Margaret Chalfant and Myra Walker went through history, did a little research of what brides wore during different time periods, and started a collection of gowns to showcase. Wedding dresses from the 19th century to the present day are featured at their exhibition "American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity" in Denton, Texas, which showcases the changing styles of American brides. At the exhibit, they have many exquisite gowns on display. One shown in the article is a 1993 wedding dress designed by Victor Costa.
Chalfant and Walker describe it as ‘‘not really being about the white wedding dress; it’s really about the essence of American style’’, and adding that ‘‘it is fashion history, social history, the birth of modern fashion and the birth of the American woman and the American woman becoming a fashion icon". All very evident when looking at the gowns.
One of the older dresses on display is from 1878, and spoiler alert: it isn't even white! My how things have changed. The oldest dress they have in the exhibit is from 1844. It is a beautiful champagne color with a unique waistline. A gown from 1982 with billowing sleeves that's on display was inspired by the dress Princess Diana wore the year earlier when she married Prince Charles. There is also a Gibson Girl-inspired gown from 1894 being shown with similarly voluminous sleeves.
If you want to educate yourself on the history of wedding dress fashion be sure to check out Boston.Com and the "American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity" exhibition as they both truly devoured the details with this research.