On Trend: What the Color of Your Wedding Dress Says About You
You’ve been looking at wedding dresses in magazines and movies and in businesses like Lovely Bride. You’ve seen elaborate and elegant dresses on friends walking down the aisle and the barely there designer choices of runway fashionistas. You keep hoping for something that looks like a dress you would wear, but every single one of those dresses is white—and white is just not your happy color. Which makes sense, because you’re not Queen Victoria. She sparked the white wedding dress trend back in 1840 by making the unusual choice to wear a white gown for her wedding to Prince Albert. Victoria was a rebel. At that time most brides were married in colored gowns, blue being especially popular as a color that represented purity, piety, and faithfulness. Shopping for a wedding dress is a memorable experience, but if you’re looking for a wedding dress that isn’t white, you should follow the guidelines below.
What Do the Colors Mean?
Today, in Western culture, the white wedding dress is said to represent the purity or virginity of the bride. Eggshell, ecru, ivory, cream and pure whites are all associated with innocence and perfection, making these shades part of the traditional Victorian color choice. In Eastern or Asian cultures however, red is the traditional color worn by brides to bring good fortune. It represents an auspicious start to the union. Red is also the color of energy, passion and excitement. Other shades of the rainbow carry different associations and meanings, such as the following.
- An essentially feminine shade, pink shows a flirtatious side as well as representing a freshness and pure personality.
- Once the color of faithfulness, blue has taken on shades of meaning to convey calm peacefulness, loyalty and security.
- For the lover of the dramatic black wedding gowns are an option. Black is a power play that says mystery, elegance, sophistication and formality.
- Pantone says “greening” is the 2017 color of the year, and green hues represent harmony and caring for the earth.
- Violet and purple offer a creative blend of dignity and sensitivity. The color represents compassion and understanding with a hint of alluring energy and depth.
- Offering sunshine and buttercups, yellow speaks to the warmth and happiness of the couple—though not every skin tone can handle the color.
The colors you choose for your wedding and for your wedding dress speak to the emotions, the feelings, you are expressing on your special day. What color will you choose? Before you make up your mind consider what color will look best in the photos. Not every skin tone can wear every color—so some colors may be better as table napkins than as your dress.
How Do You Know What Color to Wear?
Pay attention to your skin tones when choosing your dress color. Most people have either, warm, cool, or neutral skin tones.
- If your skin has golden or olive undertones you are probably warm. Look for warmer hues like oranges, red, bleached sand, amber and honey gold. Icy shades and gray will wash you out, and you should avoid jewel tones.
- If you’re skin has a blueish undertone, whether fair or dark, you are probably cool. Your best colors will be blues, greens and purples. If you have cool skin tones you can wear grey but yellow or orange will make you look ill.
- For those who can’t tell what their skin tone is you may be neutral. It can be hard to determine, but if you have hazel eyes you probably are a neutral. Stick with soft tones that fall in the middle of the spectrum, a blush toned pink or placid blue or pale butter yellow all look good against a neutral skin tone.
Some colors work well with any skin tone because they offer a balance between the cool and warm sides of the color-wheel. White is one of those colors. Pure white (with no undertones) doesn’t clash with anyone’s skin tone, but there are others. Light blush pink brings out a natural glow to make anyone look healthy and rosy. A perfectly balanced teal can be worn by anyone, and eggplant purple also makes the cut, accenting any skin tone without being overpowering.
Queen Victoria’s journal says this about her wedding attire: “I wore a white satin dress, with a deep flounce of Honiton lace, an imitation of an old design.” What she failed to mention was that, for the next 175 years, brides would be stuck wearing white gowns, as society rushed to enshrine the fashions of royalty. Why not follow Victoria’s example, but in a different way? Don’t copy her gown; copy her daring. She did her own thing and wore the color she wanted. You can too!