Bridal fan

Gender roles

Gender and social class

Gender and clothing

It is generally accepted that it was during the Victorian era when white became the colour of wedding dresses and therefore, the moment when women must have begun using a light-coloured fan for her wedding festivities. However, this would not be the case in all social strata. Among the lower classes, young women would continue to wear a dress that was part of the formal trousseau for their married life and it would not be until the early 20th century that the use of white for the woman’s wedding dress became widespread. One object that would form part of the wedding ceremony was the fan, an accessory that would remain a common engagement gift from the 18th to the early 20th century. In many cases, if would depict the faces of the bridge and groom or their initials. In others, fans were part of the trousseau which the woman brought to the marriage.