I was curious, so I spent some time researching the history associated with bridal gowns. Here's what I learned. In the middle ages brides from wealthy families often wore rich colors and exclusive fabrics such as furs, velvet and silk. They dressed in the richest materials they could afford. In Scandanavia, it was popular for brides to wear black. White dresses didn't become popular until 1840 after the wedding of Queen Victoria. According to wikipedia, she selected white because it matched some expensive white lace she had purchased.
Once a queen establishes a trend, the styles can change immediately. Remember how the trends changed after Princess Dianna and Kate Middleton? After Queen Victoria wore white, everyone else wanted white wedding dresses. All this time we have believed that white symbolized virginity. Truth be known, the color blue was associated with purity.
In Middle Eastern cultures such as China, and India, red is the color of choice for most brides. Red is worn for good luck. In Japan, a white kimona is worn to symbolize death - the bride becoming dead to her family. She then removes the white kimono to reveal a colored one, usually red to smbolize her rebirth into her husband's family.
When I remarried, I chose a champagne dress. Now that it's ten years later, I can't remember if I thought about wearing white. I don't think so because I didn't visit a traditional bridal shop. Instead I was more concerned with cost, but found a fabulous evening gown with a much cheaper price tag.
If you are preparing to shop for a wedding dress, what color will you choose? Or if you were a second time bride, what color did you wear? My advice, wear what you want and look fabulous wearing it!