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“For most of history, the dress symbolized the end of a woman’s life as an individual and the beginning of her role as a dependent wife. Today the dress no longer symbolizes the death of individuality, but of singlehood. The rebirth is not one of dependent wifehood, but of mature partnership at a new level of commitment. When a woman crosses over the threshold into marriage, she is leaving behind her attachments to an identity that no longer fits. Wearing the white dress on her last day of being single is a profound and archetypal way of acknowledging and saying goodbye to this aspect of her life.

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It therefore may symbolize a critical juncture in your life: for example, about whether you are going to be able to go through with a change from living on your own to living with a partner (or the reverse); from one job to another; from one set of values to another.


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“If we broaden the terms, we can still speak of the dress using the words innocence, maidenhood, and virginity. As we leave behind the innocence of childhood, the white dress comes to represent the most innocent part of ourselves. As we let go of the symbolic maiden, she who is carefree and responsible to no one, the dress comes to represent the most unattached aspects of singlehood. And as we move into the maturity of full partnership, we are stepping into the full blossom and power of our womanhood. Far from being a misogynistic act, marriage today requires that we maximize our intelligence and strength as woman. If we call on Marianne Williamson’s definition of virgin – “a woman unto herself”- then instead of becoming de-virginized on our wedding day, we become re-virginized!