Wedding Accessories - Handbags

wedding handbag 1

Handbags are something that no women is vary rarely seen without and most of us would be totally lost without somewhere to put our purse, lipstick, photographs, pens, diary and receipts in.

Not to forgot all the bits and bobs that we seem to accumulate in such a short time!

Your wedding day is going to be, if not one, the most important day of your life and you will look stunning and feel like that special princess you have waiting your whole girly princess wishful life for and to have something so trivial as wanting to wipe your nose or ward off bad breath with nothing on hand would make it feel like a big crisis.

Bridal handbags are not the large bulky leathery styles that we use for everyday use.  They are elegant, tasteful and sophisticated and designed to compliment your beautiful wedding dress, flowers or bridesmaids outfits.

Use of Bridal Handbags

A gorgeous and stylish handbag can be used by brides for such items as:

  • wedding hanbag 2Tissues/handkerchief
  • Fresh Breath Mints
  • Lipstick
  • Compact Mirror
  • Tiny sewing kit
  • Nail file
  • Tiny Perfume Bottle
  • Deodorant
  • Spare pair of stocking or tights
  • Painkillers

These are just a few suggestions for any bride to place in her handbag but remember to not overload it.  Just have a couple of what you consider to be the most important ‘just in case’.  Other such items can be carried by members of your wedding party.

All of those items can be carried by your matron of honour/chief bridesmaid that true, but if neither one are around when you need something, the last thing you want to do is have to go searching for them.

Carrying a handbag on your wedding day does not necessarily mean that you have to have it with you while you walk down the aisle or say your vows.  The handbag can be given to any of your attendants, parent or friend to hold for you until such time as you are ready or need it again.

You may choose a handbag that is the same material as your dress; have matching shoes and even a parasol.  Your dress might be an antique gown which may perhaps require a matching handbag to get the full ambience of your wedding attire.

Styles of Wedding Handbags

wedding handbag 2Unless you intend to have one specially designed for you, there are normally four basic styles of handbags for brides.

  • Clutch. These bags have no straps and are typically made from satin or silk with an inner lining.
  • Fancy.  Aptly named because these are made with elegant designs and embellished with previous stones, beads and/or crystals. They can be made out of metal or cloth and optional shoulder straps.
  • Structured.  Made out of a choice of satin, silk, polyester or nylon this style of handbag have metal handles and clamps and a stable bottom.
  • Drawstring Purse.  Made from Satin, lace or silk this purse usually matches the material of the dress and carried over the arm or with the bouquet.  Embroidery patterns, material flowers and seed pearls can be added.  Small and elegant enough for any bride to carry those essentials.

Bridal handbags can be plain or decorated with such materials as beads, crystals, lace, ribbons, tassels, precious stones, and sequins as well as flowers made from material or silk. 

Once you have decided that you will be having a handbag choose one that matches or compliments your dress and one that is easy for you to carry.  Don’t have one that attracts attention and draws away from your dress.  Ideally it should blend in while adding that extra touch of elegance.

Other Uses of Wedding Handbags

Your handbag does not have to be just for carrying your own personal items, or a fashion accessory, here are some other ways you can use a handbag at your wedding.

  • You can carry an open handbag that has been specially designed to hold your flowers in.
  • Your bridesmaids can carry them instead of flowers.
  • Flower girls can have open basket with petals.
  • They can be given as gifts to mothers and mother-in-laws.

History of Handbags

wedding handbag 3Ever since man had something of value handbags have become an essential part of life. 

Although hieroglyphs show us that Egyptians wore pouches around the waist, it is not until the 14th century that the written literature can be found on bags called ‘girdles’.  These were fastened to the waist and the richer the person the more jewels and embroidery adorned the bag.

Handbags became more of a practical use during the 16th century when they were made from materials such as leather and a drawstring fastener was added to the top.

More variety during the 17th Century made it fashionable for both men and women to carry purses and embroidery was taught to young brides-to-be as a necessary skill.

Women of the 18th century worried that a purse would ruin the look of their dresses after it became popular to reduce the amount of underclothing and they took to carrying handbags called reticules.  Every outfit had its own matching handbag and they would carry such items as smell salts, visiting cards, scent bottles, face powder and rouge.

Complicated fasteners and locks were added during the 1990’s and jewellers’ popularised ladies handbags more by adding such compartments especially for opera glasses, fans and cosmetics. 

With a revolution in fashion in the 1920’s bags were no longer needed to match a ladies outfit.  Stylish ladies took to carrying dolls that were dressed identical to themselves and the ‘doll’ which had its own matching bag.

Plastic and wood was used to make handbags during the 1940’s when such materials as leather, mirrors and metal frames became scarce. 

Today’s modern handbag can be made from any material and embellished with a vast array of unusual items.  From designer shops to market stall, handbags can be found anywhere, used at any time and be the finishing touch to any outfit.