Weddings in the Renaissance Era highlighted overt displays of wealth by the aristocracy with lavish festivities and elaborate and colorful wedding dresses. The lower classes copied the fashion with cheaper fabrics. The wedding gowns were long and layered with the fifteenth-century upper-class women often wearing up to three layers over the main dress.
The sixteenth-century dresses maintained the same structure with a tight corset upper and layers of fabric making up the ball gown, which extended downwards into a train. Red-colored textiles satin, Coudray, and velvet were favored in this era because red was associated with wealth, while pearls signified chastity.
However, most women could not afford a separate dress for their big day, and the wedding dress was often their best dress, typically made of flax, cotton, or wool. The women also avoided wearing white clothes because they were difficult to clean and, therefore, not practical.
On the other hand, the royal class had more flexibility and means to wear white. Mary, Queen of Scots, wore a lily white wedding dress with expensive jewelry when she married Francis II because it was her favorite color. A few years earlier, Mary Tudor and Philip of Spain wore matching white wedding outfits with gold embroidery, which set a new trend of wearing matching outfits.