticing our disappointment, the saleswoman told us that if we aren't happy with the available styles, an individual design can be made for us.

So, what's the big deal? Many women want something more special and have their wedding dress sewn exclusively for them. No doubt my friend still has enough time to obtain beautiful wedding dresses which suit her standards of looking respectful on her wedding day. Right?

But ladies, this isn't just a trivial problem we're facing. The fact is that brides are offered such provocative, immodest styles. The fact is that such styles are becoming normal and popular. Wedding dresses, which for many centuries symbolized the purity and innocence of a bride, nowadays are often anything but innocent. A couple of weeks after the previously described incident, I attended a wedding reception. The bride wore a hip-hugging dress, and everybody could see her naked back and shoulders. The dress was so tight it looked as though it's about to burst. I felt extremely uncomfortable seeing this, and I knew I'm not the only one.

Some may say I shouldn't be surprised, considering the fashion we usually see these days. And of course, it's always important to dress modestly – not only on one's wedding day. However, even if it sounds like an exaggeration, I think inappropriate and provocative wedding dresses are an extraordinarily striking example of lost respect for the woman, her chastity, the holiness of a wedding ceremony and even marriage itself.

13 comments:

Lydia said...

All of my female cousins, and my male cousin's wives, have been married in that same, billow-skirt, strapless style. I can't stand it. Not only does it get monotonous after a while, but these are almost always afternoon affairs, where not even modern etiquette dictates strapless is okay.

I agree about the loss of respect for women. What have we become, if a woman is expected to flaunt her body on her wedding day?

Three Sisters Blog said...

Great post!

Three Sisters Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chyrll said...

Thanks for the post! Well done and very true in today's world.
Chyrll

Laura H said...

Anna,
Well done on the wedding dresses! This is why I want to put together a fashion statement, and store, for the modest feminine christian ladies, who want to honor God, with their dress, on their wedding day! Look up Totally Modest Wedding Gowns, the link is on Mayden, and you will find some really nice dresses. The company I believe is Mormon, but I can be sure, that there are some dresses that you would like!:)
I had one cousin who was married in a strapless dress. All of us girls, wore dresses that went to our ankles, with gauze sleeves, that looked like fairy wings, and we made our necklines high. But does that stop her, no! I was a little ashamed to see her wear it, for she barely fit it as you say, but that is what she wanted. Her father was even a little surprised to see the dress! Now, my other cousin, got married in a very simple wedding gown, with a high, sweetheart neckline! I loved it, and want to duplicate it, something similar to it, for my own! I will post, what my wedding dress is going to be, someday! Something simple, yet feminine!
I hope you find the wedding dress you are looking for, and if not, I am a good seamstress, and would be happy to make one for you!
God bless!
Laura H

PandaBean said...

I know this blog is intended for the unmarried, but I am relativly young (25) and while I have been married for almost 6 years, I'm just now learning how to be a keeper of our home, so I'm learning a lot of great things from you ladies. I also want to learn from you to pass all this onto my daughter when she is old enough.

Anyway, onto the post. I was super blessed to have a dress lovingly hand-made just for me, with all the special details and specific designs exactly the way I wanted it, by my wonderful parents. One of my favorite wedding memories is sitting on my parents' bed the morning of the wedding and watching my dad hand-sew the last few stitches. I pray that every woman can have such precious memories of their blessed day.

God Bless!

Laura H said...

Pandabean,
Thankyou for the post! We welcome the married women, as well as the unmarried. We are a community of young women, trying to live the way the Lord meant us to, and we all appreciate imput from married women as well. So please, feel free to comment at anytime.
What a blessing it is to raise a Godly daughter, in the shadow of yourself. We hope that we will encourage those, young and old to follow Christ, in a manner well pleasing to the Lord!
God bless!
Laura H

Robert said...

I agree with what you wrote.When I've seen wedding show on tv or looked at wedding announcments in the paper,most of the brides are wearing strapless wedding gowns.You can see how the styles have changed just by comparing them to anniversary pictures of people married 30 or 40 years ago.

Laura H said...

I am ashamed at the way the brides are dressed now. To me, they are examplifying the look of whore, pardon the pun, but that is what I think. We are to save all of ourselves for our husbands, and what do they do, but show off, on the day of their wedding? I mean, even throwing the garter is not what I call a holy, sacred marriage!Where did that tradition start? One things for sure, when I get married, it is going to be a different one, one that honors God!
Laura H

Robert said...

Here is a link from a blog I read that you might like.It was about a godly marriage with vows that they wrote themselves based on Bible verses.

http://www.visionforum.com/hottopics/blogs/dwp/2006/08/1720.aspx

Robert said...

The rest of the link is 2006/08/1720.aspx

Jaclynn said...

This post evidently has received the most comments so far and what a great

one it is! I know that this is a serious issue but one we often look over. The

same thing with married women. I am not sure if that is the thought or not but

some may think, "well I am married now so I don't need to care as much about

modesty because I don't need to protect myself so much from men." But in

reality, if you want to make your husband's job of protecting you a little easier

then you need to continue to dress modestly. I for sure want a wedding dress

that envelops what my beliefs are concerning modesty. I haven't checked out all

of these links but a friend sent these to me when we were looking for

bridesmaid dresses and some links to send to a friend. But those of you who

are shopping for a wedding dress (or just for future reference) may want to

check out some of these links:

http://www.kathleensbridal.com/default.aspx
http://www.beautifullymodest.com/home.html
http://totallymodest.com/
http://www.eternitygowns.com/bridal.htm
http://www.victoriascollection.com/product.asp?id=200408040854382
http://www.bonny.com/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=gowns.php?

gline=12
http://www.latterdaybride.com/bridal_gowns.php
http://www.legacybridal.com/WeddingGowns/MWGownsPg1.html
http://www.elegantgowns.com/store/dresses/show_search.php?price=&sleeve

=short+sleeve&neckline=&skirt=a-line&color=&train=&formality=
http://avonleabridal.com/
http://www.modestbridaloutlet.com/
http://www.allurebridals.com/modest.asp?ID=1
http://www.venusbridal.com/cgi-bin/selection.asp?page=1&dressline=Modest

Gowns
http://www.bridalf.com/summer.html
http://www.carilynn.com/wed_mo_01.htm

James said...

Part of the problem has to do with the fact that a lot of people have forgotten what the sacrament of marriage is about. They think that the wedding is supposed to be a ginormous party, that's the embarkation of the bride's career hosting social events.

Also, people forget why wedding dresses are white. White is a symbol of virginal purity, of the physical, emotional, and spiritual purity with which one enters the sacrament of marriage. Looked at that way certainly implies a very different kind of dress.