White vs. bright: A guide to picking the colour of your wedding dress


Your wedding dress is perhaps one of the most important pieces of clothing you’ll ever pick out. You’ll want to feel your best for this special day, and hopefully have plenty of amazing photos taken that you’ll look at for years to come, so it’s vital that you feel happy with your choice.

There can be a certain expectation for brides to stick with a traditional wedding dress in shades of white, ivory or cream, and that’s certainly a classic, elegant choice. But there’s no reason why you can’t wear anything that you want, if white isn’t your style. So how do you choose? Let’s take a look at how you can narrow down your choices to achieve the bridal look of your dreams.

Why go for white?

You might think that white is a ‘traditional’ choice, but white wedding dresses have only really been in fashion since Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert in 1840 – relatively recently in terms of history. Victoria chose a white dress to show off the British lace she had commissioned for the occasion, but many wealthy society ladies chose to take on the custom after the royal wedding.

White also symbolises innocence and purity. Whilst today most couples will choose to live together before marriage, white dresses hail from a time when a marriage symbolised a change from girlhood to womanhood.

bride in wedding dress

Of course, you don’t have to buy into any of this symbolism for your wedding dress – you can simply enjoy white as a sophisticated choice. Plus, it’s perhaps the one chance you’ll get to wear a white formal dress, so many brides like to take the opportunity whilst they can. Wedding etiquette dictates that your guests shouldn’t wear white either, so you can be sure that you’ll clearly stand out as the bride.

Why go for bright?

If you don’t feel that white suits you, or you simply want to go for an outfit that expresses your personality or ties into your theme, choosing a coloured wedding dress can be a great choice. That can mean anything from pastel shades like pink or lilac to bold hues like red or deep purple.

Eco-conscious brides may choose to wear a dress that they can wear again in the future, which is easier when it’s not a traditional bridal gown. Even if you choose a more formal style, you can get it altered to suit your preferences, allowing you to wear it as a special

occasion dress rather than a wedding dress. This saves the dress being worn only once, and also allows you to relive the special memories of your big day as you go through the rest of your life.

Best of both worlds

If you’re still not sure either way, why not have the best of both worlds? It’s possible to get white ready-made dresses with coloured feature embroidery, or you can get this added by a local craftsperson. You could even take this a step further and get images that are personal to you added to your dress or veil, making your wedding dress totally unique.

Whatever you decide, make sure to leave plenty of time to find your dream dress. That way, you can try on lots of different options, and find the perfect outfit for your wedding.

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