A couple of weeks ago, I asked what you would like to see more of in my newsletters. One request I received was for historical facts from my research, which I am more than happy to share! I often post them to social media, so I’m not sure why I haven’t included more in my newsletters - but that will change now!
When I was researching for my next release, I came across quite a bit of information regarding Regency weddings. Some of you may have read some of this on my Facebook page or instagram account, but if not, I hope you enjoy and learn something new! I certainly did.
First I'd like to talk about the white wedding dress. Many of you may read my next novel and say, "Ellie, the white wedding dress was a Victorian custom." You are correct -- a white wedding dress was made popular by Queen Victoria's wedding to Albert. In the Regency era, most women would likely have had a dress made for their wedding, but unlike today, they would wear it multiple times afterward. For many women, this meant a dress of a darker color, as white would drag in the mud and the hems would easily be dirtied. In the noble classes, however, particularly among the very rich, dresses were more likely to be created specifically for the wedding day, and while they were often pink, blue, green, or yellow, white was a very popular color of the time, and therefore, many wedding dresses of the noble classes were white, though not by tradition.
Many Regency novels include weddings that take place under a special license, which could be purchased and would allow the couple to be married without the usual three weeks of banns read in the parish, and in any location of their choosing. Since life is often more dramatic in novels, in reality the procurement of a special bann was actually fairly rare. Many weddings of the nobility took place in a church -- specifically, St. George's Church in Mayfair's Hanover Square. The exterior is impressive, though the interior is not nearly as extravagant as many other churches and cathedrals of its time. It featured stained glass windows, and a painting of The Last Supper.
The beautiful, white-tiered wedding cake we know today is, of course like most things it seems, a Victorian tradition. However, wedding cakes go back for centuries, they have just changed over the years. In the Regency era, they resembled more of a fruitcake, and would be filled with brandy, rum, or wine, which would preserve the cake. This was important, as pieces of it were sent home with guests, as well as delivered to family and friends who were unable to make the wedding. In very wealthy families, some cakes were finished with white sugar icing.
You’ll be able to read all of this and much more in my next book, coming out August 7th! It now has a title -- Promise of Redemption.
Do you have any other questions about Regency weddings that you are particularly interested in?
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