We have our very own Queen Victoria to thank for bringing white wedding dresses into the mainstream consciousness. Before Her Majesty’s wedding dress of heavy white satin with a lace flounce, women married in their best, often coloured, finery especially as these dresses can be worn again on special occasion without screaming “bride” to all and sundry. And so, it came to pass that the various shades of white became the new norm for brides to march down the aisle.
But times are a-changing. Brides want colour to celebrate their weddings and we are not just talking about colours on the invitations and decorations, flowers and food as well as on the bridesmaids’ dresses. Instead, we are talking about colour on the wedding dress itself!
There are two ways with which colour is re-introduced into the wedding dress. First, the wedding dress is in the preferred shade of white, which can range from stark white to champagne white and every hue in between. Touches of colour are then added to the bridal dress like a sash on the waist, overlay on the bodice, pleats on the skirt, ribbon on the hem and coloured embroidery, to name a few possibilities.
The important thing with these touches of colour is that the hue itself complements the shade of white with which the dress is made of. You also have the choice of the palest pastels to the brightest colours to add to the white wedding dress.
Second, you can have a coloured wedding dress, pure and simple. Your choices range from the palest of yellows to the brightest of reds and even a black wedding gown for the Goth bride. It all depends on the bride’s personal sense of style on her wedding day that, being in a democratic society, she has every right to assert.
When choosing from coloured dresses in the same colour, look at its varied hues. For example, a pink wedding dress can be expanded to mean gowns in baby pink, old rose and fuchsia pink. Or yellow can mean egg yellow, pale yellow and canary yellow. Look at a colour wheel, if you have to, just to determine the exact shade of the colour you want for your wedding finery.
Tips on Colour
Just about any white wedding dress can be adopted to become a coloured gown. The trick is in choosing the best hue that will best complement your skin tone. Let’s face it – not everybody can carry fuchsia well even when you have the attitude for it, no thanks to differences in skin complexion.
Take the fabric samples next to your skin to determine if it brings out the inner glow. You will be able to actually see if the colour suits your skin and your personality. You may even take the dress that looks great on you and ask the sales staff to see if they have bridal fabric in said colour.
When you have chosen the exact shade of your wedding dress, you will then be able to plan the other colours in the wedding from the bridesmaids’ dresses to the venue decorations. You want to achieve a harmonious colour combination that reflects your sense of style, your aspirations for the marriage and your vision of the wedding.