Is there a Torah source for the Kallah Bride to wear only white? What about a second marriage? Does the white indicate that the bride and groom make the day before marriage a special attempt to do Tshuvah?
Hi, user269026, and welcome to Mi Yodeya! When you ask for a "Torah source," are you limiting the question to sources from tana"ch, or do you include Torah she'baal peh also?– MTLJul 22, 2014 at 14:27
I'm unaware of a Torah source for this (unless you want to stretch the idea that both Rachel and Le'ah were LAVAN'S daughters :-) However, as my wife, who used to make bridal veils for many kallot would often mention, you want the bride to "stand out" from the crowd and to look beautiful, yet "plain". "Stand out" meaning to her chattan, in family pictures, and while walking down the aisle. For all of these reasons, white is the best color to do the job. This is not a Torah reason, here, but aesthetics, primarily. For the wedding, the bride is supposed to look beautiful, yet not outlandish.– DanFJul 22, 2014 at 15:07
Nitei Gavriel Nisuin 1 15:1:4 mentions this Minhag in the name of Maharam Mintz, Likutei Maharich and Shulchan Haezer. He mentions that some Chasidim do not wear total white as it is Chukas Hagoyim.
Based on this I would say that there is no source in the Torah that requires such. However the fact that a majority of Klal Yisrael does so should make one hesitate to change the Minhag.
1I heard from a major posek; off the cuff that that the majority of Jewry doesnt constitute a halachic minhag as it is not accompanied by an actual kabalah.– mevaqeshJan 29, 2015 at 17:16
The closest is the gemara at the end of taanis where the girls would wear white on tu bi'av trying to get married. There are also two places in the zohar that mentions the brides dress color. In one place he says white. And in one place he says red. But i would not be able to find the maareh mikomos presently, so don't bother asking.
Mishna Taanis 26b אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל: לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה עשר באב וכיום הכיפורים, שבהן בנות ירושלים יוצאות בכלי לבן שאולים, שלא לבייש את מי שאין לו ובנות ירושלים יוצאות וחולות בכרמים. ומה היו אומרות? בחור, שא נא עיניך וראה מה אתה בורר לך וכו Jul 22, 2014 at 15:20